Parenting

A Family Of Scaredy Cats

Picture 4We’ve been having some sleep issues lately.

(If I had a dollar for every entry I’ve started like this the last 10 years I’d be rich.)

Let me remind you of MY issues first. I sleep in one of the kid’s rooms several nights a week because D needs a TV to fall asleep and I can’t go to sleep with one on. We find our marriage is happier if we sleep in separate rooms on the nights he does not fall asleep before me. DON’T JUDGE US.

Anyway – It started with Wes periodically ending up sleeping in Nikki’s bed. On the nights I wasn’t in there? It was kinda cute. On the nights I was? I was too sleepy to care when he stumbled in there in the middle of the night.

When I finally talked to him about it, he said it was because he got scared.

This is my weakness. FEAR. I slept on the floor of my Dad’s bedroom regularly for quite awhile because I knew that one night someone was going to come chop him up in his sleep.

(Don’t ask.)

But even when I wasn’t on the floor of his room, I was a very fearful sleeper. Noises, shadows, creaks…I have very vivid memories of being TERRIFIED at night. And I didn’t always feel comfortable admitting this to my Dad because I was very embarrassed.

My point? When Wes told me he was scared? I could VERY easily empathize with him.

So – we decided that he should sleep on the floor on Nikki’s room so as not to interrupt her (or my) sleep. And that worked okay for a little while. But then one night – I was tired and he was whiney – and I let him get in bed with us.

I JUST WANTED SLEEP. Most of my worst parenting decisions are made due to a lack of sleep.

And now? Last night? I was sleeping in Wes’s room and Nikki ended up on the floor of his room scared.

Basically? Both of my kids are too scared to make it through one night asleep in their own beds…alone. Wes already sleeps with a light on. They will end up in each other’s rooms no matter where I am either, as some mornings when I wake them up they’re in the same room regardless of where I am.

And because my memories of being scared are so VIVID as a kid, I really have no desire to do anything but to fullfill their every request. So basically? No need for advice over here! I’m totally giving in to their every whim at the sacrifice of my own sleep and well-being!

All because the refrigerator in my childhood home made scary noises when I was growing up, and I sometimes still have nightmares about it.

And that will be Chapter #2 of my forthcoming parenting book.

(Chapter #1 is entitled: That fine like between comforting for your child when they’re sad, and telling them to “Quit whining and get the hell over it already.”)

12 thoughts on “A Family Of Scaredy Cats”

  1. Why not move Wes and Nikki into the same room? I shared a room with my sister and brother for years until our house was remodeled (probably until I was I 8 or so and my brother was a year older).

  2. I didn’t have my own room until I was 13.5 and it was terrifying once I did. My sister and I used to sneak into each other’s room at that point until we got used to having our own rooms. It took a long time!!! When my twin brother moved to his own room (in late elementary school) I used to sneak into his room every night as well. My mom used to get so mad to find us in various groupings together in the morning (I’m one of 5 kids, there’s a lot of combo options there). I never understood why she cared because we were sleeping, not playing (most of the time). I say whatever helps people get the best sleep, go for it!

  3. I remember being really scared at night as a kid too, so I completely understand. I have a hard time telling my kids “it’s nothing, you’re fine, go to sleep!” because I remember hearing those words and it helping NOT AT ALL.

  4. I agree with all of the other comments wholeheartedly- so my addition is: Are you guys a white noise family? I’ve found the only way I can sleep 90% of the time is with a fan on. Pointed away from me so I don’t get all drafty and cold, but it really does white out the apartment noises etc. I apparently rely on it so much I can’t stay awake on planes because the white noise of the engines just lulls me right to sleep. Maybe it’s worth a try (when you also try putting them in the same room?)

  5. Yeah, I like the idea that others have suggested of moving them into the same room. Then the room leftover can be your new room! (Long time lurker, but not often commenter).

  6. I’m dealing with the exact issues with my son, only he doesn’t have a sibling to join, so he ends up in my bed. And I don’t really care- most of the time. But I remember being terrified at night for a long time…I was convinced Mt. St. Helens was going to erupt and the lava flow was going to take our house away…I had/have issues, lol!

    It’s nice to hear I’m not alone! I figure do whatever works- sleep is more important than the sleeping arrangements, ya know?

  7. We are total white noise addicts! It’s great.

    DIdn’t N and W used to share a room in your old house? Maybe they miss it. 🙂 I think Elizabeth has the right idea, but it sounds like your setup is working for you.

  8. Yep, I was going to say the same thing. Maybe bunk beds? They’d have fun, keep each other company, and maybe you’d be able to sleep in your own bed? Or you could turn the other room into a guest room or office with a fold out couch so you have a quiet place to sleep when you’re not in your own bed.

  9. The truth is that most kids have issues like this, and all around the world, people have family beds. I am not suggesting that for you, but it did work for me when mine were small (not babies, but toddler and up.) I agree with everyone to not fight what works and let the kids sleep together as long as they are both agreeable with it. Bonus: you can sleep more soundly in the other, kidless room while they keep each other secure.

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