Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As you know it's been a journey to get this little bundle of great joy to sleep without periodic awakening followed by the never ending screams and tears. So, it is with great joy and more restful nights for Yale and I, that I write this entry.
For the parents still struggling, it will end. There will be time to write your blogs, emails, FB post and much more once she/he sleeps through the night.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
First off we live in a one bedroom apartment and, Lotus's crib is in the alcove of our bedroom. Our bedroom is ridiculously huge, so that for starters.
The sleeping techniques are mostly designed for those who have a second bedroom or other option outside of the parents room. These methods are most effective if they don't involve sharing the same space. So, we had to find a way to be creative.
What has worked the last two nights is this ... A strong bedtime routine which consist of the following
- beginning at 5:30 PM Lotus is giving 8 oz of milk
- 6:00 She is giving a snack example, sliced apple
- 6:30 she is giving a bath
- 7:00 PM she and I go into the bedroom and sit on the couch and I read a bedtime story and sing while she is in my arms
- 7:30 PM I place her in the crib * she will cry and I let her for about 15 minutes
- 7:45 PM I sit with her in the living and if the TV is on I lower the volume and we cuddle
- 8:00 PM I change her diaper place her back in the crib. * she will cry some more but, she will not scream her little heart out
- 8:30 she is asleep for the night unless daddy's snores and wakes us both up.
This loving approach has been working the last two nights. I feel this gives her comfort and confidence to fall asleep on her own and, she sleeps for a longer period. Lotus, used to cry for hours then fall asleep maybe for an hour then wake up again. I tried the FERBER METHOD or CRY IT OUT for the first 4 days and I feel it did her harm (her voice horse and she had bags under her eyes) and, I was more exhausted.
So, this is what has been working and I am getting the rest I need. My whole perspective is to use your intuition. YOU KNOW what is going to be right for you and your baby. The experts may have some valid points however, not all methods work for all babies.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Okay, so at 16 months it was time once again for Lotus to sleep in her own bed. She had been sleeping with mommy and daddy because that was the only way she would sleep through the night. The only way we could have a little private time. Okay, I hear you groaning already.
I get having a baby means the end of most of your private time. But, other parents seem to be able to have it. Other parents nod in this guilty way when asked if their baby sleeps through the night and they say yes. Is it too much to ask?
We have gone back to the FERBER METHOD and, now, her voice is horse from crying and screaming the last 3 nights and she still hasn't slept through the night. And, I am feeling like a terrible parent and at my wits end wondering what on earth am I doing wrong? And, don't get me started on nap time, that's when the most screaming and no napping is done.
So, what is a mother to do? I've changed diapers, not given her something to drink too close to bed time, gone in 10 then 15 then 30 and so on and so on. But, no sooner than later is she awake crying this pitiful cry and every once in a while throwing in a "Mama?!"
It's breaking my heart and I'm almost tempted on giving up this whole FERBER METHOD again to try a more passive "I hope this will work" approach.
Well, that's what I've been up to.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I bow down to the Stay At Home Parent. It's one thing to be at home and have two of you around. It's a whole other ball game when it's just you. It's a whole other ball game when trying to balance work and baby.
What I'm finding is, Lotus's extreme attachment to me. I love that she loves her mommy, I love being a mom to her and, it's hard. It's hard when she is depending on me for everything and the moment I leave the room, walk away for a second, she starts to cry. It's the kind of cry that tears your insides out wondering if you're ever going to be a good mother. Wondering, if you're really crazy because you just want a little me time.
Since the day Lotus was born I have taken her with me on the road. Daddy has been in nursing school where he has earned National Honors, and, it's not like he can take her to class with him. My job offers me that flexibility although, it also means I don't always get a break. And, sometimes mommy does need a break.
One of the ways I am trying to remedy this situation is, to invite another mother over to share in the day. The object is to allow our children to run around and socialize and, us to be able to relate to another grown up. We have decided that we can go to the park, a walk or, let them play in the room while we do our nails, talk about motherhood and our lives before and after.
Trust me it may appear trivial but it's needed and I can't wait to get started. Then eventually we will leave each other kids over to watch so that perhaps, we can enjoy a day out with our husbands. ... I am not being exclusive here btw, I get there are many variations of family and ours happens to involve male counterparts....
I know that motherhood is one of the hardest jobs, but, sometimes staying at home with the baby for a week when it's been raining outside is about all I can take. It's not easy trying to balance looking for a job, keeping up with blogging, FB, Twitter and, hoping that family can babysit on the day you have a possible job interview. Or, hoping today she will want to take her nap along in the crib.
And, then there is the feeling of loosing your identity. I sometimes forget who I am or who I was before motherhood. My brain literally shrunk during pregnancy and is just know expanding back. When I speak to people I find myself not being able to always formulate complete sentences. I forget that I am still strong, dynamic, funny, able to hold down a career and be the best damn mommy ever.
This is a phase that I know is sure to pass, but when? As much as I signed on for motherhood is just as much as I want to be able to keep working in my chosen career and keep a part of who I was before alive.
I am writing this, to complain and whine. I am writing this to be an honest mother who loves her family and herself. To let other mothers know that they are not alone in their feelings. And, I just like you are trying to find my way through this thing called PARENTHOOD.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Celebrate the women in your life. For good or bad what ever your story, the fact that you are standing strong today, is due in part for their bringing you into this world. So, celebrate!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Hollywood makes it look so easy and, I know right now you're thinking, "You're daddy was Richard Pryor and you've been on TV, so, what are you talking bout girl?" I'm talking real life. I'm talking we don't have a nanny, caregiver, teenage neighbor to baby sit and grandma's and Nana's have lives too.
