Friday, July 24, 2009

Lord have mercy

Too bad I tend to blog when I'm frustrated or fed up with something---please forgive me for this. I just sometimes need to vent without anyone interrupting me and telling me I'm worrying too much about whatever it is I'm worried about.

Maggie's sleep patterns continue to puzzle me. The last couple weeks, I've stayed home all day, dedicated to giving her the best naps possible (no matter what it took). I found that laying down with her in our bed when she was tired worked well. The only issue being, she would nurse the ENTIRE nap, and would start to wake up if I took her off. I decided it was worth it, if she could get more than 40 minutes of sleep during a nap (which is her typical nap length these days). This was working well, some days she slept over 2 hours for a nap, and that made me VERY happy. Needless to say, her better daytime naps led to much better sleep at night! A win-win, right? Well, I'll always find something to gripe about. Today I got sooooo frustrated when I layed down twice with Maggie, and both times she only slept 35 minutes! If nursing her the whole nap isn't going to work, then what will? (other than "training" her to sleep on her own-which I am not gutsy enought to do yet). Not to mention how much of my day I spend trying to figure out her napping needs. Laying down with her 3-4 hours a day (as the books say this is how much she needs to nap), means that is 3-4 hours I am NOT doing anything around the house. It gets overwhelming to have NO time during the day when Maggie isn't needing me in some way, shape or form. I know she's more clingy because she isn't napping enough, but it's so frustrating sometimes.

Another issue is I am sooooo worried that she is chronically overtired, and that this might have some adverse effects on her later in life, like ADHD, sleep disorders, etc. Daniel says i'm ridiculous for worrying about these things, but I think there is some validity to them. SOMETHING has to be done to get her into a better napping habit---one where she can soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes up halfway through a nap. To be honest, I'm afraid to try anything for fear that then she won't get ANY naps, and it will only make things worse. I know I just have to try, and give new things time to sink in for both of us. Nothing changes overnight....especially habits that have been forming for 6 months now. It's not that I am against nursing her to sleep, or carrying her in the Ergo for her naps, it's just that she isn't sleeping long enough when I do these things, and that is what concerns me. Plus, I need to learn how to put her down for a nap on her own eventually, because there will be no leisurely 2 hour naps I can take with the next baby (whenever that may be).

Ugghh. I bought Elizabeth Pantley's "No-Cry Nap Solution" today, and I'm reading through it for ideas. I like her approach to sleep issues, but I don't know if I have the perseverance to really break these habits both Maggie and i have formed. I am at the point where I will do ANYTHING to give her consistent, long naps. I dont care if I never have "free time" to myself (well I do care, but I haven't had it yet with her) while she naps, as long as I can help her learn to sleep longer. I just want her to grow and develop healthily, and if I am the one hindering her from getting good sleep, I want to change.

There should be several classes on this for parents-to-be. I had noooooo idea what was involved with napping. I just assumed babies slept when they were tired, and that if they missed a nap, they'd just sleep all the better that night. This is definitely not the case, and there is sooo much to know about infant sleep patterns and needs. Of course, I wouldn't need to know any of it if Maggie naturally slept well, but she doesn't, so I need help.

I don't want to just "grin and bear it" for now, because I want her to get the rest she needs, and it doesn't seem like 3- 45 minute naps a day are doing it.

How did Caroline Ingalls do it in the old days? What did she do with her babies while she did chores from sunrise to sunset? Plus, she NEVER got to go to town for "alone time", and was always gracious about letting Pa go meet up with the other men in town for checkers of just to socialize. I wish I could be more like her. I wish I didn't have any other idea of motherhood and being a wife than what the women in old times new, because then I wouldn't constantly feel like my life is somehow lacking because I don't get to have as much of a social life or the pleasant "freedoms" that I see other moms who don't stay home with their kids having. I LOVE being with Maggie all day, it just gets overwhelming at times, and I get sooo selfish.

I need perspective ........Maggie needs more naps........the house needs cleaning......the husband needs loving........Lord, have mercy!


Xenia Kathryn said...

I got to read this "fresh off the press!" (a mere half hour after you posted it).

Ma Ingalls is my hero too :) I don't know how she (or any of our foremothers) did it. Such inspiration!

I enjoyed our phone chat last night. It's always so good to talk to you. I hope to see you soon, once things get a little clearer about our upcoming plans, etc.

I'll keep you and "Magsda" in my prayers, I hope things improve with time!

