Home > sleep deprivation > I was going to write about something thoughtful today

I was going to write about something thoughtful today

But mostly right now, I’m going to write about how, for an hour each day, I hate my kid. And myself.

Naps have become a power struggle in the past two or three weeks. She gets exhausted, staggeringly so, with glassy eyes and whiny voice, but nothing will put her to sleep. She’s never been a good sleeper, and most especially never been a good napper, but this has turned into a battle royale every day.

I know it’s become a self fullfilling prophesy at this point. After three weeks of this, I start the process tense, angry, ready to scream. She feels that and the negative feedback loop commences without delay. Of course, when The Husband is home, he can get her to nap in ten minutes without so much as a peep.

The thing is, outside of having The Husband take two hours for lunch every day to come hone and put her down to nap, I don’t know what I can do. I’ve tried every damned thing. Meditation. Letting her just sit and be quiet. Singing. Holding her. Not holding her. Rocking her. Lying with her. If I thought it would help, I’d fucking stand on my head.

To make it worse, in three weeks she starts preschool. Since she always napped early I signed her up for afternoon preschool. So of course she’s moved her nap from 11-1 to 2-4. So now she’s going to have to skip nap two days a week. Which she can do — she never naps when anyone else is babysitting her. The novelty and excitement carry her through and she is happy, cheerful, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

If I try to have her skip her nap, she’s a monstrous cranky bear. That’s just the role of the mom. I get it. But I don’t know how to fix this loop I’m in. I swear to God, I’m ready to spit tacks. I actually have yelled at her several times, which is totally not my mothering style and not useful in trying to get someone to relax and sleep anyway.

I’ve never thought of myself as a bad mom, not seriously. But in the past month, I’ve become a bad mom. I don’t play with her very much. I am snappish and angry all the time. I don’t get any of the household stuff done because after my marathon stint getting her to finally nap I’m so tired I just collapse into a self-indulgent coma with a book.

Clearly something’s gotta give. I just don’t know WHAT to do?

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Categories: sleep deprivation
  1. August 28, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Sorry I missed your call.

    I’m the last person who should be giving sleep advice, but what about switching gears entirely? Fix her a cozy spot in the livingroom chair or put down a sleeping bag and suggest she “rest” for awhile. She can be awake, but must be quiet (books, playdoh, etc.), and give you a break.

    Left to her own devices maybe she’ll drift off, since she does sound genuinely tired?

  2. August 28, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Also, I always forget this but M seems to sense a change in the length of daylight, and his sleep is always off far before I would expect an obvious tie in. Might be part of their axis of normal?

  3. elcynae
    August 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Or just a developmental thing… my little one’s been napping badly of late. She’ll sleep once she gets to sleep, but it can take an hour to get to sleep, and if I leave her to her own devices, she just gets up. Of course, that could also be the complete upheaval in her life right now. But yeah, I also get far too frustrated sometimes and do unhelpful things. 😛 Actually the thing that works best for me is to lie down with her and hold her close (preventing her from waving all her limbs around) and just let her talk. Unless she gets excited and starts shouting, then I shush her. But I suspect this works as well as it does because it’s familiar, your mileage may vary a lot.

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