Forget getting away for an hour a day to work out with the famous trainer, at the famous gym, at the famous house which, converts the living room into a fitness room by a click of a button. It ain't like that for the Pryor-Partlow's.
What it's really like is, nursing for 9 months (dropped at lot of weight from that but, not enough), tired most of time from adjusting to the needs of a new entity, that has yet to communicate her feelings in full sentences that we can understand. Really, not trying to make an excuse just stating the facts that I am sure a lot of new moms face.
Getting up to work out has been the last thing on my mind this past year. And seriously, when I say I suffer from fatigue I'm not whining I am telling the truth Ruth. I am however, like "Super Mom" I cook dinner, clean the house between naps and Yo Gabba Gabba. I am a career mom getting work done when I can. Time, is no longer mine.
So, what is the solution? The solution is, I have found 20 minute workouts and I do them. In my livingroom. The baby runs around or I'll use her as a weight. She laughs and I get to work my saddle bag arms. LOL.
I also do not diet but, watch what I'm eating. Portion control. It also helped to get the right fitting bra. I kid you not, it lifted up the girls and slimmed that waist line. If you can do at least 2o minutes a day you will see results and feel great. There is no race to the finish line, and, not everyone has to be HOLLYWOOD THIN. It's more important to be healthy.
I am lucky that I live in a city where BIG is in. LOL. However, I have come to the realization that, my body has changed. I'm almost 40 years old and I'm not a thin boned woman. I am a medium boned woman with curves. Voluptuous they call it, and, that suits me just fine.
While the days are long for the job of parenting is no easy task. Be kind to your self. Take time out for you to feel good inside. Together we can do it. Together we can achieve the goals we want without feeling diminished by what we see on TV.
Together we can measure our success by the deeds we perform through out the day and how good we feel inside. When, we can align all of that, we see results on the outside. Think FIT not THIN.
Here are some tips:
- Eat breakfast i.e. fruit, cereal, fiber,
- Salads, sandwich, protein and vegetables for lunch
- vegetables, protein, salads dinner
- if you need to snack, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt
- Don't over eat and don't diet. Eat enough to give you energy
- Drink water and more water (awesome for shedding pounds)
- workout with the baby
- 20 minutes a day of exercise
- Don't get on the scale. You can see results in your clothes and how you feel. Weighing can confuse accurate results. Muscle can add weight. So DON'T GET ON THE SCALE!
- Get sleep
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This not sleeping for almost 9 months is no joke. We do not have the easy baby when it comes to Lotus and her sleep. At first, it started off with feeding her every two hours, then it stretched out and she would be up at least 3 times in the night. My baby did not want to sleep.
Now, I will be honest, I am not one for CIO (cry it out). I am a softy and feel her pain when she cries. Well, then that changed, real quick, around 10 months when we went for a trip out to California to visit my family and see some friends.
My good friend who's daughter is now 4 years old said to Yale, "Now you know she's really not crazy right? She just appears crazy because she's not sleeping. You do know that right?" I was like here is a woman who understands my pain. Little did I know the best was yet to come of this conversation.
"You mean you were crazy too?" Yale says with a half smile of relief.
"Oh yeah, I was a total wack job. Hello, no sleep will do that to the finest of ladies my friend. She will return to you when she gets her sleep." She places her hand on his shoulders. "Now Rain, you have got to let her cry it out. You have got to let her scream her head off. Trust me, you're not hurting her. She wants you to think that she's hurting but, she's not hurting." She said this in a strange plotting voice.
"Right. Okay, I get it and who's going to wake up in the night and tell her mommy still loves her and is not the evil one?" I say with an attitude of top that.
Folks, she was right. I had to let Lotus cry and carry on. Yale, had to sleep lightly and go to her and comfort her from afar and, let her know we both loved her. It was a two day pull my hearts strings period for me. But, she slept. Finally I was getting 7 to 8 hours of good sleep. Oh yeah I was loving it, he was loving it, everybody was loving it.
Then it changed. Lotus was up again teething this time then, a cold. Argh! Just when I was starting to enjoy myself again. So, for us, it has not been easy. However, I do get at least 8 hours of sleep. I am now teaching myself how to sleep again through the night. I was so used to waking up for the last 10 months that my body was conditioned to it.
It gets easier. My suggestions to you are this:
- if you are the primary caretaker ask a friend of partner or baby daddy to put the baby down the first three nights. This allows you to leave the room so he/she doesn't smell you.
- Give a nice feeding before bedtime
- Set up a nice bedtime routine, bath, story time, lullaby
- Don't ignore the cries go in say "I love you, I'm here, It's going to be okay" but do not pick up the baby. Leave the room and continue this until you allow more time between entering the room.
- Don't panic or get upset. This is a baby they are NOT doing this TO YOU. They DON'T KNOW. So be kind to yourselves and them.
- If you need to sleep with your baby. Shoot, Yale has slept on the couch for the sake of having his lady be happy.
If you are having trouble sleeping set up a night time routine for yourself after the baby goes to bed. I am lucky that I have a man who still rubs my feet before bed time. This helps to relax me, and, I am now sleeping much better.