Friday, November 4, 2011

In Need of Some Mommy Help

This post is not about Cambridge nor is it about Reece's Rainbow. It is about being a mother and questions that I cannot reason my way through so am looking for feedback.

Ella is 2 and half. She is a big girl and an active girl. I know the end of Mommy time is coming/come but I am unsure as to how to cope.

I have always prided myself in my children's sleeping habits and attribute it to our regular routine but when we moved to Cambridge I let up on routine and tried to live a little "free-er". With this however came less time at home and more naps on the go...if any at all. So as we transition into shorter wet days, I am okay to be at home more BUT part of the reason I love being out is because I don't worry about what's at home. There's no cleaning up when you are walking cobble stone streets.
Ella's sleeping habits turned dismal wouldn't be so bad but if she isn't sleeping she is destroying. Taking every card out of the deck, car out of the box, book off the shelf, tupperware out of the cupboards, throwing spices and other kitchen finds in the know, 2 year old stuff. But this momma is tired. I do the single parent thing more often than most as 5 nights a week or more Ben is doing his thang- which is good, don't get me wrong. I love it and encourage it, all I am saying is that this momma is tired and just wants to sit down and have a cup of tea and read a book. And I feel AWFUL closing the door on a little girl who clearly did not have nap on her agenda. On top of which, we did not bring or buy a crib for her, which means that if she to sleep it either needs to be pitch black, or I need to lay with her. Today, I spent 40 minutes wrestling her to lay down and finally stuck her in the playpen we borrowed for when our guests were here and closed the door. I can still hear her. To add insult to injury, I will probably end up waking her up...if she falls asleep, when I go to get Jakob from school.
I am going to cave now and go get her but if you have any advice, encouragement or validation I would love to hear it.


Becca said...

I think we've all been there, Krista. We have always had a childproof doorknob on Samantha's bedroom door, so once she had transitioned out of a crib and into a regular bed, we just made sure her room was safe and if she didn't want to nap, she'd entertain herself in her room, allowing us to have a little down time, take a shower, etc.

Kmarie said...

It's exhausting. Especially with each child added and other schedules to keep. Don't feel guilty for forcing quiet time. I did it when each child got out of naps. marcus still has it. Each afternoon he has to have half an hour- 45 minutes of quiet on his bed reading, playing quietly...he knows he is not allowed to get out.It took many tears with each child to learn this but it was worth it for everyone's sanity. Perhaps find a second hand playpen? But yes, just make sure the room is safe, entertaining and something comforting and close the door. She will get used to it, she will begin to understand you are coming back for her soon. Each parent learns that it is worth the sanity and it also is a great teaching opportunity for self soothing and independence. I feel for you though, it's not easy...I remember being so tired hearing Logan screaming in the room and bursting into tears. My doctor told me to make sure it was a full half hour at the very least and slowly add a few minutes. At two an hour rest time is even great! She may even fall asleep eventually:)
Good luck. You are a great mom, doing a great job in a foreign country without much support. I admire your tenacity and vulnerability. It takes courage and bravery. You are just the mother for the job. This wi pass soon although I know it feels like FOREVER when it happens:)

Sheila said...

Those days seem so very far away right now, but reading your post makes it feel like just yesterday. I had a "non-napper" as well. She was as far from schedule as a child could ever get. Funny, now she is my obsessively scheduled child.

There are no answers - sorry. Trial and error, some days good, some days not so good. But the important thing is not the success of the days, but your reaction to them. Don't believe the lie that you are failing in some way or another. One step at a time. One day at a time. One mess at a time. Don't miss the stars for the darkness. I just sighed a prayer for your strength and a new determination of you are CALLED to be Ella's mamma - no one else. A truly divine appointment!
<3 to you

Runningmama said...

I wish I had some wise advice to give you, but I think this is just that season of life. Nap times are precious to me because it gives me a little bit of time to read, or relax or clean up if I have to. Is there any way possible to give yourself a much needed break by trying to do a nap a few days a week...even if she had to sleep in a portable crib? Either way though, you are doing a fabulous job and I know it must be hard to be doing the single parent thing most of the time. Emily likes to seek and destroy too and we let her do it with certain things, but we have placed limits on it so that she understands that not everything we own is a toy and it helps that she knows this when we go to other people's houses because she doesn't take out all of their pot and pans or tupperware :-)

Jenny said...

Krista I totally understand what you are going though! Brad is away pretty much six months out of the year...Only home on weekends from spring to fall. I have done this very thing alone and it IS stressful! With Jordy I had to lay with her EVERY time she needed a nap or at bedtime for at least 40 minutes each time!
The only thing I can say is whether or not she wants a nap, don't feel guilty about putting her in a crib or playpen for "quiet time." You need a little time for yourself and it doesn't hurt her to have a little time to herself to just play quietly...Whether she sleeps or not.
Other than that I don't really have any advice for you...Wish I did! Just hang in there!

Marissa said...

It seems that they totally go through that stage between 2 and 2 1/2 hey? I feel like they still need a rest at that age AND I still need some quiet in the day, but they are just at a stage where they think that they don't. We had to completely change how we had done naps with Aneliese for two and a half years and in took a couple of weeks but now she is still napping strong although not as long.
Maybe if you don't have anything that she can be really distracted by in the room/playpen but one or two quiet toys that she could play with until she decides to rest?
Its hard to offer anything really helpful because kids and parents are all so different! But don't feel bad for needing a bit of down time.
BTW she is really cute in her little destructive pile:).

Julia said...

She really is so adorable! I know where you are coming from as I am also the mother of a two and a half year old little girl. It is 2:30 pm and I just got my daughter down for a nap. It is so important to have quiet time for yourself each day. I really does help you to be a better mom. Our daughter (finally) started sleeping through the night about two weeks ago and we are so thankful. It has been a long time coming. Okay, back to nap time, I have a quilt that I keep on our living room floor and that is where she naps everyday. I think it is comforting for her for me to be in the room with her. I tell her it is nap time and she will eventually lie down with her bunny and fall asleep on her own. You are doing a great job. Being a single parent several nights a week I am sure is not easy. I don't blame you, I like being out all day too because then you don't have to think about cleaning and laundry etc. Plus you are in a new city and I am sure there is so much to see and do. Just be patient she will get there. Love your blog by the way!

Krista said...

I do love my Blogging Buddies. Thanks Ladies. I haven't quite decided what I will do. There is one small chest of drawers in their (Jakob and Ella's) room. If I leave her in there she can, in no time, empty its contents, Jakob never did that kind of stuff and was really good about nap/quiet time up until he started going to school in September. Often if she doesn't sleep I will head out to pick up Jakob early, she falls asleep in the stroller and then I get a coffee and read my book or meet a friend. I quite enjoy it, it just costs...and I feel slightly guilty. Even with Jakob taking naps this stage almost did me in. Here's hoping its a little easier with Ella.

Michelle said...

I feel your pain (tiredness) and single parenting! Hubby has been gone 4 weeks at a time lately, coming home for a week at a time! I tell ya by that 4th patience is very tiny! Lucas is a very busy boy as well, always climbing, always pulling things out, etc. Needless to say naptimes are very precious to me. He is still in a crib and I dread the day when he is not because I feel I might have a fight on my hands, but the idea of a child safety handle in their bedroom might come in very handy!! His naps somedays are shorter than others..but I have always made a point on leaving him for at least an hour and half to two hours. That might seem harsh but he usually sleeps for most of it or plays with his books and gives me a chance to recharge!! Hope things get more "routineish" for you and Ella..and that you find sometime for yourself!

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