I told you all awhile ago now that Levi wasn't napping. Well, guess what?!? He's still not napping!!!! Actually, that's not entirely true. Before he was screaming for 2-3 hours before going to sleep...now he pretty much goes right to sleep, but wakes up after about 30-45 minutes screaming hysterically. It's awful. And after two weeks of trying absolutely everything (moving up his nap time, backing up his nap time, one nap a day, two naps a day, blackout curtains, hiding all his toys, etc), I finally took him to the doctor's office last week just to make sure nothing physical was going on. Well, lo and behold, our poor baby had an ear infection---yep, mother of the year. Honestly, when she said "ear infection," I was thrilled and thought our problems were finally solved.
Nope...Levi hated the antibiotic (it wasn't the pink stuff but something else), and spit out a good portion...maybe even all of it...every time. We battled all weekend and into Monday, and while his not napping was already stressful, him not taking his medicine sent my stress level through the roof. Oh, and yeah, the naps didn't get any better either, presumably because he wasn't even getting the antibiotic in. Super!
With Levi's sleep lacking, he has been challenging to say the least. In fairness, he's usually his happy-go-lucky self all morning, but after the naptime debacle and too little sleep, he's a mess all afternoon/evening. He still plays well, but when something doesn't go his way, all hell breaks loose. And with an older brother in the house, things don't go his way quite frequently...
Plus, he's waking Colton up from his nap prematurely...which means Colton's in a whiny mood when he wakes up. And speaking of Colton, that boy is working my last nerve. Again, we're good through the morning (usually because we're out with friends or he's at school), but he spends his entire afternoon taking toys from Levi, pushing Levi into walls/couches/anything, tackling Levi, antagonizing in general. I'm pretty sure it's typical (almost)3-year-old boy behavior, but he's putting my discipline tactics to the test.
All of this adds up to a very stressed out mommy over the past few weeks. While I usually truly enjoy my time with my boys, I feel like I've been in survival mode recently just counting down the minutes until I can put the boys to sleep for the day. I have been on the brink of tears several time due to sheer frustration: frustration that I can't solve Levi's nap issues, frustration that I'm not getting my necessary down time/productive time each day, frustration that Colton is being a shit...
When Josh got home Monday, I was truly on the edge of a breakdown. I never thought it would take so much willpower just to keep myself from physically hurting my child, but let me tell you, those boys had pushed me to my limits. And while we are no doubt in the midst of a very difficult, and hopefully soon to be over, phase, I have come to realize that being a SAHM, especially to more than one child, is flat out exhausting--mentally, physically, emotionally.
When I left teaching and became a SAHM, I did so because I realized I only had one shot at this. I can go back to teaching one day if I wish, or I can even pursue some other career, but I wouldn't get a second chance at being a mom. And here's the thing...I refuse to just survive it. I want to thrive. I want to enjoy it. Sure, I know there will be hard days, but I am bound and determined to look for those small moments throughout the days that remind me just how fleeting my boys' childhood really is.
Yesterday I decided to reverse course a bit. Instead of hanging out with friends at the bounce house (an I idea that sounds nice in theory but ends up being a bit chaotic with so many kids running around), I decided to take the boys to one of those pottery studios...just me and my boys. And afterwards, we went to visit my old school (since we were in the neighborhood) and had some fun playing at its playground. We had lunch with my sister-in-law and niece and then came home. Levi's nap didn't go much better (although it was an hour today, and he didn't wake up screaming...progress maybe), but I just accepted it. And once Colton was up, we all played together, and I really took the time to appreciate my boys, their personalities, and their budding friendship. (Take a look for yourself)
And you know what? I did enjoy it. And at the end of the day, I hadn't just survived. I had lived the day with my boys, a day which will probably have no real significance in the big scheme of things, but that will hopefully be representative of my boys' childhood.