Friday, June 3, 2011

In the land of the unknown

Sometimes, it seems like it always revolves around the nap.  I never knew sleep was so crucial until I had a kid. I could tell you myself I always feel much better the more rested I am, and the more regular my schedule is, but it seems to be even more paramount with a child.

Ever since our trip, which was totally well-worth it, well, things around here have been a little helter-skelter.  The days are getting longer with the sun rising earlier and setting later, and Mia's bedtimes have gotten later & later.  We had not intentioned to not honor a strict bedtime for her, but it just wasn't happening how it normally does.  Then this week, she had a really high fever two nights in a row, and woke up extremely warm and uncomfortable.  She ended up sleeping with us the rest of those nights and slept much more soundly.
Yesterday she even slept past 9am, which is a rarity for her, and took a good afternoon nap and after she woke up, fell asleep on me on the couch for about another hour.  That (her sleeping on me outside of her room) never happens either.

So on a day like today, when we had a birthday party playdate to attend and you'd think all the commotion and even the sugar high would send her crashing this afternoon, she is instead thrashing in her crib, rolling around shouting "Noooo!" from time to time.  Now, I sit here blogging so I'm able to piece some sentences together, but when she acts like this, I feel like I can't get anything done, or truly relax, until I know she's asleep.  Does anyone else feel like that?  Am I the only mom whose successes for the day sometimes hinge on the completion of a good solid nap?

I feel fickle being so focused on this nap-thing, and when I talk to other moms, especially those with more than one child, it just sounds like something of which they eventually have to let go.  Either their children have long since stopped napping, or they have too many to coordinate perfect nap schedules (baby sleeps in AM, toddler in PM), or once one goes to sleep, they have to wake them up to pick up an older sibling from school.  Knowing how crucial it seems for Mia now to get good sleep (especially after being so feverish earlier in the week), I don't know what I'd do if she didn't take a nap.  Probably acquiesce to her demands and let her watch Elmo while I try to get something done. For real. I hate to say it, but it's true.  TV is sometimes a crutch when it needn't be.

What is different about these pictures??

So my question to other moms out there is, what do you do when you've tried all your tricks (diaper changes, extra drinks, soothing, etc.) and your child doesn't nap? How do you handle it and how do you keep yourself from turning into a crazy-angry-zombie mom??  Is this just a bunch of much ado about nothing?

And now, while after I vent, and have said a quick prayer (yes, sometimes I pray about naps), she is asleep.  *Sigh* 
Children.  Don't know how to live with 'em sometimes, but can't live without 'em, it seems.  Always a blessing.


Meg said...

Lay down with her on the bad days. It makes Jared finally go to sleep and gives me the reset button I needed but thought I didn't. Most of the time we sleep and both wake up happy to see each other. Trumps anything I "had" to get done. And by the way, as a kid who has always been a terrible sleeper, sleep has always been in our daily prayers!

r_c_kunkel said...

Well, first, I def dont have all the answers. Stella has always been a good napper, but there are always ecxeptions: days when she is too tired to lay down peacefully, days when she has too much to do to want to lay down, and days when we are too busy for her to get one. I LIVE for naptime. Haha! Maybe thats an overstatement but its hard to get things done when shes awake--esp now that Hazel is here.
Sometimes when she just isnt havin it, I go in and hold her and sing to her and that helps. Sometimes nothing helps and either she has to cry it out or I let her get up and play for a while until she really wears herself out. I've given up on having a "must get this done today" mentality. It only makes me crazy and then I cant enjoy my time with my girls.
I guess just be firm when you know she is testing you, but flexible when it seems appropriate. Being a Mommy is a constant experiment!

Megan said...

I wanted to say (belatedly) thank you for your comments!

Carrie - Dropping that mentality would probably be a good thing for me too. At first it went from going from a list of like 5 things to do/day, to 3, and now sometimes it's just good if I can get ONE thing done!

Megan - Laying down with her or just letting her sleep on me in the rocking chair seems to work sometimes. Well, actually, I can't *lay down* with her yet as she is still in a crib, but just the past few weeks, after she wakes up from her nap, sometimes I'll find she'll cuddle up on my shoulder and I can lay down with her for a few more minutes on the couch or on my bed...She has to be really sleepy though for me to be able to transfer her to the bed and off of me though without waking her!

The other tip I gleaned from when I posted this on FB was just to make sure the naptime routine is as solid as it can be. I've been using the "power of suggestion" a lot with her lately, e.g., "Is Mia ready to lay down in her crib? I think Mia is..." and after a few times of saying that, she'll dive for the crib and snuggle under her covers. She is starting to relearn that it's books, sometimes a song, and that's all she gets before nap!

Children I guess remind us of US as children of God...we are ALWAYS needing reminders!!