I have never been a very patient person. This is true in pretty much every facet of my life….at work (people unload their carts too slowly), while driving (um, hello? You’re driving five under the speed limit!), even trying to understand stuff while I was in school (why can’t I just get it?). I am impatient.
With Briana, I have learned patience. And it has helped me enormously when trying to get her to eat or waiting for her to sleep for a nap, or struggling to do a diaper change on a wiggly little monster baby who knows just when to twist away from me to make things the most difficult. It’s even helped me during playtime with her.
But at night, when she wakes up, there’s a limit. I am extraordinarily patient for the first half hour. I am patient for the second half hour. I am holding onto my patience by the skin of my teeth for the half hour after that. But, almost uniformly, if she hits two hours of wakefulness in the middle of the night, I lose it…quickly.
It isn’t a fun feeling. Longing for sleep and knowing she will be awake again at six in the morning no matter what…having her almost asleep and having her eyes shoot open for no reason whatsoever. Having her asleep six different times but having her wake up as soon as you shift or try to set her down.
I realize this is at least partially my fault for rocking her to sleep. But that worked for us, for seven months. I don’t know why the last month has been so difficult. I know we need to transition into another routine for bed, but I am not here at night and can’t force my husband to follow the routine I have suggested numerous times. I have two nights a week when I am home for bedtime…all other nights she is asleep when I get home…at least initially.
Tonight, she woke at midnight as I was getting ready to go to sleep. I picked her up and relished the extra time I got to snuggle her before bed. I rocked her, and had her almost asleep again when David walked in to go to bed and she woke up ready to play.
At two, I put her in her crib and walked out because, like clockwork, after two long hours of rocking and holding and swaying and PATIENCE, I needed to put her down because I was starting to freak out. When it reaches that point, it’s time for a break.
I walked out of the bedroom and closed the bedroom door. I walked into the living room and sat on the couch. I started breathing deeply and counting my breaths…in for ten, hold for five, out for ten. I heard David get up and I heard him shushing her. I stayed away. I will have my patience back in the morning, but for now, it’s hiding from me. And an impatient mom won’t do Briana any good.
I don’t really understand why two hours seems to be my mental limit. I wonder if I didn’t have a clock if it would be the same, or if it is the knowledge that I have spent two hours trying to get her to sleep that makes me impatient. A question for another day.
Bri is asleep now, so it’s safe to head in to bed.
A (Working on being more) Patient Mommy