These last two weeks have really been a struggle. For some reason, two weeks ago, Mimi, my darling 2 1/2 year old decided she won't nap anymore. Why is this a struggle? I never realized how draining it is to be a SAHM. Even though I'm not challenging my mind as much as my old job would have, I'm much more physically and emotional exhausted.
Our day begins at 7am, my husband's alarm goes off, which wakes up the dog who starts to whimper at our bedroom door insisting on peeing, which in turn wakes up Mimi who runs in our room and pummels us and instantly starts demanding things like grape juice and dora. I roll out of bed, put on my glasses and begrudgingly start my day.
I take the dog out and feed him. I make coffee for my husband, listen to him scream "Where is my _______ and my _____" from the bedroom closet. Right now we're sharing a car so I usually drive him to work in my pajamas because i'm lazy, and too busy taking care of everyone in the morning to get myself dressed.
When I get home I get Mimi fed and ready for the day and usually put a show on for her while I clean the kitchen/empty the dishwasher, pack our snacks, drink more coffee, etc. We're out the door by 9:30, whether it's dance, or a meetup, or the library, park, you get the picture.
I let my little curly haired girl play her heart out until 12:30 usually before I pack us up and we head back to home base. I feed her lunch, empty our bags of things, let the dog out again.
Now this is where I gear up for my new challenge. Getting Mimi to sleep.
Now, reading this and imagining the stress in my face and my despair over my child not napping, you may be saying to yourself "She's probably just not tired, my kid stopped taking a nap at that age blah...blah..blah.." I wish I had photographic evidence to show you that she almost falls asleep eating lunch most days, she IS tired.
I take her to the potty, get her in comfy clothes, nothing too restrictive, and we lay in her bed together and read 1 or 2 books. I tell her she needs to rest so we can play more later. Sometimes I bribe her with an afternoon playdate or trip to the park to entice her to sleep. I leave the room and 2 hours later she's still wide awake talking to herself and pretending her pillow is a horse. The other day she had emptied out her entire dresser. Yesterday she stripped naked and pulled off all of her bedding and I found her on her floor playing with princess shoes, naked, on a pile of her bedding.
Instead of getting mad or frustrated at her, I've been trying new tactics. A friend suggested I lay with her. In the history of Mimi's life, I've never napped with her, except when she was newborn and I fell asleep nursing her in bed once or twice. It has just never worked for us. So the only thing I could think of was taking her for a long drive or a long walk. I think driving your kids around with the pure intention to get them to sleep is a waste of gas personally, so yesterday I took a 4 mile walk with her and she was passed out the entire time. Today I stopped myself from getting mad and took her for a walk bundled up in the cold. She fell asleep and I turned back home to try to transfer her to her bed. I stared at her asleep in the stroller and thought, If I move her and she wakes up I'm going to punch myself, but if she sleeps all bundled up in the stroller parked in her room she'll get overheated and wake up anyway. So I oh-so-carefully transferred her successfully. There was my baby sleeping soundly, after 2 hours of craftyness and BANG BANG BANG wouldnt' you know it the friggin' repair men knocked on my door to change the batteries in my fire alarms! Cue my dark barking, and Mimi waking right up again.
When they left and Mimi was awake I sat on the floor and cried for a minute. Out of sheer exhaustion and frustration. Do you ever have those moments where you just break down and cry? Does my child not napping really warrant actual tears from me? Today it did.
I've decided that I"ll try to put her down for naps at 2/2:30, if she's not asleep by 3 I"m putting her in the stroller and jogging or walking for an hour. Atleast then she might sleep and I'll get my exercise. Now I just need to figure out when I'm going to find time to write my dissertation.....