Day one of nap training has begun and so far Mom and Pursy are both crying. Grant and I have succeeded in doing what we swore we would never do to our child- we spoiled her. And by "we" I mean me. There were countless days in her first three months of life where Grant would call me from work and I would proudly say that I got her down for a nap- to which he would ask (with vain hope in his voice)- "in her crib?". Almost always my response would be some version of "I want to hold her, she is too little for the crib, she was fussy today, we can put her down to nap in her crib when she is older, etc." I loved holding her- and the sweet moments when she was sound asleep in my arms and totally accessible for me to kiss her face were too precious to give up. Thus, I taught my daughter to sleep only in my arms.
Now, let's be honest. It makes me feel fantastic that I am the only one that can easily put her to sleep, calm her down, soothe her. It makes me feel needed and irreplaceable. It also makes my sweet husband's life miserable on the evenings when I am at work. He called me last night because Pursy had been crying for almost two hours and he could not put her down -she was instantly crying the moment he did. I realized then that I had done both my daughter and Grant a huge disservice. He needed to be able to take care of her on his own and even though his loving arms are a close second- they will never be my boobs. Mommies have the secret weapon.
So I went to a friend of mine whose relationship with her children I admire and who I knew wasn't crazy for one method or another of child raising. She told me that it was time for Nap Training. She also said (and this is one of the reasons that I love her) that I needed to ask myself if I minded holding her while she slept. She said that if I was willing to park myself for 3-4 hours a day while Pursy napped then there really was no problem and I could keep up with my current style. I thought about this- as initially it seemed like a perfect solution. I didn't have to change anything, Pursy could get her naps and I was still Mom of the Year.
The problem with this is that I want those few hours during the day to myself. I want to make candles again and I want to work on the scrapbook for 2010 and I want to weed my garden and I want to continue being the person I was before I also became a Mom. I want to offer that to Purslane because I liked who I was. Not that I don't love being a Mom all the time, but there is more to me then that and I want to keep that going. I also want to offer her a stable home and a vibrant,loving relationship to model- so Grant and I will leave her with a babysitter while we go out on dates, we will keep our bedroom to ourselves, and we will always kiss in front of her.
But for today, she is crying in her crib and I am crying in the office. Jan said it would take only a few days to start a new habit and I am desperately clinging to the hope that on Monday afternoon I will put a content baby in her crib and she will take a brilliant nap- while I go work on the scrapbook.