Friday, May 2, 2014

Changes to routine

So far, being a parent feels like it's all about adapting to change. We'll be going along and we'll have things in order. We'll have plans and a clear idea of how things go. We'll have steps we take and we'll know what to expect. Then suddenly, we need to learn a whole new system.

The last month has felt like a huge shift. Maybe it's because the Pepper reached that year mark and this is normal. But it's taking me time to catch-up. For the last several months the little one has taken a morning nap and then played with the nanny until I'm done with work around 3:30pm (I work East Coast hours). Then I give her a snack and read to her until she goes down for her second nap. During her second nap I can fold laundry, catch up on more work, or sometimes even nap myself! I would often get jealous that the nanny gets the play time and I get the nap time. But I had worked this routine into my expectations for my days. Then one day the other week the Pepper decided she didn't need two naps a day anymore. Suddenly, one afternoon nap was the new norm. I'm thrilled to have more awake hours with her, but it's also thrown off my days. I no longer have an hour or so to myself in the afternoons. Now it goes from work right to mothering until bedtime. I feel less productive, but also more fatigued at the end of the day. I'm hoping it's just an adjustment period.

Another big change that seemed to happen all of a sudden: bed time. Especially since I went back to work so soon after her birth I took her bedtime as quality cuddle time. When it was time for sleep I would hold her and rock her and sing to her until she closed her eyes. And then I'd often hold her several more minutes just to enjoy the closeness. It seemed to be something we both enjoyed, until the Pepper changed her mind. One night she started wriggling during our cuddle to the point where I just had to put her down in her crib where she eventually went to sleep by herself. I know this is a good thing. Even while I enjoyed our old routine and the physical intimacy of it I knew it couldn't last. I knew she would eventually get too big and I worried about how to transition to putting her in the crib to go to sleep. I was worried about upsetting her with the change. So I feel lucky she instigated this change on her own! Now I'm the one adjusting: I miss our bedtime snuggles.

Some change will sadly still need to be imposed. Breaking the Pepper of her pacifier habit intimidates me. She looooves that thing. But I feel like getting rid of it would help her sleep better at night. Weaning her off of it is going to be painful...

Photo from a few days ago. The pepper was showing off her tongue to some neighbors :)

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