Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Gets Me Through The Day

A few days ago, when my son woke up at 6am (for his normal morning feed) I was EXHAUSTED. (Most likely because when he started stirring at 3am and 5am, I started stirring too.)

Normally, for me, getting up at 6am is a blessing: I have some coffee, eat a full-on breakfast (my favorite meal of the day,) shower, blog, read, and make my list of to-dos for the day. I just enjoy the 1-2 hours I get by myself before the house starts buzzing. I love LOVE LOVE morning quiet time and it truly is essential for me to have a productive day.

How do I know this? Because on that "few days ago," when "I was EXHAUSTED," I went back to bed instead.

Going back to bed means that after I lay down, it may/may not take me 20 minutes to fall back asleep, and then the amount of sleep I get depends on how my son is feeling that day. Sometimes he sleeps for an hour, sometimes two, but regardless of length, I am jolted awake by the sounds of him scream-playing in his crib (it's a happy noise, albeit a loud one.) I have some time while he entertains himself: go to the bathroom or start some coffee, etc, but I don't have time for breakfast and since it's at least another 30 min before I can get to that, I can easily turn into a grumpus.

Once I get him changed, nursed, dressed, and ready for a solid meal, he is out of happy-baby zone and into I-need-to-see-mommy-at-all-times zone, which pretty much locks down all functional movement. No matter when he wakes, he's ready to be back down at ten - great for days he wakes at 8:45am, bad for days he's up at 7am. He also only naps until noon, exactly two hours, regardless of when he falls asleep, so it's crucial to have him down by ten.

A few days ago, when I decided it was a "good" idea to go back to bed - he woke at 7:30, which gave me little/no extra sleep, and left me feeling like a train wreck (even more EXHAUSTED then before.) When he FINALLY went down for his nap at ten, he woke up like fifteen minutes later (he pooped,) then didn't go back down until almost 11am and was up 45 min later. Since I hadn't showered, (I chose breakfast,) it became pretty apparent that we would not be leaving the house on this day, (it also started snowing, so definite NO.) 

We then got to spend THREE hours in the house, him a little cranky, me still in my pjs, trying to stay entertained. I didn't have my to-do list made, so I just kind of cleaned aimlessly, and tried to come up with more things for him to do until it was time for the next nap. By nap two, it's almost three and I'm just running on fumes. I could take a nap too...but I.MUST.RESIST. - it really messes up my sleep if I take a nap, plus I'm loosing productive time! I try to work on a post, get distracted, check email, get distracted, read an article, get distracted. It's about 4:30pm, my husband is on his way home, I need to start thinking about dinner, and the day is basically over. GAME OVER: mission failed.

The difference (for me) really is waking up early and having time to prepare myself for the day, exactly like I used to do when I was working full time. If I had woken up to a screaming alarm five minutes before I had to be at work, well, the day would have gone equally as bad. Today, I had some of the exact same things happen during the course of my day: I started stirring at 3am, baby didn't catch his first nap because he woke himself up by pooping, and when we were going to head out for some errands it started to flurry/rain. However, it didn't rattle me this time: I made some purees, finished my packing list for our trip, etc; overall, it was pretty productive. Even after all the other crazy things happened and I was EXHAUSTED it was the getting up early that was the neutralizer.


P.S. - I'd love to know: do you have a neutralizer? If so, what is it?

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