i'm in a total funk

ugh. that's basically how i feel. can't explain it totally but i am not at 100% right now. far from it, in fact.

i know that part of the anxiety is coming from my ill grandfather. he's 91 and on his last leg. the last time i saw him was two years ago (he lives in japan) and he was fairly healthy then. i loved seeing him interact with ian and i want that for maya too. she may not remember him but, at the very least, i want them to meet.

my parents have offered to send me and maya to japan in early may. normally, going to japan is my favorite thing to do. however, i am having extreme anxiety about travelling with maya. there is no way a 12 hour flight is going to be pleasant with her. ian is a great traveller, but i don't see that with maya. she can't stand a 10-minute drive to her grandparents' house!

i'm trying to plan this trip but every time she fusses, insists on walking around, doesn't sleep, or screams in my ear, the only thing i can imagine is her doing that on the plane. and it makes my heart beat faster and my breathing shallower. i told rupert how i dreaded this trip, almost to the point of not wanting to go. his response was that he would be terrified if he were in my shoes. gee, thanks for the support and reassurance.

the other night was particularly bad. during her midnight feedings my mind was bombarded with all the negative feelings about this trip. as dawn approached and i was able to get in my last two hours of sleep i dreamt that i arrived in japan to visit my grandfather. but before we could head to the hospital my mom received a call that he had died. i was grief-stricken and extremely upset. why hadn't i come sooner? i was full of regret. when i woke up, i realized that it was a sign that no matter how horrible the flight may be to japan with maya, there is no way i cannot go. i have to do this.

but that doesn't diminish the amount of anxiety i have. not only does being on a plane with a difficult child give me the heebie-jeebies, but i can't find a reasonably priced flight, i don't know who's going to take ian to school and pick him up while i'm gone, i have to plan the school book fair before i leave, etc. etc.

but besides the trip, maya's lack of sleep is annoying me to no end. babies her age should get between 12 and 15 hours of sleep. on an especially good day she'll get a little more than 12 hours. normally, she gets about 10 or 11. my pediatrician didn't seem particularly concerned about this, but i can tell that maya could probably use a wee bit more sleep. she's not a particularly content child when she's awake (contrary to popular belief), and i think it's because she's overtired a lot of the time. when she's well-rested she's actually a very fun, adorable baby.

i'm currently reading healthy sleep habits, happy child by dr. marc weissbluth because it was recommended to me by a few people. i haven't yet formed a concrete opinion about this book. so far, some of what he's said makes sense. if what he says is true maya is overtired most of the time because we don't put her to bed early enough, and now she's in the bad habit of wanting to stay up late even though she's tired. the book stresses the importance of regular naps two or three times a day. even before the book we were getting to a somewhat normal napping schedule, but weissbluth doesn't count anything less than 30 minutes as a real nap. in that case, there are days when maya doesn't technically nap at all.

the book says to never wake a sleeping baby. but how realistic is that if you have a real life?! this is virtually impossible for me because maya is often in the middle of a nap when i have to either take ian to school or pick him up. i can't leave her at home so i end up having to wake her up, which often puts her in a not-so-pleasant mood. i can't change when ian goes to school and i'm finding it very hard to change when maya is ready for a nap.

i have to finish the book and see what i can do to establish healthy sleep habits. i have to do this soon because i'm not sure i'm going to last much longer. part of this funk i'm in is due to being tired all the time. and i know rupert is getting tired too. i don't know how other moms do it; i know a mom with three kids (the two youngest are like a year apart) and the 8-month old still doesn't sleep through the night. i have no idea how she continues to function!

and to make matters worse, i find myself starting to lay blame on rupert for a lot of things, which is unfair. i don't know if he gets the vibe, but i feel hostile towards him sometimes. i'm trying really hard not to let it come out, but there are times when i can't suppress a nasty comment. rupert has learned to ignore these, but i don't know if it makes him mad. in many ways we're both passive aggressive and although i'm more apt to verbalize my discontent, rupert often keeps mum. my feelings are all a-jumble so, frankly, i'm really frustrated with everything and on the verge of tears today.

i'm just afraid that since we're both tired we're more irritable and therefore more prone to taking it out on each other when we should be working together. so, rupert, if you're reading this, we need to talk.


hobokener said...

