Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Why I’m So Exhausted February 26, 2010

I am exhausted! Let me say it again. I am exhausted!

You would think I had a newborn in the house…no I don’t.  It’s just my Baby. I’m referring to my toddler who refuses to sleep on her own.

For the past week, she has decided that she does not want to sleep without her mommy. Sometimes, even her daddy. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, about a month ago, we went through this same thing for almost 2 weeks.

Baby is a good sleeper for the most part. We have a routine for naptime and bedtime. After I read her favorite book, I put her down in her crib and tell her I love her and I say goodnight. Then I leave the room. She is awake when I leave the room and she puts herself to sleep.

Often when I tell people about her sleeping habits, they’re amazed that she can sleep on her own. I was always happy and grateful for that.

Now, I am utterly exhausted and frustrated. I am literally at my wit’s end about what to do and how to handle it.

This is her usual routine now. We still do our same naptime and bedtime routine except that when I put her down in her crib she starts crying and stands up. I still tell her I love her and goodnight then I leave the room. She then continues to cry after I leave. The crying escalates to screams. She calls me and her daddy. She asks us to take her down from her crib. This usually goes on for at least 30 minutes. She may quiet down for a little while, maybe 5 minutes. Then it starts again.

In fact right now, she is crying and screaming, “mommy and daddy”! She has been crying for the last 45 minutes or so. Today she fell asleep on the way home from the store. I put her down in the crib while she was partially awake. (She woke up when I took her out of the car seat). After about an hour, she woke up screaming and crying for me.

So, this may not seem strange but her usual naptime lasts 2-3 hours. Not too mention that she only had a 15 minute nap yesterday because of all this crying and screaming. Last night, she had an interrupted sleep due to her crying and screaming episode that happened about 3 hours into her sleep.

I’ve tried so many things but all have seemed to fail. I guess maybe I should keep a sleep log which I haven’t done. I have tried other techniques from  Dr. Weissbluth’s book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”.

So now what should I do?

  • Keep a sleep log
  • Reread “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, especially the chapter pertinent to my child’s age
  • Search the internet for helpful advice
  • Be patient, persistent, and consistent
  • Pray often!

I think that hardest part will be having patience. With my second child, I seem to be less patient. Maybe it’s because Baby is so different than Princess when it comes to sleep issues. I know people say you shouldn’t compare but it’s so hard since my frame of reference is from my sleep training experience with Princess. Then I again, I have to attribute some of my impatience with my age. I mean now that I’m older (remember closer to 1/2 a century than not) I can’t tolerate lack of sleep as much as I could when I only had 1 child.

So, what’s a middleaged mom to do?

PRAY!

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About Me Updated & Thoughts on More Children February 6, 2010

Filed under: baby,blogging,children,Christianity,family,health,middleaged,moms,women — middleagedmom @ 10:15 pm
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I thought it was about time to update my About Me page. I realized that I wrote that a while ago. I can’t believe how much has changed since I first started this blog, especially going from a mother of 1 child to a mother of 2 children.

On a related note, one of my girlfriends recently asked me if I wanted to have another child. I told her yes but that I didn’t want to become pregnant again because I didn’t think my body could handle it. I mean seriously being closer to the back end of my 40’s has really taken a toll on my body. When I look at photos of me just 4 years ago, I can’t believe how much white hair I have now. That just blows me away! I don’t even mean the changes in my outward appearance. I really mean the changes in my health.

So, I do not plan to get pregnant again. If there is a possibility in the future, I would love to adopt a baby boy. I’ve always loved the idea of adoption. One of the biggest drawbacks to adoption is the cost.

If you have an adoption story, I’d love to hear about it. Please share.

For now, I’ll leave it all in God’s hands… the best place to be.

 

My Shower My Refuge September 22, 2009

Filed under: dad,family,middleaged,moms,women — middleagedmom @ 2:27 pm
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Update: Mr. MaD informed me that the new (2nd) showerhead actually cost $40 not $45 like I thought. Gee, we actually saved more money than I thought we did.)

As a mom, I barely have my own time. I know you understand. For me, I cherish my bath time. Why? Probably because it’s the only 10-15 minutes of my day that I have to myself. It’s my relaxation and stress relief. Besides relaxation, it’s one of the few things that helps me when I get an extreme sinus headache.

So, when that get’s disrupted…mommy gets very unhappy.

