I need to take a moment and say "thank you". Thank you to my afternoon babysitters, without whom I would be a major lupus basket case. Deirdre and I are still in major nap negotiations, particularly after a week on vacation, and if I didn't have the assurances that someone was going to show up everyday at my door at 3pm, I'm not sure how I'd fare. Actually, I know how I'd fare - and it wouldn't be well.
Just recently, in fact, I've taken my babysitting services to a whole new level. Up to this point, I was the one handling the after-3pm negotiations with a less-than-considerate 3 1/2 year, figuring that I should still be the one to enforce the quiet time. But I just realized that if I need my sleep, I needed to offload the responsibility to someone who can just as easily enforce "quiet time" as I can.
Of course, Deirdre still knows it's Mommy who's insisting that she rest quietly, but for the last few days, if 3pm comes and she's still not cooperating, I go "off duty" and the babysitter picks up where I left off...which is that Deirdre needs to put in her quiet time before she can get up. And it's working. Pretty much.
My reluctance in handing over the reins was three fold. I thought it would be: a) too hard for someone to understand the nuances of the negotiation strategy; b) easier to do it myself, and c) too frustrating to overhear the failed negotiations, particularly when Bernie's nap was in jeopardy if things went south. But as is often the case, I was overthinking the whole thing. My sitters are smart young ladies, and there's no rocket science involved in gently coercing Deirdre to do what we need her to do. I just had to explain it one time, and now the sitters are off and running.
I've repeatedly made this mistake in the past, not only in child-rearing, but in all things lupus. I convince myself that I'm the only one who can do "x" - at least, do it in the manner in which I want it done. But most of the time, we're not the only solution. Husbands can grocery shop; teenagers can vacuum; my girls can pick up their toys. Sure, in my case, the groceries Johnny comes home with might not be the exact ones on my list, and the toys might not be in the exact places I want them to be, but life goes on. As I said in a post a few years back, at least they're the ones doing "x", and not me!