So last night was a huge fail… but I still don’t know how I would’ve gone about things differently. Marissa went through one of her screaming tantrums and it pretty much lasted all night. My 8 year old is afraid of the dark and sometimes when we all go to bed around the same time (usually she will be asleep by the time I head upstairs to our bedroom), she will start to cry. And I’m not talking a little whimper… no, she’s like screaming her head off that we’re afraid the neighbors are going to think we’re beating the poor child! Last night was one of those nights.
I’ve tried different techniques, like reading her bedtime stories, we pray every night together, I’ve left the bathroom light on (it’s right across from the girls’ room), I’ve even let her sleep with her own light on! For the most part she is OK – like I said, I usually go to sleep pretty late so she’s already in bed. But then there are those nights… and those nights are BAD. Last night I found that not only was she yelling, screaming, and crying – but so was I. I couldn’t go to bed because she would spend the whole night screaming. I refused to sleep on the living room sofa (which is what she wanted me to do!), so I made her sit in the living room and stay up. And we stayed up until about 4:30am.
I mean, at one point I thought things were going great! I sat her down and talked to her about God and the Holy Spirit was here to help her and how she needed to call out to Him whenever she was afraid. She was alright and smiling and nodding her head – great! Then I sent her to her room and two seconds later she came out “I can’t do it mommy!!!!” Talk about frustration!! It was all downhill from there on out. The rest of the night was just one big fightfest.
So now the poor girl is punished and can’t go to our Church’s ornament exchange tonight – which really sucks because it’s a fun time for the girls. Her father is now also very upset with her and wants her in her room for the whole night I’m gone. It’s just a mess and I’m exhausted and still have not been able to get any sleep in.
I love being a stay at home mom, but days like these make me feel like a big failure! I know there’s grace at the foot of the cross, and believe me I claim it! But how do I handle this situation when it comes up again (and it WILL come up again!)? How do I help my daughter through her fears without getting so frustrated myself? How do I help my husband not get so frustrated so he doesn’t go to work upset and come home to deal with a daughter he feels is inconsiderate?
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