BM breaks our bedtime routine and undoes our progress
My SO's daughter, 10, has ADD and a lot of anxiety and it has taken us a full year to wean her off of spending any part of the night needing our comfort. We got her a sound machine for ambient noise and previously we (my SO or I) would have to sit on the floor in her room until she falls asleep, or she would start the night falling next to us on the couch and we'd carry her to bed, etc. We worked really hard on meditation and techniques to help her fall asleep on her own. We got down to a pretty good routine of my s.o. just doing a bedtime story with her and she'd be good for the night.
She's been asking to stay up with us or stay in our bed lately so in just chatting with her we learned that every time she goes to her mom's house, her mom either stays in her bed with her, sits next to her, or lets her sleep in her bed.
I fully believe in making our daughter feel safe and I also have anxiety so I understand how tough it can be but I'm very frustrated with bm for not reinforcing the coping skills and self soothing. Maybe this is fine for bm because she only has her daughter 1-2 nights a week and only on days when they don't have to be up early the next morning, so it doesn't really affect her life too much, but we have her every school night, and if we try to get her to stay in her own bed anymore, she's inevitably up by 1 am or even sooner. We either have to spend an hour or more comforting her in her own bed with meditation and deep breathing or we have to just cave and let her sleep with us if we're too tired. If we tell her to go back to bed on her own the anxiety escalates because she feels abandoned.
This is happening almost every night now and it usually ends up falling on me to help her because her dad has to be up early for work and my work schedule is more relaxed. I am a little bit better at talking her through the meditation also so she sometimes prefers I do it anyway.
This was weird to me to begin with because as a child I was never welcome to sleep in my parents bed and they would never have agreed to soothe me like this - they would just tell me to read a book. Friends who have kids have told me it's not really that uncommon for kids this age to still spend part of the night with parents.
The mom is also responsible for taking daughter to therapy appointments which she cannot keep on a regular schedule so she's not seeing the therapist regularly and we have no idea what mom tells the therapist. She's very territorial and insists that she needs to be the person handling those appointments. I'm thinking of seeing if my SO and I can join for a therapy session or talk to the Dr on the phone. I have no idea how bm could possibly be helpful in therapy seeing as how she doesn't even live with her daughter and doesn't even talk to her on the phone every day. Or if she does it's a very superficial conversation.
BM is generally very disorganized and difficult to make plans with. Pretty absent from her daughter's life but has lots of opinions on how my SO and I should be handling things in our own house. Talks down to me like I don't understand how to handle a kid. I'm really at my wit's end with the nighttime anxiety - I want to be really clear that I'm not at my wit's end with our daughter! She's really trying and is disappointed in herself when she needs our help. I'm ridiculously frustrated with Mom for not helping. I feel like if she's not going to be present every day she needs to be supportive of our established routines, particularly given the special challenges with ADD and anxiety.
My SO is also at his wit's end with it but he hasn't been able to address it with bm because she gets defensive.