Thursday, May 20, 2010

A week with a plan

Last week was really hard for me. It was emotionally exhausting and I can't pinpoint why. I felt overwhelmed, overbooked and overexhausted. Every day I woke up feeling late and behind schedule. It was rough. It was also rough on little Nolan. Maybe he could tell I was struggling or maybe I was struggling because of him. Either way, we set out with a plan for this week.

Nolan began sleeping in the office (the room off of our bedroom) last weekend. He didn't seem to sleep longer but it was nice to move him out. Immediately there was a feeling of liberation and a returned sense of intimacy between Dave and I. Our room is 'our' space. Sharing it with Nolan was a necessity but not really what I consider ideal.

On Sunday we began a 'night-time routine' which means at 8pm we put his sleeping clothes on, read to Nolan if he'll tolerate it, put him in his sleeping position and rock him to sleep, using a pacifier/binkie if necessary, removing it upon his slumber. Once asleep we place him in his moses basket in the office and go about our night. (read: go to sleep too- yes, at 9 or so- I have months of interrupted sleep to catch up on). We take turns each night doing the routine so he doesn't get used to just one of us.
We decided to do this for a few reasons: he naturally went to sleep around 8 every night last week (I was tracking his sleeping); we needed some time alone or some time to get stuff done during the week; babies tend to like routines. So while we really have gone to bed each night this week rather than 'getting stuff done' it has been a HUGE breakthrough for Dave and I. Some nights he fights sleeping and screams. Other nights he drifts off peacefully to sleep. Either way, one of us is not involved and can handle some minor household tasks.

Another thing we decided to do was pick a day each week that we are TOTALLY off duty. We can be out, stay in, whatever, but there are NO Nolan/household/chore/task obligations that night. I think this will be wildly important to our mental well being. Last night Dave had his night off and what did he do? Oh, he bought a car.

And another thing we did was invite our neighborhood teenage babysitter to our house to meet and get to know Nolan. She is a high school Junior and she looked a little nervous but was super with him. She'll come back each week for a bit to give me a break to do things around the house (this week I straightened up and installed a door knob) and when we're ready she'll be our date-night babysitter.

So all in all this week feels pivotal. It feels like a turning point for our family. I don't want to count my chickens already but between 9 and 5 Nolan has gotten up one time the past few nights. ONE TIME. HALLELUJAH!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Colleen, I'm so sorry you felt like you were struggling last week. I hope this week is going better/smoother for you. Please don't hesitate to let me know if there's anything I can do to help. And woo-hoo on the one-wake-up overnight! Soon it'll be no-wake-ups! :-)