Nap wars are going to kill me

I’d like to be writing a beautiful post right now about the joys and struggles of motherhood. How I look at C’s face and fall more in love every time I look at her.  Or even one about how I struggle with weekends because I want to turn off work, but my to-do list is still looming and I just know that if I put in a few hours over the weekend, my week will be much better.  Or, talk about how we went for a walk this weekend with C in her Baby Bjorn strapped tightly to Craig’s chest and the vision of my husband with my giggling baby girl was the best thing ever. 

But I can’t write about those things because I am dead.  The nap wars have killed me. 

I fall into the category of parents who think that kids do better on a schedule.  I also tend to think that it’s OK for them to cry a little and I believe the books that say it’s important for babies to learn to fall asleep on their own.  Or maybe, I’m just scared to death that they’re right and I will be breaking bad sleeping habits when she is old enough to talk and walk and thus it will be a hell of a lot harder, so really I’m just lazy and taking the easy way out. 

A few weeks ago, I thought I was working my way into the Mom of the Year competition by sort of getting C to sleep on her own and take naps that lasted longer than 30 minutes.  Then it turned out that she was sick.  Can you say observation fail?  So, instead of sleeping because I was such a rockstar sleep trainer, she was sleeping because she had a virus.  Still, I fought on.  Made a few changes to her daily environment including loading my mother in law up with sleep sacks and lullabies.  The weather broke so now they go on walks and she sleeps in the stroller.  And I thought it was getting better. 

Until this weekend.  When she took two 30 minute naps Saturday morning and then I missed the window for her afternoon nap.  By the time she realized she was sleepy she was also pissed and didn’t want to sleep.  So while I rocked and walked her, she screamed.  She didn’t want to be held.  Didn’t want to lay down.  Finally after 30 minutes of screaming, I gave up.  Another 45 minutes later, my mom got her to sleep.  Sunday, she fell asleep in my arms for her 9:00 nap and again after our walk around noon.  When she got fussy, Craig took her on a walk and she fell asleep. 

So at the end of another weekend, I feel like a failure.  Like maybe someone else knows my kid better than me.  Has a better “way” with her than I do.  Spends more waking hours with her and knows more about her schedule and patterns than me, who has to ask for a recap.  (Just a way to add a little more working mom guilt to my blog.) Leaving me to wonder what I can do to help my kid sleep better, longer, consistently. 

And, I’m stumped.  Because I’m worried that the stroller is becoming her crutch for sleep.  I know that we don’t want to be pushing the stroller around the house because that’s the only way she’ll fall asleep.  But I’m out of ideas, and at this point, I just want the child to sleep.  I’m trying not to get all worked up and react to a bad day.  Generally, she’s a pretty happy baby.  What I’m really looking for is someone, anyone, to say that she’ll be OK.  That, maybe, as she gets older, she’ll start sleeping longer.  That there’s nothing I can do differently. 

Anyone?  Anyone?

Where I whine about naps (or lack thereof)

Please stop, child.  Please.  I beg you to stop with the fussing and the whining and the crying. Please cool it with the kicking and the thrashing of your head and the spitting out of the paci.  You just ate and I changed your diaper.  It has been 2 hours and 25 minutes since you woke up from your last nap.  The second of the day.  The second time today that you closed your eyes for exactly 30 minutes.  You don’t want to be entertained, you don’t want to be cuddled.  You don’t want to be in your swing or your jumperoo. 

So, you know what?  You NEED TO NAP.  You need to close your eyes, breathe deeply and drift off to sleep.  I know that you think 30 minutes every three hours is enough sleep, but as your mother, I beg to disagree.  It leaves my happy, content, easy to please baby grumpy and whiney and tired 45 minutes later. 

Napping is good for you.  I’m sure there’s a book on all the reasons, but just trust me.  It’s good for you. 

And it’s good for me.  I need you to nap.  It is 12:53PM and I have not showered, I ate a bowl of cereal five hours ago, and I’m not entirely sure that I brushed my teeth.  I have work to do, laundry to fold and bills to take to the mailbox.  These things are challenging, if not impossible, to do while you are attached to my hip or when you whine the second I leave the room.  So I’m sorry, but I need you to nap. I need a break from the constant demands of work and I think that’s supposed to happen on the weekend; but not if you don’t nap. Especially when your daddy is working. 

So, please, for the love of bottles, stuffed animals and loud obnoxious toys that make you squeal with delight.  Please nap. 

If bribery is more your thing, I will buy you a car when you turn 16 if you nap. 

PS.  And, because I’m feeling extra needy today, if you are reading this and have tips for getting a baby to nap regularly, for more than 30 minutes, in a pack ‘n play or crib, please tell me how you do it.  If it works, I will buy you a car too.* 

*Totally lying, but you will have my undying gratitude. 

I just need 90 seconds

19 hours after delivery I had a little bit of a dilemma.  I had to pee and I was alone in the hospital room with C.  Craig had gone home to shower, our visitors left and I was soaking in the new feelings of motherhood while cuddling with my baby.  But I was also guzzling water and I had to pee.  And because I was paranoid that someone was about to sneak into my room and steal away my child (really folks I’ve watched A LOT of Lifetime TV) I needed to figure out how to keep my eyes on the baby while emptying my bladder. 

So, I gently laid her down, wheeled the bassinet across the room and positioned it so that I could see her while I used the bathroom.  I did my thing as quickly as possible (considering the process included a peri bottle, tucks, Dermoplast spray, mammoth pads and traumatized lady bits) and scooped up my child.  She didn’t move the entire time.  My absence was not missed. 

Four months later, she notices when I’m not in the room.  Whether I’ve been holding or playing with her or whether she’s been hanging out in her exercauser, her little eyes follow me as I leave the room.  For the first 20 seconds that I’m out of her sight she whines, then she starts to fuss.  By the time I’m done, it’s a full-on yell.  So, now, using the bathroom includes placing her in the bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom or on a blanket outside the door and singing or narrating my activities while I do my thing. 

My mom tells a story about how my little brother, as a toddler, once slid his hand under the bathroom door, waved his fingers and said, “MOMMIEEEEE…  can you see me?” 

So, my question, internet, is:  Can a mother really not get 1.5 minutes to pee?