Last week our shower head was on its last leg. I asked Mr. MaD to soak it in clorox to clean it. Little did I know that the soak would end up being the demise of my shower head. For some reason, this time the soak lasted longer than it should. I’m not sure if it was forgetfulness on the part of Mr. MaD (he is also middleaged, you know?) or if it was his intent to soak it longer (long soak = better cleaning…logical?).

When I happened to check it in the afternoon, I noticed that the water had turned black with silver pools floating on top of it. I carefully lifted up the shower head from the bucket. Yuck! The chrome on the head had started to come off and was now floating around in the bucket. All the places where the chrome was eaten away was now covered in black spots. I rinsed off the shower head thinking that it might help. Nope. All of those patches of blackness became “raw” rough patches of metal.

As it turned out, I didn’t want to shower with a shower head that had rough metal  patches on it. I thought it would be a little dangerous for Princess to handle it. So I called Mr. MaD at work and asked him to buy a new one.

He quickly went to Home Depot on the way home to look at new shower heads. He came home with a Water Pik brand shower head that cost something like $50. Can you believe a shower head can cost so much?

That night when I took a shower I couldn’t believe how weak this shower head was. Where was my massage? That water was tickling my neck and shoulders. I’m used to having my shower “pounding” on my back! As soon as I got out of the shower, I interrogated Mr. MaD about his decision to get this shower head.

Me: Is this the same brand of shower head as the old one?

Mr. MaD: Yes, it’s a Water Pik too.

Me: This shower head is so weak! Is it one of this water saving shower heads?

Mr. MaD: Yes, it saves “blah..blah…blah”

Me: I don’t care how much water it saves! It’s the pits! You need to take out the filter or whatever is in there that’s making it so weak!

Mr. MaD: Okay.

Me: Was that the only shower head that they had?

Mr. MaD: They only had 2 different ones. That one cost almost $50.

Me: I can’t believe they only have 2 different ones. Okay, I’ll try it for one more night.

So the next night I tried it again. As it turned out, Mr. MaD could not remove anything in that shower head to make it stronger. I guess it’s just designed that way. After my shower, I complained again about how I couldn’t stand that shower head. Part of my argument about saving water was that although it uses less water, I have to take a longer shower just to shampoo and condition my hair. The shower was so weak that it took longer to rinse out the shampoo and conditioner. It was frustrating. The same thing happened when I had to wash Princess’s hair. Ugh

I asked Mr. MaD if he could return the shower head. He asked me to call Home Depot to find out what the return policy was like. I did. They said we could return the shower head if we had the receipt and the original packaging. We did! Hooray! Before Mr. MaD went to Home Depot, I checked on their website to see what kind of options they had available. I quickly found a less expensive shower head (less than $50) that had 6 settings and was not a water-saving model. I told him to look for something like that.

He returned later that night with a new shower head in tow. It was a 6 setting model without the water-saving feature. And it cost less than the first one he purchased. We were both happy. I had a new stronger shower head and he spent less money.

Have I mentioned this before…”Happy wife, happy life”

My shower…my refuge. 🙂

 

Parents Need a Playgroup Rulebook September 10, 2009

I am sure that I’m not the only mother out there who has experienced “inappropriate” behavior of children and parents while in a playgroup or class.

Some might say I’m overprotective (that’s already confirmed), others may say that it’s because I’m a middleaged mother (not as laid back).

Whatever the reason, I still believe there should be a rulebook for parents and children at every playgroup and class. Maybe it should be given to every parent as soon as they give birth to their child. Then again, you would think that most things are common sense.

So why all the ranting?

Earlier this week, Baby and I were at her music and movement class. The class happened to be blowing bubbles to music. She was standing right in front of me and attempting to blow bubbles. A few seconds into it, a little boy comes right up to us and snatches her bubble wand right out of her hand. Baby was really good about it. She didn’t fuss or cry. I, on the other hand, was a little peeved about it since his mother was sitting on the side chatting with another mother while this happened. I gently removed the bubble wand out of his hand and said, “I’m sorry, she’s using that bubble wand.” Then his mother walks up and tells him, “Don’t take other people’s things. Use your own.” Nice try, mom, but a little too late!

I don’t really want to be the one to “correct” other people’s children. I think their own parents should do it.

In another class that Baby is attending there’s a little girl who constantly pushes other children. She’ll nudge her way in between a child and a toy then push the child away. Last week, Baby happened to be playing by a rocking toy. She was rocking it back and forth with her hands rather than sit on it. The little girl came up to Baby and pushed her hand off the toy. Baby just stared at her. At first I stood by and watched to see what would happen. Then the little girl did it again. This time she did it harder! So I went up to her and said, “Sorry, but she’s playing with it right now.” So, what was her mother doing? Nothing! She was standing right there watching the whole thing and letting her daughter push my daughter, TWICE! What’s wrong with that picture?

