Mom Confession: I'm A Bedtime Battle Enabler

Bedtime SUCKS around my house. It's an hour long process (at least) that includes, but is not limited to the following; begging, bartering, anger, annoyance, spineless groveling, and eventually, a very hard won victory. Though, I am starting to think there is actually no real victory, but a draw that is replayed in 24 hours.

I hate bedtime, and I blame myself for it. After all, I'm the one who has taught my son the bedtime routine of bath, books, singing, rocking, then when I say, Ok, it's bedtime, that really means, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Because if bedtime meant something, then I would not spend the next thirty minutes to an hour begging my son to go to sleep! If it meant something, I would not constantly return to his room, and play the games I play with him. All the word "bedtime" means to my son is, play with mommy until I'm tired enough to pass out. 

Since Ollie's first days, I have held and nursed him to sleep. Then, last month I stopped nursing. When that happened, we exchanged nursing to sleep, for the bedtime game from hell. The game where Ollie doesn't go to sleep until he is ready, and I grovel and beg like a jackass.  I do this, every night, even though I know it is a game to him.

Why? Because, I am spineless.


Every night, I sit and rock him to sleep until I think I am going to lose my mind, at which point, I put him in his crib. If he is not ready to fall asleep, he will stand up, cry and beg to be held.  So what do I do? I pick him back up out of his crib, and rock him some more. Yes, I know how stupid it is that pick him back up, but I do it anyway because I am a sucker! I am sucker that just wants him to go to sleep, so I do what ever he asks to get him to calm down and go to sleep.


I will repeat this stupid crap game of rocking him to sleep, then putting him in his crib and getting him out again until I get really mad... at myself. OK, and a little mad at him too. Then, I will put him in his crib and make empty threats about how much trouble he will be in if he climbs out.  Nine times out of ten, he climbs out. I pick him up, tell him he is naughty and put him back in bed. Sometimes he stands up and just protests begging to be held, others we just repeat the process of climbing out and me putting him back in.  Sometimes, I rock him again because, again, I am a complete spineless butthead.

I KNOW this ridiculous bedtime crap is all my fault.  If I would just be tough, and not put up with the games, he would go to sleep.  I know this, because on the nights FTD puts Ollie to sleep, its easy for him.  Ollie will stay in his crib and sing himself to sleep. That actually sucks worse to me than the games we play, because I can see just how foolish I am.

What the hell is wrong with me?! Why can't I be tough, tell him to go to sleep and mean it.  Why have I created such a monster, when I KNOW BETTER!?  And how in the hell am I going to correct it?  I have friends with children MUCH younger than Ollie that go into their cribs only slightly tired and fall asleep without issue. I am SO jealous of the parent that puts their kid to bed and goes about their business.

I know Ollie will not die if I let him cry, but it still totally sucks to hear him screaming for me. I rationalize my behavior by thinking this will pass. I tell myself that it's a phase, and really, I should somehow cherish every moment he lets me hold him, because soon enough he will not even want me to hug him. Still, I just wish I could hold him and rock him, and then put him in his crib and go about my business, NOT play into a ridiculous toddler bedtime game.

Ugh. Have kids they said... It will be awesome they said... Too bad they never said, grow a set first because it's going to be hard and you need to be tough, even when it breaks your heart.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit