discouraging days

My husband tells me that as I blog, I should not forget to “do the lamenting psalms, too.”  As I do have a tendency to be somewhat prideful, and I hate whining, I’m much more comfortable sharing about my triumphs and grand contemplations.  I suppose that’s not particularly honest, though.

I actually started this post on Thursday, which was the 4th consecutive day that Miranda’s morning nap was in the neighborhood of 20-30 minutes long, which is not really sufficient for a six-month-old.  Add to that the fact that my mom had been planning to arrive that evening for a long-anticipated weekend visit, but she had come down with a viral bug and was not able to make the trip that day, and I was pretty down that afternoon, despite a couple good conversations with friends earlier in the day.  I thought that would be an opportune time to write about a more challenging day…but then Miranda’s afternoon nap lasted only 25 minutes, as well, meaning it’s now 3 days later, and I have yet to finish or post this entry.  I’m still reflective about all of this, though.

Honestly, most of my rough times these days relate to challenges with Miranda’s sleep and my ability to accomplish what I want to do (and the obvious correlation between the two).  Almost since she was born, Miranda has slept pretty well at night.  She does like to have a pacifier, so every once in a while she wakes up without it and cries for us to put it back in, but she really sleeps very well.  Right now she usually sleeps 8-10 hours at night without needing to eat and usually goes back to sleep for another couple hours after waking to nurse once.  Her naps, however, are more of a challenge.  She has a hard time transitioning between sleep cycles, so she often wakes up 20-40 minutes into a nap not really ready to get up but needing help to transition into that next sleep cycle.  We’re pretty committed to not using a “cry it out” strategy in parenting Miranda at this age, and I’ve tried a variety of other strategies, but she still doesn’t seem quite able to make that transition consistently on her own yet, so I spend a good portion of her naptimes sitting in the bedroom with her to make sure I catch her before she’s fully awake and can help her through that transition time.  That’s somewhat frustrating – as it means her naptimes are not really “off” times for me – but I’m able to do some work, respond to e-mails, do my Bible reading, and other stuff like that, so it’s not a horrible situation – and the truth is that despite our culture’s preoccupation with this idea, and while it sounds so nice, none of us are really promised or entitled to hours of “me time.”  But anyway, the hardest times for me are the approximately 5% of naptimes that I can’t get her back to sleep at all.  Then she’s fussy, because she hasn’t slept long enough; I feel behind, because I haven’t gotten as much accomplished during her nap as I’d hoped; and I’m discouraged, because I feel like a failure as a mother.  We had a few of those days last week. Miranda is either teething or coming down with a cold, so I’m sure that played into it. 

But those are the days on which I need to remind myself of what is really true and remind myself that my hope ultimately is not in my ability to parent well or appear successful to others.  And as I wrote about last week, my days are not solely about how much I can accomplish. 

However, I am extremely thankful that even though those things are not of utmost importance, God in His grace is helping me with them.  My mom was able to make the trip down to Missouri on Friday to spend the weekend – including today, her birthday! – with us, and she’s always such a blessing to have here.  It’s fun to catch up with her, and she’s also incredibly helpful, playing with Miranda, cooking and cleaning, or doing whatever else she can.  Thanks for coming to visit and help us out, Mom 🙂

And Miranda has napped better the past couple days, for which I’m very thankful, both for her sake and mine.  Hopefully we’ll continue to have more days like that…but in the event we don’t, I do pray that God enables me to deal well with whatever comes!

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