Okay, it’s not only the child’s behavior but the parent’s behavior (or lack of) that is so bewildering.  It even happens with grandparents.

At the same music and movement class, Baby was getting ready to put away her bubble blower when the teacher started collecting them. She went up to give it back but the teacher walked away in the opposite direction so Baby came back to me. I told her to wait patiently and go back up. Just then a grandmother comes right up to us and grabs the bubble blower out of Baby’s hand. She didn’t say a word…she just grabbed it. I quickly grabbed her arm and nicely said, “Oh, she can put it away by herself.” So she smiled and gave it back to Baby. OH MY GOSH! All the other children are putting the bubble blowers away by themselves. Why would she grab Baby’s and do it for her? She has her OWN grandchild to worry about, why does she need to worry about my child? I know that some of you are thinking that she was just trying to help. If that’s the case, why didn’t see ask first?

Another time in a class, the teacher happened to be reading a story to the children and using the flannel board. She gave all the children an animal to put up on the flannel board when their animal came up in the story. During the story, a little girl went up to a couple of the children and took the animals right out of their hands. They never had a turn to go up to the board because the little girl wanted to do it for them! Her mother didn’t stand up to stop her. She did tell her not to do it and even told her to give it back to the other children. Did she listen? NO! That’s it…nothing else from the mother.

 As a parent, I try very hard to be considerate of other children and parents. Usually, I don’t touch any child without asking first. Once when we were playing with the parachute a little boy was sitting in a dangerous place, so before I moved him I asked his mom is she wanted me to move him. She gave me permission to do so. Or if Baby happens to want to play with something that someone else is already using, I tell her that she needs to find something else to use until it’s her turn. She has been really good about not taking things away from other children, except her sister.

So, I’m proposing a universal rule book for every child and parent. Well, maybe it should just be for parents.

Let’s start with…

Rule #1 – Please oversee your child at all times! (Don’t sit on the side chatting with our friend while your child steals something from someone else!)

Rule #2 – Please discipline your child when he/she uses inappropriate physical behavior, like pushing and shoving!

Rule #3 – Assist another child (that’s not your own relative) if you’re asked to assist or given permission, unless safety is an issue.

How’s that for starters? I could go on and on with more examples and rules.

What about you? What would you add to the Rulebook?

 

MYOB! September 3, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,discipline,family,middleaged,moms,sisters,Uncategorized — middleagedmom @ 11:30 pm
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If you’re a parent, then you’ve probably experienced a child crying or screaming in a public place. It really doesn’t matter whether the child is crying because he/she is having a tantrum, tired, or just fell and scraped a knee. As a parent, you ALWAYS feel self-conscious and sometimes embarrassed.  Partly because you know that people around you are staring at you and your child.

So, what does a parent do?

I have to say that I’ve experienced this more than once. A lot of my stress during these crying episodes in public really have to do with where we are. If we are somewhere that’s quite loud or filled with lots of children, then I’m not usually as stressed about it. I’ll usually let my child cry and fuss until they settle down. It usually doesn’t last too long.

If we happen to be in a place that is quiet, then my stress level flies off the charts. Once when we were at Barnes and Noble, Baby decided that she wanted to climb and play on the “stage’ area in the Children’s section. She was actually copying her sister. The difference? When I asked Princess to stop playing , she did. When I asked Baby to stop playing, she had a little tantrum. She first started fussing and then it turned to full on crying. She refused to move away from the “stage” area so I told Mr. MaD to get her off. When he did, she decided that she should squirm around and flail her arms and legs. She did this all while still crying. I finally told Mr. MaD to take her outside until she settles down.

Now if this had happened in an airplane, I don’t know what I would do. You can’t really escape to anywhere else. Sometimes, it’s just plain inconvenient to pick up and leave. If I were in line at a grocery store and the next person to pay, I probably wouldn’t leave. I’d probably let her cry. Then I’d try to talk to her to calm her down or I’d try to distract her.

I think as parents we have a responsibility to respect other people’s feelings and personal space to a degree. If I had to take my child away from a situation/place because she is crying, I would never get anything done. Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but  you know what I mean.  I also believe that other people need to respect my personal space and my feelings. It’s easy for strangers to judge a parent’s choices and a child’s behavior. It would be nice to see a little more compassion from other people.

