Bed-Wetting Regression and Mama Guilt

I’m just about to finish my third week of working almost full-time for the first time in seven years.  Prior to having my first daughter in October, 2006, I had been working 20-25 hours/week running my consulting business that I started in 2003.  So it’s a big change on multiple fronts.

I remain enormously grateful for the work and am enjoying writing for my new client. And the separation during the day from the girls has been hard for all three of us in different ways.  In addition to the girls crying a lot more and clinging to me a lot more during the dinner hour, all of our emotions are manifesting physically:

My sadness and guilt and worry goes straight to my jaw.  Over the last year, my unconscious teeth grinding at night has gotten pretty severe.  Two years ago, my teeth were perfectly aligned and my bite was even.  Now, just looking at my face you can see the awkward way my top and bottom teeth come together. Last week I managed to lose my sexy nighttime mouth guard – darn it all.

Izaroo, my 17 month old baby, is sick with a runny nose and congestion/coughing during the night for the 100th time since she was born. Bless her little heart.

Sadie, my almost 3 1/2 year-old has been wetting the bed off and on at night for the last few weeks. This is breaking my heart because it seems so obviously connected to her stress around my increased absence and the new people in her life. With very little warning and preparation like I had so diligently done before the start of preschool and before the birth of her sister — she had a new housemate, mommy suddenly unavailable in the afternoons, and a new baby-sitter taking Mommy’s place for school pick-up, special snacks for the drive home, lunch together, and pre-nap story time.

Sadie started sleeping in her “big girl undies” last summer.  She’s been comfortably getting up to use the bathroom during the night if needed for over six months.

According the web site Labor of Love, there are other possible contributors to bed wetting regression in toddlers including drinking too much before bed (duh) and something I hadn’t thought of — not enough sleep.  This is when your child is so overtired that when she finally gets to sleep, she’s in such a deep sleep that she can’t wake herself up when needing to urinate.

I think in our case it could be a combination of stress from our big changes and being overtired.  I’ve observed plenty of families moving up their dinner times so that following dinner, the whole extended bet time routine can take place and the tots can be asleep by 7:00.

Some friends of ours with a four year-old and almost two year-old invited us to meet them at a restaurant for dinner yesterday at 4:30. Heck — why not if you can swing it?

I think my guilt has me stretching out our evening time together which even in the moment is only partially great for all of us because both girls so often fall into angst-ridden, Mama-Mama-Mama mode.

What may serve everyone more is if I come up with some sweet one-on-one rituals to share with each girl.  Sadie and I have our nightly back-scratching that often closes with her saying, “Mama, hold me like a baby.”  I sit on her bed with crossed legs and rock her in my arms and tell her everything I love about her.   If I am daydreaming when I start rocking her, she will now say, “Mama, tell me all why you love me.”   Maybe we can find something else to do together before dinner.  My sense is that it doesn’t have to be as long and stretched out as I’ve been thinking and that even ten minutes of my devoted attention could do wonders.

Giving the littlest some extra one-on-one is the trickier challenge since we set up her night-weaning to happen with my absence.  I’m sensing that both girls could use the night time cuddling with Mama and I may need to re-embrace being sandwiched between them. And of course there’s the beauty of weekends and dancing together at Flipnotics:

Saturdays with the Hey Lollies at Flips

Saturdays with the Hey Lollies at Flips

Tonight I’m hopeful that baths with lavender for them and a tasty pale ale for me will mean a decent night’s rest for the whole team.

I welcome ideas from others on how to help small children through the Mama-less-available transition.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply


  • Categories



    Follow Me



    Places to go


Art by Erika Hastings at


    Add us to your site!


Click to get the code!