I had a hard time deciding on what to focus on for show and tell Tuesday with Momfessionals about being on the struggle bus. I have lots of struggles as a mom, and I actually like sharing about them so God can turn my brutal honesty into something helpful. Hopefully.
I really thought about sharing how tough things were when my daughter had acid reflux, or maybe handling sibling rivalry …I mean, there are so many things to pick from! 😁 In the end, I decided to go with something that is the root of all sorts of problems in our little family. So today I’m writing about sleep and nap times! Oh, yay.
So, here’s my confession: I’m really bad at getting my kids to sleep. I always had a hard time with it, especially when they were babies because I couldn’t explain to them why I had to leave them at night and I felt like they thought I was abandoning them. Thanks, mom guilt.
My firstborn was the biggest struggle. I got into the bad habit of rocking him to sleep, something that continued until he was 18 months! Yikes!
I remember one night when he was about six months old, as I was getting ready to lay down in my own bed at about 10 PM, Kai started crying, and I burst into tears. My husband was alarmed, but I managed to explain through my tears that I was just so exhausted. There’s nothing like feeling controlled by your kids’ sleep habits as their personal lovie. So the end of that story is that at 18 months Ry and I sleep trained him together. Praise the sweet Lord! I wrote about my experience with that here.
But moving right along to naps–this is where I’m struggling the most in life as a mom right now. Seriously. Naps.
My four-year-old has grown out of his afternoon nap, so you would think that makes life simpler. But actually, we’re in this weird no-man’s-land where he is still not getting enough sleep. All he needs is to take a 20-minute nap every day…but he doesn’t have the talent that I have for doing that. We tried moving his bedtime to 20 minutes earlier than normal, but he just started waking up earlier in the morning.
The truth is, when he’s not getting enough sleep, he turns into someone else. A ridiculous someone else. Someone who just. can’t. handle. it. Well, I’ve been there before, buddy, and it’s no fun.
My one-year-old, Sylvie, just started to outgrow her quick morning nap. One would also think this makes things simpler. But not so much. If I can get her through to 12:30, she falls asleep instantly but then wakes up from her nap AN HOUR early. And not enough sleep for her during the day often means not enough sleep at night either. (It’s a horrifying cycle.) She added teething to the mix, and now I really don’t know what to expect at any given time.
The biggest issue that comes from their changing sleep patterns is that it affects their moods. The second issue is that it affects my very well-planned-out day. I don’t know on any given day what the kids’ nap and quiet time schedule are going to look like. If Sylvie wakes up early, Kai’s quiet time is out the window because he hears her up and I don’t feel like I can tell him she can be out of her room but he can’t. Some days, everyone is moody and overtired.
Have you been there? Are you there right now?
All I can tell myself is that someday it will pass, and these struggles with littler ones will turn into struggles with older kids, and then I will long for the days when my biggest problem as a parent was naptime. So, here I am, trying to get a little perspective and to treasure these days and even the sleeplessness that goes with them. But even so, the struggle IS real.
I promise I’m not usually one to complain, especially without doing something constructive with the complaining…but today we’re gabbing about our struggles, so there you have it. My kids are both in nap time transitions and I sort of want to just sit here and cry dramatically while eating chocolate.
Thanks for listening…so, how do you get through naptime transitions? What is your biggest struggle right now?