|Hayden, one month old|
It’s during the day time that I worry about missing out. We can’t really afford childcare at the moment, and I’d much rather not put him in daycare anyway until he is older, so, while Chris watches out for Hayden at night time while I’m at work, I take care of him during the day. I love this deal, really, even though I dreaded it at the beginning (see my post on going back to work). I get to spend time with Hayden all day (in between morning naps for both of us and an evening nap for me, plus dozing for me whenever else he dozes during the day), and then do my part for our household finances by going to work at night.
By encouraging him to nap more and play in bed with me in the morning, am I somehow understimulating him so that I can get more rest?
Am I causing issues that will be difficult to reverse by letting him hang out in my bed instead of putting him in his crib every time he dozes off for a nap?
Am I letting him entertain himself too much in the afternoons because I am too tired to engage him enough?
Does he spend too much time in front of the tv watching Little Einsteins while I try to tidy up between naps so that I can doze when he does?
What if, when I go to lie down for a few hours after Chris gets home from work, he does something new? What if he sits up, or plays with a new toy, or sticks his foot in his mouth, or does some other equally silly but oh so important thing while I am upstairs sleeping away?
Mostly, am I missing out on activities that we should be participating in together because I need to sleep?
The answer to most of these questions, I know, is that what I am doing is just fine, and if I miss out on something the first time he does it, odds are he’ll do it again and I’ll see it that time. Does that make me feel better? Sometimes. Not always. And I know I’m not alone with these feelings, so that helps a little, too. At first, when I came back to work, I fought the need for sleep in the evenings so that I could spend extra time with my boys. Finally, though, the lack of sleep caught up with me so that it ended up outweighing that need to be with them as much as possible, and I’ve started taking advantage of my wonderful husband and the fact that he takes over with Hayden as soon as he gets home from work so that I can get some extra sleep.
|Caught by Dad, passed out on the couch together|
The anxiety regarding lacking sleep, missing out, and not being engaging enough comes and goes, but I am finally learning to cope with it.
Have you struggled with the balance between spending time with your family and taking care of yourself? What techniques or solutions did you come up with to cope with this struggle?