So what would you do if you saw/heard a child crying in a public place?

Would you be like the man in Georgia who took matters into his own hands while shopping at Wal Mart? His philosophy of life doesn’t include the idea that one should mind their own business. He decided to first tell the mother that she should make her child be quiet. When that suggestion didn’t work, he went up to the little girl and slapped her in the face approximately 4 times. Unbelievable! He was arrested for cruelty toward a minor. His comment to the mother, “See I told you I would shut her up. “

 

Will the Real Belly Please Stand Up? August 28, 2009

Filed under: family,health,middleaged,moms,random thoughts,women — middleagedmom @ 10:22 am
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OMG! Have you seen the picture of the woman posing in her underwear with her real belly…pooch and all? It’s  was featured in an issue of  Glamour magazine. There’s been a lot of buzz about it.  Check it out here.

I just saw her this week on a morning talk show. She actually looks great! She is supposedly a size 12 (average in US). You know how they say that TV adds something like 10 pounds to you? Well, she doesn’t even look like it. She is 20 years old and has never had children.

Many women (and some men)  have been talking about how it’s great to see a “real” woman in a fashion magazine. Others (men and women) are complaining that she’s fat and doesn’t belong in a magazine.

One thing that I find strange about all of this is how many women are so judgmental of this 20 year old model and her body. I wish women would be more supportive of other women. Why can’t women celebrate other women? A lot of the women that don’t like her appearance are complaining about how she should exercise and eat better. They are comparing her to themselves. It reminds me of  the Mommy Wars, the “fight” against working moms and stay at home moms. Why? Why are women “fighting” with other women?

I think she looks great in her underwear and in her street clothes. Hooray to Glamour Magazine for having the courage to put her in the magazine in the first place. The editor of Glamour was also on the morning talk show and she said that the response to the article was amazing and mostly positive. She also claims that her magazine has been changed because of the article and the response.

Being a mom of 2 girls, I sure hope there are some changes, both in media and in women.

 

So I’m Overprotective August 12, 2009

Last night I was stressed out about Princess’s upcoming field trip (today).

Why?

I guess it’s because I’m an overprotective mother. No, it’s confirmed. I am overprotective. Mr. MaD confirmed it last night and today my cousin confirmed it when I talked to her about it.

Initially, I wasn’t going to allow Princess to go on this field trip. So we only decided last night to let her go after she mentioned that she wanted to go to school tomorrow and wear her school shirt. Her preschool class was going to see the Disney movie G-Force. It was partly a celebration since today would be the last day for one of her teacher’s aides. I wasn’t sure if it made sense to allow her to see this movie since it seemed to be geared for older children. I only saw part of the trailer and it’s about some guinea pigs who are secret agents. I didn’t think that Princess would understand the plot of the story so I didn’t really want to shell out the $8 for the movie.  Just to be sure I showed Princess the movie trailer and she said she wanted to see the movie.

Another reason why I didn’t want her to attend was because she is still potty training and she is deathly afraid of “grown-up” toilets. At home, she uses a potty training seat. Just last week she rushed to sit on the toilet and she fell right in! Yes, her bottom was soaking wet. She had a look of horror on her face that I will not forget.

Also, we (the parents) were instructed to pack a brown bag lunch that could be disposed of when done. Okay so maybe I’m a little paranoid about food poisoning, but I didn’t really want to pack a lunch without an ice pack. After reading some safe food packing tips for bento on Lunch in a Box, I was more concerned. I knew I wouldn’t really be able to pack a bento since I didn’t really have any disposable “bento” containers and I didn’t really have any appropriate leftovers. So what did I do? I packed her lunch in zip top bags and a plastic grocery bag then I put it in a cooler with an ice pack. I told Mr. MaD to tell the teacher to take her lunch out of the ice chest before they leave for the field trip.

I even decided to send Mr. MaD to school with a list of concerns (2) and a list of questions about the field trip (2).

At that point, Mr. MaD confirmed that I was overprotective. He said that I need to let her go and I need to relax. Relax? How can I relax when it comes to my daughter…my first baby, my Princess?!

After all the hype about the field trip, Mr. MaD called me this morning to tell me that the field trip had to be cancelled because of the weather. Whew, for now!  He told me that the field trip was rescheduled for next week.

I wonder if I can attribute my overprotectiveness to being middleaged? Good excuse, huh?

Overprotective Mothers Anonymous here I come!