Friday, November 19, 2010

Sleep Deprivation

Working part time and being a full time mom can be difficult. Most days, I make it through with flying colors. Others, I feel like I'm running on fumes, or close to it. Yesterday was a fume kind of day. Lola has been teething, so we aren't able to rest much at night. On mornings I have to work, I sluggishly wake my eyes and begin convincing myself that a nap is in order. My tiny three hour shift flies by as usual, then my real day begins! I take the Miss to breakfast, enjoying her little sounds as I sip bits of caffeine fuel from a deep mug. I am astonished at the piles of food she consumes. She shovels in fistful after fistful as if she were competing in a toddler's eating contest.

After breakfast, we walked around a little more. The game plan: get her tired before I get really tired. A couple blocks later, we made it home. We sat, snuggling up with a blanket, watching Backyardigans. I was tired and irritable. I finally got Lola down for a nap in her crib and then I was out. At last! Sweet sleep. The good kind of sleep. The type where you feel your head getting heavy and can recollect everything until you can't.  When Lola woke up, I still felt tired.I tried snugging her to sneak her back into dreamland, which usually works. It didn't. I began to get irritable once more, as all us parents know we do, and finally I had enough of myself! I became frantic. I was a mom on a mission. I quickly layered Lola up, grabbed my coat and she and I headed out the door.

We stopped to get something to drink and paced over to the park. We plopped on the bench and my recovery began. Lola snacked on cheese, apples, raisins, and grahams. As I began to sip I realized I had spent the majority of our day being miserable. I know that many of the things that happen are beyond my control. The tantrums, the making of messes, the disinterest in what's for lunch, the poop-filled diapers only minutes after her diaper's been changed. Those things are all part of the age. All unavoidable at times. All inevitable. So where did I go from here? I began to focus on the little things.

On whispy clouds. The way they float in fast and changed right before our eyes.

On thick-foamed chai tea-mistos. The way each sip is both subtle and full of flavor. The way gobs of cinnamon are just along for the ride.

In evening park visits. The sound of children playing. 

On this tree. I photographed it two days ago. It has changed so much in a matter of days.

In chilly weather. The way her little cheeks and nose get perfectly rosy.

In silhouettes. The way trees look bigger than remembered.

Simply changing my focus and honing in on the simplest joys of motherhood and life made this day so much better. We are going to have bad days. It happens sometimes. But maybe by altering my perspective I'll come to realize that my situation isn't as horrible as I had thought.


Katie said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm with ya- there are days that I'm so exhausted I find myself irritated with Dan for not being sleepy- as if it were his fault! I love your reminder to focus on the beautiful things. I love you!

Mary said...

An older post but I really enjoyed it. I think any parent taking on night and day duties with or without a part-time job feels your pain, and it's a nice reminder to find the joy in life. Love your photos too. Hugs!