Love you so much!

katbat said...

we dont have tv in moscow but we have our laptop - we just finished season 1 dvd of little house with the kids. Ma is awesome - there is one where she loses her temper and actually yells at mary - but - hello - she almost burned the barn down with herself and the animals inside!

as for sleep - I feel your pain. every baby is different - every baby has different sleep needs. Natasha (just turned 7 months this week) generally is up around 7:45am - takes a 35-45 min nap (falls asleep nursing, then sleeps in her crib) at 10ish, then another 40 min nap around 2 - sometimes longer - then a short nap around 6 - to bed for the night around 9/9:30 - she sometimes will sleep to 5 am - sometimes wakes at 2, then 5. sometimes she is up for the day at 5 then the nap scedule is all goofy for the day. sometimes I have to put her down 4 or 5 times before she will stay asleep in her crib. I wish she would nap longer, but you cant make them sleep. I think having a sleep ritual is good - with natasha I always sing puff the magic dragon - with pavel I recited from memory "the big red barn" by margaet wise brown - while they were going to sleep - eventually just hearing it made them sleepy. If I can tell she is tired, but just wont settle down, then in the stroller she goes and we walk around the yard (or with pav and maria we went for a drive).
I try and set a goal - fold all the laundry - sweep the kitchen - clean the toilets - whatever - then at least I can say - well the toilets got clean today! :-) is she sitting? can you put her on a blanket on the floor with some toys for a few minutes while you do whatever you need to do?
take a deep breath - this too shall pass. my mom always told me - you wont be worried about this when she is in kindergarten!

Susan said...

Ma seems so good because she is portrayed through Lauras eyes. A mother never lets her kids know her anguish, pain, suffering etc.I am sure she had her faults:) She had a small house, and all the kids had chores. It was a matter of survival.
As for Maggie, dont read any more books. Unless you write the book, the author doesnt know your baby.
I wouldnt lay down with her, I would just try try again to have her sleep where you want her to sleep.
As Katherine says, this too shall pass! That comes from the Queen of the bad sleeping babies!!!

Melissa Neacsu said...

Regarding what you said about wishing you didn't know anything about parenting besides the old ways, I so totally relate. In fact, I think the hardest things for me to overcome in many parenting decisions (schooling, napping, discipline) are the thoughts "what do others think of me?" and "what am I 'supposed' to do?" (according to the whims of society). I also need to overcome my own laziness and the thought that I "need" some alone time to recoup. I end up spending the whole day sometimes trying to "steal" time for myself instead of focusing on what actually needs to be done, and in the end I am upset because nothing got done, and I never really had time for myself either. It's just something psychological that I need to overcome.

Also, I would be very interesting in hearing your thoughts on that "no-cry" book you are reading once you have finished it. My now 3-year-old also has sleeping issues, which are manageable now but will be more difficult to deal with when we have another.

Susan said...

Sorry I sounded so harsh. I only think that following too much advice from the "experts" leaves a mother confused and bewildered.
I think you should just follow your instincts for a while.
Christina carried Petros around the first year of his life. He napped in a carrier, then a back pack.
It worked for him and her, although she got really tired of it.
Good luck Christy!!

Carrie McCoy said...

Christy, you can delete this and never talk to me again if you want, but I have to tell you how I feel.
Maggie is old enough to be left on her own in her own bed. And it is okay for her to cry. And honestly, she probably needs to cry. She will learn to soothe herself this way. Right now she is soothed by you, since that is what you are teaching her. I promise you that it doesn't take long for them to figure it out. It's a tough couple of days and it breaks your heart to listen to it...but I suggest you try. Short intervals is all I would do (5 minutes of crying), but then go in and rub her and pat her...just don't give in to picking her up or nursing her. Then let her go a little longer (10-15 minutes). From my experience with both of my girls, it may take up to 1 - 1 1/2 hours, but after doing that at nap time and bed time for 3-4 days, they turned out to be excellent sleepers. It is one thing that I have ALWAYS been very proud of.
Of course, I would tell you to make sure she is fed and changed so that you know she isn't crying from something else.
If you try it (and I am not going to judge you if you don't)know that it is way harder on you than it is her, and she will thank you for teaching her how to comfort herself.
Also, I completely agree that children sleep better when they are fully rested. On the days that we are literally going all day, in the sun, playing non-stop, are the days that they don't sleep well at night!
Please don't be upset by my comment, I am only telling you this because I am saddened every time I hear about your sleep issues, because I just want you to try "my method."
We love you very much and are here for you if you ever want to call...or visit! :-)

Gretchen Joanna said...

Hi, Christy,
I agree with Carrie. And with whoever said that each baby is unique and don't read any more books. I had five and what I noticed was that as soon as I thought I recognized a pattern in their sleeping or whatever, they changed.
My sister-in-law stopped taking ANY naps at the age of 9 months, which did NOT make her mother happy, I can tell you.
One mom I knew had two children and after they had grown up a bit she realized that she had treated them the opposite of what they were needing. One she let go to sleep by himself, one she always nursed to sleep, and they had both been fussy.
We always sang to our children at night, but the last one was annoyed by this from the start and wouldn't fall asleep until we left the room and let her "sing" to herself alone!
At this age, any "habits" aren't entrenched. And children are not so sensitive that they will be psychologically "damaged" if you let them cry. They will respond to the whole of their life with their parents, which in your case will be full of love, affection, and care.
God is with you, and Maggie will be fine. Please forgive my butting in!
Love in Christ, Gretchen