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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stretched thin

Artwork by The Painted Arrow

I've been feeling really run-down lately. And I imagine Kev feels the same. He's always working, which means I'm always solo-parenting. We're in survival mode, and it's exhausting.

That is something that wore on me while we lived in West Jordan. It was so hard to constantly be in charge of Aspen and to be the only one dealing with tantrums, meal times, bedtime, bath time and all those other tasks that can exhaust a person. At least this time around I have a support network of friends to make things a little easier.

But still.

I'm so tired.

Linc was giving me some good nights for a while, occasionally sleeping for 6-7 hours in a stretch, and one longer nap during the day (surrounded by cat naps on either side). But lately he's been sleeping only one or two hours at a time around the clock. I'm hopeful this is just a growth spurt and that he'll get through this phase quickly because I am beat. It's especially difficult because I wake Aspen at 7am so I can spend the next 1.75 hours hustling her to just eat breakfast and get dressed before preschool, which is at 9. Those are the only two tasks I ask her to complete in the morning, but she is SO. SLOW. It makes me nuts that I'm wasting precious sleeping time just trying to get her out the door. I haven't yet found the key to motivate her to move in the mornings, although she claims she really does want to go to preschool. If that's not motivation enough, I don't know what else to do. I'm sick of bribing her to get her to do something she wants to do in the first place. Just do it! That should be reward enough.

I've tried earlier bedtime for her, but that's disastrous because I still haven't figured out how to successfully do bedtime by myself. Maybe if I start getting her ready for bed at 5pm, she'll be in her room with lights out by 8. Mayyyyybe. Even then, she complains of being so tired the next morning. Of course, she's too young to understand that real tired is sleeping on your infant's floor at 4am because he won't go back to sleep but he's happy to sit in his swing and stare at you.

Mostly, I feel like I've reached a breaking point. I am so weary of getting up all night with Lincoln. I am so weary of negotiating with Aspen all. day. long. I am so weary of meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, scheduling, chauffeuring, nursing, diapering, all the while trying to keep my shiz together.

I occasionally consider sequestering myself in the house for a week so I don't have to stress about nursing and napping Linc on someone else's schedule. But then I realize that would mean no break whatsoever from Aspen. So she has play dates and preschool and we do outings to stimulate her and allow her to socialize. And then I have miserable car rides home with her, during which she complains that we never do anything fun and she didn't want to leave activity XYZ and she's so starving but doesn't want to eat lunch and blah blah blah. It's a lose-lose situation right now. SO MUCH DRAMA I DON'T KNOW WHERE SHE GETS IT FROM.

This phase will pass, I know. But that doesn't take away my fatigue or frustrations. I'm constantly reminding myself to calm down and put things into perspective. It helps a bit... but just because I'm telling myself that XYZ doesn't matter, that doesn't make all the things that do matter magically remove themselves from my to-do list.

I need to figure out a way to recharge my batteries, although the obvious choice is to sleep for a week straight. But even if I could make that happen, my nursing schedule probably wouldn't approve.

Wah.

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4 comments:

  1. You can obviously disregard this as it may be unwanted parenting advice. But this is something I had to do with Lily to motivate her to get ready. I would wake her up and set the expectations--you have this much time, get ready, eat breakfast. Then, I would tell her the consequence if she wasn't ready in time--you'll be late and miss out on certain things, or if you are too late, you won't go and you will stay in your room during preschool time (if she missed, which she never did, it wouldn't be "fun"). I would give her time warnings at five or ten minutes, but other than that, I would say it was time to go when it was time. If she was ready great, if not, I would remind her of the consequences and tell her it was her decision. It took patience and I had to kindle my anger at times, but the payoff was that she started getting ready and being ready on time--and I wasn't angry EVERY morning. We were only late a few times before it clicked that she was the LAST kid walking in and had obviously missed some things. I always used the threat that I would just take her out of preschool too, if she wasn't willing to get ready for it. But if you tried this you could even push back her wake up time, if the strategy worked well for her. I find that Lily does better with less time.

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    1. I think this is what I'll have to do. I always tell her if she chooses not to get ready then she's choosing to stay home from preschool. But maybe if I actually let it happen one day she'll get the message.

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  2. I'm so sorry! I wish I was there or could help in some way. Hopefully Lincoln will fall into a new pattern soon and maybe that will help...
    Zoie is the same way in the morning. SO. SLOW. Drives me nuts! It doesn't matter what time I wake her up it always comes down to the last minute getting her out the door.

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    1. I always tell myself it doesn't really matter that Aspen moves at the speed of molasses, but it still makes me crazy.

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