The latest lupus challenge: the Nappers vs. the Non-Nappers

So we are officially entering a new phase of child-rearing - as Deirdre is slowly but surely phasing out her afternoon nap.

It comes as no surprise, and I've been expecting it for months, but now that it's here, I'm a bit overwhelmed with how to deal with it. Or should I say, I was overwhelmed...until she spent the entire afternoon with Aunt Katie. The day she was away, Bernadette and I had the most glorious, uninterrupted 2 and 3 hour long naps ever, reminding me that whatever band-aid solution I was contemplating on using to get me through nap time, I need a long-term solution that is guaranteed to work. Starting now.

Up until now, I was just dealing with it. Not quietly, mind you, as I've mentioned to Johnny just about every other day for two weeks that we need a new solution for nap time, and Deirdre's well aware that her visits to Mommy's room during nap time have to stop. But before this weekend, I was just trying to ride out the phase, avoiding a change in routine because it would require, you guessed it, change. The trick was that 3-4 days a week she was a perfect angel - either sleeping soundly or reading quietly in her bed for the duration of my nap. The other 3-4 days a week, however, she struggled - coming in and out of my room for one reason or another, being disruptive in her room, or a combination of both. And up until now, I had just been mentally logging all of my "options" for when the situation became unbearable.

But after experiencing my nap of perfection this weekend, I realized the situation is unbearable, and something must be done. My nap is my most precious activity of the day, and for the last two weeks, I've been shoving it down to the bottom of the priority pile as if I really didn't need it. As if!

So this week, we will be exploring options to permanently ensure that my nap is no longer interrupted, or at least, as permanent as one can be when lupus, a 3 year old and a 1 year old are involved. We're looking at a whole host of things: switching my babysitter's hours, switching our napping/resting hours, getting an alarm clock so Deirdre knows when her "rest time" is up, adding a child safety lock on my door, going to "movie time", doing a point-reward system for good rest times, changing my napping venue, etc. etc.  Of course, all of you moms out there who have made it successfully to the other side are welcome to chime in. I would appreciate it!

And a big thanks to my sister for giving me a taste of the good life. Now that I remember what it's like to sleep perfectly soundly during my nap, I'm hooked. And as I've said many times before, once you get a taste of living well, you won't want to give it up. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said…
and what should do those who can not afford babysitter?
Jeff said…
One thing to remember- your permanent solution is needed until the girls are in school and then for summers. Then, once they are older, they will be able to entertain themselves. For those who can't afford a sitter, call on trusting neighbors or close family members and friends. Until someone without Lupus spends some time learning about Lupus,they won't understand the importance of what is needed by people with the illness. Now if I could only get my wife to start taking naps! Right now they cause her to stay up at night.
Sara Gorman said…
Jeff - Thanks for the input! Indeed, you are correct - I did a post a few weeks ago about not getting too worried about things just like this, since it's not going to be a challenge forever. Thanks for the reminder! And I agree with the neighbor suggestion - a lot of times people ARE willing to help. We just have to ask. I find that even a "mommy's helper" type of situation might work. A young 10-12 year old who wants to be a sitter in training. Often they work for only $5 an hour. Just make sure you're comfortable with whomever you choose.

And if shelling out money for a babysitter isn't an option at all - understandably so - I did have quite a few votes from readers for movie time...which I think could keep most kids occupied. If supervision is a concern (that is, you need to be in the same room as your child), perhaps snuggling up in bed or on the couch, putting on a movie, and allowing your eyes to at least rest while everyone is quiet. An hour or two of quiet is DEFINITELY better than nothing!

Interestingly, I haven't tried the movie idea yet, but I did introduce puzzles during Dee's nap today. They worked great! She stayed in her room for an hour - noodling over the puzzles, and when I went in to tell her nap time was over, she was quietly resting her head on the side of a chair reading. If I hadn't gone in, I bet she would have stayed there for another 30 minutes.

Anyone else out there have ideas?
When my older ones were little and I was desperate for a nap, I'd nap on the couch with blues clues or Thomas the train on. Typing from bed while two are napping. But I have older ones too who will get the baby if she wakes up before me. I really should sleep instead of reading :). Oh yeah I was researching lupus napping vs resting in bed.

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