Hey Yukari,
Sounds like things aren't at their best right now. Good luck with everything.
1) JSC actually slept very well on her flights - the environment with all the vibrations and white noise, is actually pretty nice. Agree that a 12 hour flight won't be paradise, but it might not be that bad.
2) Laura has semi-obsessively read everything on sleep, and she's not at all a fan of Weisbluth, so just a watch out (as with any kids book, we've found) that that's just one point of view!
3) best of luck with everything!

Steliza said...


I am sorry to hear about your Grandfather and know how that news would put you in a funk. You made me happy though, and while I am fighting a funk of mine own, by getting your message and a link to your blog. I am so excited to hopefully stay in better touch with you now and I feel really smart because I am using the same blog provider as you (because you are not only cute but smart too!).

Maya is a total sweetie and so happy to get to see more pictures of her now and to see what a handsome big boy Ian is now too.

Thank you for brightening a dull day for me and hope a hug sent your way, will send a bit of sunshine your way too!


New Teach said...

To add to hobokener's comment, i have 2 new tricks for combining naps and getting JSC out of the house:

1) Sometimes I just put her down to nap in her carseat/stroller, so when I have to leave I can just roll her out the door without waking her.

2) Often even when she won't sleep in her crib she will sleep in a carrier (I have a Mei Tai and I'm getting an Ergo), which means I can be out and about with her. (It also means I can't put her down, but that's another story.)

BTW, the couple of times when JSC did cry on the flights, it wasn't a big deal -- people were very nice about it. What are they going to do, kick you off the plane?

Good luck!

yucaree said...

thanks to everyone who has lent me their support! especially allison who called me yesterday to offer some advice and lend an ear.

i am definitely thinking too hard and too negatively about everything. sure, it might be bad *right now*, but i have to remember that this too shall pass. i was almost to the point where i was forgetting to enjoy my child, and that's not the path i want to take.

so thank you for bringing me back from a bad place, allowing me to vent, and offering up sage advice!

grudge girl said...

Oh my gosh. This sounds so familiar to me. Andy swears that he was afraid for my sanity for the first year and a 1/2 of Simon's life, and it's because I never got any sleep. He was up every hour and a half. You know, it does get better. I can say that from rather recent experience. Sometimes children go through off times when they're having growth spurts, so that may be part of it. I know it's rough to work naps in your busy day. I was able to get Simon and Charlotte both onto a 10 am and 2 p.m. nap cycle that worked around our schedule, and they were able to get about an hour for each one. Now Charlotte will sometimes sleep for 2 1/2 hours at a stretch, on days when I don't have to get her into the car for carpool duty! I think Maya's sleep schedule will resolve itself naturally. I agree with your ped. that 10-11 hours may be right for her. People are different sleepers, you know? As far as the travel issue, we flew with Charlotte to Florida last year when she was 9 months old, and I was scared to death because she was such a busy baby and such a screamer. Two words: Ben Adryl. No seriously. Babies get weirded out by the pressure in their ears, and benadryl helps with that. Also, have them sucking on a bottle during takeoff and landing because that helps with pressure as well. I know Florida and Japan don't exactly compare, but I did a lot of online research ahead of time to get hints and suggestions of stuff to do for babies on long flights. There's some good info out there if you've got time to weed through it. Oh, and also? Bring a big old bag of brand new toys she's never seen before, and open them up at strategic intervals throughout the flight. That worked well too. I am thrilled that you're going to go! I totally understand your anxiety, and your funk, but I think you'd absolutely regret it if you didn't go. That's the bottom line. Even IF it's a nightmare scenario on the plane, it will STILL be worth it.

Hang in there, know that you'll have good days and bad days (3 cheers for Rupert for overlooking your snappy moments!), and that in about a year, you'll be dealing with a whole other set of fun issues and all of this will seem but a distant memory. Hee!