Remember that cute post I published last week on lists and productivity and keeping your shit together as a SAHM?
Well, karma read it, drove to my house, rapped on the door and sucker punched me for my brazen overconfidence.
It was kind of a rough weekend. Followed by a rough Monday. And it’s 3:30 on Tuesday and I’m drinking a well-earned beer while my baby takes his 38-minute nap, his third of the day but his fifth that I’ve tried to put him down for.
I confess, Internet. I may have been able to move piles out of the way enough to take a semi-Pinterest-worthy photo of a cup of coffee (cold, nearly moldy, from The Husband because The Baby doesn’t tolerate caffeine well) on our desk, but who am I kidding? I DO.NOT.HAVE.IT.TOGETHER.
Allow me to wallow in self-pity while I drink this beer, won’t you?
As I’ve mentioned before, my baby won’t stay asleep through more than one sleep cycle during a nap. So for the past three weeks, I’ve been dutifully going through a nap routine: hanging my makeshift blackout curtain across the row of thumbtacks above his curtain-rodless window because we are eternally still moving in; nursing him; stopping when he finishes eating; giving him a pacifier and swaddling him; rocking him while singing several verses of “One elephant went out to play” (counting up as I go along to save myself from madness and to measure how long it takes); attempting to put him down drowsy and not all the way asleep, but often putting him down all the way asleep because drowsy rarely works and I’ve already invested a lot of time and maybe I really have to pee/try to get some work done, and then backing out of the room praying it worked. Usually, it does.
For about 38 minutes. Then, he wakes up fully (I have tried sneaking up on him and shushing him to sleep in his crib. He laughs in my face) so I have to pick him up, rock him back to sleep, hold him in the rocking chair until he gets through his REM cycle and falls back into a deep sleep (if I don’t wait, he wakes up and I have to start over), then put him down, and then I maybe have 15-20 minutes to try to do something before he’s awake again.
All in all, I calculate I spend 2.5 hours a day getting him to nap for 4.5 hours.
I expected it to get better. I expected him to start sleeping through that sleep cycle and letting me get some work done. Because as much as I’ve been Pollyanna-ing about how I’m loving SAHM-hood and just hoping to keep my skills sharp through some light contract work, the truth of the matter is we need the money. I need to be able to work at least an hour or so a day, but it’s been impossible to settle into any sort of routine when I have what equates to the length of a smoke break every few hours (I don’t smoke.)
So today I said fuck it. If he wakes up, he wakes up. And he has, and he’s cranky as hell. I’ve let him kick around in his swaddle contentedly after he wakes up 38 minutes in, hoping and praying that somehow he’ll realize he’s still tired and go back to sleep, but alas.
At the same time, I’m trying to set up the garage sale from hell, moving boxes from one place to another in the the futile attempt to make enough room for the mountain of electric can openers, painted ceramics, pots and pans and pots and pans and pots and pans that are my grandparents’ legacy.
I’m doing it with a panicked fervor because it’s not just an annoyance that we’ve got a bunch of stuff, it’s an annoyance that has cost us about $200 a month to keep in a storage unit, and again I QUIT MY JOB AND WE NEED TO SAVE MONEY.
And through all this, I can’t even work on the garage sale or my side gig writing and designing in the evenings because my sweet little baby can’t sleep longer than 40 minutes, even at night, because he’s still sleeping by my side. So I am tethered to my bed, reading or making tomorrow’s laughable to-do list or just staring wide-eyed at the ceiling hoping a solution will come to me.
I just wish someone would take my hand, teach me how to get my baby to sleep longer, and maybe make me some cookies.
And it’s been 38 minutes, so my baby is awake.
Until next time, remember: Don’t let people who seem to have their shit together intimidate you. They might be faking it, and even if they’re not, it’s never a permanent state of being. We’re all just doing our best.
Cheer a girl up… I may be failing sleep training 101, garage sales and basic grooming, but if you’ve ever felt like crying and drinking at 3 p.m. on a weekday, throw me a bone and vote for me below.