It’s not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Let’s be honest: being a parent isn’t easy. No, I don’t take back what I said in my post earlier this week: I love being a mom, and I especially love being a stay-at-home mom. But like any full-time job – because who are we kidding, parenting is a job if there ever was one – there are good days and bad days.

Today just so happens to be a bad day.

Vivian is a remarkably easy baby. I honestly can’t think of a time when she has cried in public. Sure, she gets cranky, but she is usually easy to please. Even as early as six weeks old, she slept six hour stretches at night. She’s never been colicky. Besides for one stuffy nose, she’s never been sick (knock on wood). Like I said, a remarkably easy baby!

Except for – enter ominous music – napping. Oh, how this child hates to nap! The only way I could get Vivi to sleep as an infant was to hold her, and even then, she rarely napped for more than 30 or 40 minutes. Around 3 months, my back started to protest during her sleep-in-Mommy’s-lap sessions. I turned to the swing, and what a lifesaver it was! Vivian would even occasionally cruise past her usual 35 minute wake-up time and sleep for – gasp – a whole hour.

These days Vivi is sleeping solely in her crib. Nine times out of ten, nighttime is a piece of cake. She has fun in her bath, nurses for one last time, and goes down into her crib like a little angel.

That same little angel seems to think her crib is made of hot lava in the daylight. Today, for example, she woke up around 8AM and played for 2 hours. She started giving me sleepy signs, and when she nursed, she started dozing. I thought to myself, it’s definitely time for a nap! I put her into her crib, and HOLY HOT LAVA BATMAN, she’s awake and mad! Vivi cried for a full 30 minutes before I called it and got her out of her crib. I kept her awake for another hour, and let me tell you, she was not in the cheeriest of moods. Finally, she seemed ready to go to sleep. Hold onto your hats, she cried for another 25 minutes, but finally she went down. She slept for… wait for it… a whole 30 minutes.

Can I just say how demoralizing it is to struggle all morning for one measly 30 minute nap?

After Vivi woke up, I took the opportunity to get out of the house, hoping I could run an errand and make it back before the dangerous awake-for-two-hours sleepy phase hit. Why the rush? If Vivi catches even 10 minutes of sleep in the car, there’s no chance she’ll go down for a nap for at least another two hours. I hope you never have to deal with a baby who has slept only 10 minutes. Grumpy doesn’t begin to describe it. Long story short, car naps are only good for long trips. Otherwise, avoid them like the plague.

Back to today. You guessed it; I didn’t make it home in time. Despite my loud and obnoxious singing, Vivi caught about 20 minutes of snoozetime in the car. I even managed to get her into the house in her carseat without waking her. She snoozed for another 10 minutes before hollaring at me to get her out of her carseat.

Let’s review: since 8AM, Vivi had slept a grand total of an hour and five minutes, and it was now 3:30 in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, if she was a little bundle of giggles or even if she was sullen but happy to play, that’d be one thing. If she was happy and seemed to be getting enough sleep, I could deal with only an hour and five minutes. Instead she is quite obviously still tired. She gets frustrated easily and isn’t as easy to please as usual. I know she needs more sleep, but I don’t have a clue how to help her.

The good news is, I did get her to go back to sleep at 5:30 with only 5 minutes of crying. I’m hoping a third cat nap will lift her spirits (and mine). Luckily, I have great friends and fellow Mommy Warriors to talk to (well, text with) in moments of desperation. My friend Kristi recommended stretching awake time from 2 hours to 3, and my friend Shannon recommended music played throughout sleeptime.

Armed with these new”tricks”, I hope to defeat – or at the very least subdue – the Nap-time Monster tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tips welcome!

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