That’s not to say we’re not up a lot during the nights; there are often bad dreams, illness, heat or cold issues and sometimes a need for emergency cuddles, but we know that in the grand scheme of things, we’re pretty fortunate.
I’m the last person to claim the credit. We had fantastic support from the sleep support centre provided by our local area health service when Miss Three was four months old. As hapless parents who knew very little, this was a godsend.
Since then things have gone fairly well. Miss Three gave up her daytime sleep about six months ago, it made the evening bedtime quicker and less stressful and we’re quite relaxed about that.
But every day she’s at daycare, her carers spend two hours trying to get her to sleep. They pat, cajole and beg and she just doesn’t sleep. I get reports (from her) about how they will try and get her to ‘be good and have a sleep today’.
And I really don’t care.
I understand that those who work in daycare need a break during the day – this is absolutely not about that. I also understand that some kids need a sleep, and others a little quiet time, but I do not understand telling a child that good behaviour is sleeping when they really have no physical need for one?
We spend the first few years of our children’s loves agonizing over their sleep patterns. There’s a very good reason that Go the F*** to Sleep is a bestseller. And it’s a serious issue for working mums, who are trying to commute, make decisions and function like regular human beings during the day, often on very little sleep.
I’d love to get an afternoon kip on the weekends, and it was lovely while it lasted, but if they don’t need it, there’s simply not much you can do about it.
I try so hard to support our lovely carers and any rules or processes they implement. I think consistency in expectations, especially on things like manners, eating patterns and treatment of other people, is really important.
But I’m sorry daycare, I just can’t back you up on this one.