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🌙 Sitting in the dark 🌙
You'll get out one day
A witchy friend of mine posted the following plea on FB:
Has anyone gone through a period of sitting in the room every night to help your kid fall asleep? We backslid into this habit when my now 3-year-old had a rough transition to a new day care, and haven't been able to break out of it. Hate it.
While I do not envy her kids’ current phase, my heart was strangely warmed by the response from people who are there or who have been there, offering commiseration instead of telling her what she’s doing wrong or, worse, to enjoy it. Sometimes you just need to know you’re not alone more than you need solutions.
Below are some of those responses and some from witches on Twitter in the same spot. You may accidentally find something helpful below or maybe it’s just helpful to know that it’s not you and that kids are, by nature, here to destroy us:
“My kids are 7 and 4 and we still have to do this every single night. It’s crazy making and there is no escape I can find.”
“Whichever one of us is doing it just watches shows on our phone with headphones.”
“Yes. My 5 year old wants us to lay with her every night until she’s asleep. It can be maddening for sure. I hate to admit this (it’s gotten this ridiculous) but my husband brought out a beach chair that he uses to sit outside of her room. Also the issue is compounded by daycare naps after which she sometimes doesn’t fall asleep until close to 10. Blah!”
“We still do this for my eight year old. It’s only bearable because he usually falls asleep within five or 10 minutes. I just lie there and do some deep breathing/faux meditation. When it’s husband’s turn he watches his phone. In the realm of sleep issues we’ve had with our kid this one is minor, so we’re not really doing anything to change it. If it took him a long time to fall asleep, we’d probably try the routine where you inch closer to the door night after night, etc.”
“We have done this with every kid at some point or another because I am not into Cry It Out, and sometimes new fears or whatever come up and we end up doing it again. I am too impatient to do this, but my husband has faded back for each kid by standing a little bit farther and farther away, eventually sitting on the floor outside the room reading, sitting a little further away each night, and eventually just hanging out downstairs like per usual routine. It usually takes about 2 weeks to get back to normal.”
“This is partly witchy, partly unwitchy of me, but I lie down with my kid every night until he falls asleep. The unwitchy part is that I enjoy the cuddling. The witchy part is that I do this while my husband cleans up the kitchen. I read stuff on my phone and often stay there much longer than I have to. Also? He’s in a very comfortable double bed.”
“Me except lying down with her until she falls asleep (and/or I do). And I love it and hate it and love it.”
“Yeah, my kids still want this! And then half the time I fall asleep and then my night is over. And it's annoying. But also sometimes it's the best and sweetest time we spend together! OY VEY KIDS”
As for me personally? No, I don’t sit with my kids when they go to sleep, because I don’t spoil my children and I don’t take any crap because I am the authority because I am A GOOD MOTHER.
…But if you ever want commiseration about locking your kid in his bedroom each evening for a period of his life to stop him from running around the house alone at night turning on the lights and waking everyone up, I can speak to that.
I hope you found something useful or comforting in today’s issue of Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. Feel free forward it to someone who could maybe use this. If you haven’t yet I hope you consider becoming a paid subscriber which gets you bonus content and threads!
If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for the newsletter you can reply to this email or talk to other witches on Twitter. The archives live here. If you want to read some more about sleep, here is an issue I did about how witches get their own sleep, the pros of sleeping separately from your partner, and how many witches who did cry-it-out/sleep training lived to feel bad about it.
I’m doing some future issues on lessons learned raising kids with ADHD as well as what it’s like to work in a government/elected position and be a working mom—if you think you have some wisdom to share or have a witchy reference to point me to, please let me know.