Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sleep is the word...

Sleep Sleep Sleep. This is the buzz word for mommies. "How is she sleeping?" "Are you getting any sleep?" "How many hours does she sleep at night?" Sleep is the number one most talked about thing when it comes to a new baby. It makes sense though, because if baby ain't sleeping, ain't nobody sleeping.
In our house the world revolves around the little lady's sleep cycle. I always swore I would never be one of those moms whose world turns around their baby's schedule. Of course, that was before I actually had a baby. Now I understand why there are sleep nazi mommies out there. If the baby does not sleep then life is chaos. On days when Alice decides napping is no fun, I am miserable. I count on those sweet minutes of peace to get as much done as possible. When she does not sleep I am at a loss because then that time gets used for bouncing, swaying, and shushing a crying and tired baby. I don't get it. I know she is exhausted. She knows she is exhausted. Yet she tries her best to not sleep. She fights and fights, falling asleep in my arms then those little eyes snapping back open as soon as I lay her down. We joke that she is a combo of us--afraid she will miss fun like Dad and grumpy when she is tired like me. Bad mix for those trying to put her to sleep. The more we try to lull her to sleep the angrier she gets. Then right when you think she may never sleep again, she puts her hand over her eyes, does a few grunts and is out.
I should not complain because my sweet girl sleeps basically all night long. A few times a week she may wake at 6am for a quick snack then right back to sleep, but most nights she is down for the night by 8 and sleeps until 7:30 or 8. And it is wonderful. Having a full night's sleep makes all the difference between crazy mommy and sane mommy. That being said, are two 45 minute naps a day too much to ask for? Just those short little naps enable me to get a lot done in a little bit of time. Sometimes I think I am breaking world records with how fast I can do things when I know I am borrowed time.
When I talk to other mommy friends sleep is always one of the main topics. It is hard not to be jealous of those who have nice long two hour naps in the middle of the day. I daydream of everything I could get done if that happened at our house--long showers, hours of work, nails painted. Yet, those same moms I envy for naps probably envy me for full nights of sleep. I will just count my blessings in the form of nighttime hours slept and stop comparing my baby to every other baby in the world! One must appreciate the good things in life--and nothing is sweeter than seeing my girl sleeping soundly with her arms thrown over her head and a smile on her little face.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let go...

For many years I worried over every little thing, and a long time ago I decided that was no way to live. I try to literally live the idea of "don't sweat the small stuff." And I think I do a good job of that. I try to focus on the positive, of what I can do, instead of sweating the details that are either out of my control or really don't matter. I find it it better for me to focus on the big picture. Because the way I see it, life really is about the big picture. In 30 years we won't remember if the floors had been vacuumed, or if the dog needed a bath. Granted, I try not to let those things go for too long, or we would be wading through pet hair and have one stinky dog! But I try not to let those kinds of things become the most important things. No matter how messy the house is I think it is more important to hold my baby for a few extra minutes than it is to dust the blinds.
We only get this one life and this one chance to be in each others lives. I don't want to spend my time stressing over things that I cannot control. I would rather know that I gave enough hugs and saw as many smiles as possible, because that is something I can control. Often if feels like our lives are being controlled by others. We have to wait on other's decisions to move forward in our own lives and that is incredibly hard. Who wants to feel that their life is not their own? We have to wait on decisions from bosses, doctors, and neighbors. We also have to depend on others to help us through life. Waiting on the person at Panera to make our sandwich, depending on the dry cleaner to get the dog pee out of the comforter, counting on the exterminator to rid us of the ants that love our pantry. I have tried to let go and let others worry about their "stuff." If it is not in my job description, then I let someone else take care of it. I have my own things to worry about--I can't worry about the things you are supposed to be taking care of. I have a little girl, a husband, a house, 2 cats, and a dog to worry about, not to mention a part time job. I would prefer not to tack on things to my worry list that are someone else's responsibility. If they fail, that is obviously another issue, but I can't walk into a situation expecting failure from others. If I can't trust others in their abilities, how can I ask anyone to trust me to be capable and intelligent? I trust my husband with the lady baby because he is her dad and wants the best for her, and he is not a moron. I expect him to trust me because I am her mom and want the best for her, and I am not a moron. If you don't put a little faith in others you cannot ask others to put a little faith in you. It is hard to help a person who gives the impression that not only do they want you to do it their way, but they could do it better if they were doing it. If there is something that you really don't trust someone else to do, then do it yourself. Otherwise, let go. I put my faith in others everyday so that I don't have to worry about details that are beyond my control. I depend on others with the hope that they will depend on me.
I am not saying you should not be an active participant in your own life. I believe that our lives are our own. We have to own our decisions no matter how bad or good. But there are things that are beyond our capabilities and also things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of life. It is a true art form to learn to tell the difference in what is important and what is not and there is a steep learning curve. So I will continue to try to not worry over the little things as well as the big things that I have no control over. I will believe that as long as I do my best at living a good and honest life, I will continue to be the best person I can be for not only myself but my family and friends. I will continue to put my trust in others to help me get through life so I can let the small stuff go and concentrate on what I think is the most important job I have--raising a happy, healthy family who knows I love them more than I love a clean floor.

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