So far, this parenting thing has been better than I had expected. Sure, I'm physically exhausted and constantly sleep-deprived, but I haven't been through the thissuckssobadwhydidIwantababy pull-my-hair-out-whines yet. Until this week.
For the past month, Mayhem's naps have gone from good to annoying. The kid would sleep 1.5-2 hours at a stretch and then it seemed like all of a sudden he started waking up after 45 minutes. The book I've been reading says that babies tend to wake up after their sleep cycle ends (usually 45 minutes) and can't put themselves back to sleep.
The book describes what to do to help them learn how to go back to sleep on their own (shushing and patting, picking them up when they're crying then laying them back down when they stop) and I've been trying to follow it like she says to, but it is so hard. I totally understand "accidental parenting" and how people just let their kids do whatever the kids want to do because it's easier than doing what's right. Right is hard and wrong is easy, my brain is fried and I feel like giving in.
Today has been the worst day of all of the worst week of all of the worst month of all. Mayhem's 45 minute naps have gone to 25 and even ten minutes! Apparently, when you complain about your kid sleeping less than you'd prefer, the little boogers tend to listen and silently formulate plans of revenge inside those tiny minds of theirs. He's all, "I'll show her! Heh, heh!" and refuses to take naps at all. I make jokes and laugh like this is funny, but really, I'm running out of rope here, people.
This afternoon, the little critter slept 20 minutes before he woke up so I quit what I was doing and went in determined to shush-pat him until he went back to sleep. I've done it before. It takes about 20 minutes of patting and not quitting because it is awfully boring and I get an awful headache from leaning over in his crib, but it does work. He was hell-bent on not going back to sleep even though I knew there was no way he was rested. Shush-pat did not work so I moved onto pick up/put down because at this point he'd started crying.
Ya'll, he screamed and cried and bellered and hollered and snorted and snotted and pushed and bucked all over me for the rest of his nap, 70 minutes! The front of my t-shirt was soaked with his tears and we were both hot and sweaty even though I had a fan on and the air down low. I stood in front of his crib shushing and patting the whole time. He only calmed down after he wore himself out and slept the last seven minutes. I had the bright idea to wear earplugs this time because his screaming usually works on my nerves. That was the first time I've done that and the earplugs really helped me keep my cool I think.
I want so bad to just sit and hold him the whole time he might sleep, but I can't do that. I don't want to spoil him and get him used to something I'm not going to do forever, but man it would be so easy. This is the hard part I've been afraid of.
Tell me it gets better. I know it will, but I need some "don't give ups" and "here's what I did that workeds." At least he's sleeping at night, right?