Monday, April 19, 2010

Single Mom-ing Begins

Terry is out of the country for the next 3 weeks, and I'm relaxing in the support network of friends and family. It's been interesting to see V. handling the change. For a week leading up to his departure, we let her know he was going to be gone for a while. I think this actually made her kind of anxious because, being not-yet-two, she doesn't have a very clear sense of time, so she wasn't sure when he was going to be going away. Once he actually left, she seemed a lot more settled, although Sunday morning she was certainly in a MOOD during the time when we normally hang out with Daddy, and he wasn't there - seemed sad and out of sorts.

The main place this anxiety (as I'm diagnosing it) showed up was, of course, her sleep. Terry's last 2 nights here were awful. She resisted bedtime for two hours +, then did her night-waking thing for 2+ more hours and slept in til late. But the first night he was gone, she went down more easily (just 1 hour) though she still did a 2.5-hour waking. The second night, last night, she actually slept straight through! I was ECSTATIC. Even though she woke up for the day at 5:30 a.m., I'd gladly take that anytime over being up with her from 2:00-4:30 a.m. or whatever ungodly hour she chooses.

It has also helped me to hear from her doctor that she's not being willful when she kicks her feet and slaps her hand against the mattress in the middle of the night; she's trying to soothe herself back to sleep and cope with her feelings of insecurity. So instead of getting mad at her I'm able to just be there with her and try to soothe her as well as I can. Rubbing her feet seems to help A LOT, and a friend who does reflexology suggested some pressure points that stimulate seratonin. We've also found that gently massaging her hands calms her down, and I've heard that this specifically helps alleviate negative emotions like anger and anxiety/stress.

Our one untoward event so far was Saturday night; she hadn't eaten much lunch and I think she was pretty hungry at dinnertime. I made some of her favorite foods - rice and beans with shredded cheese, and green beans. The problem was, she ate too fast and didn't stop to chew her green beans, which caused her to gag, which caused her to throw up a little, which then led to throwing up everything she'd eaten since her nap. :-( We got cleaned up though, with a minimum of fuss (I was very proud of myself for staying calm and containing the mess pretty well). After I got her into her clean jammies she ate a bowl of applesauce and some plain white rice with some milk, with no problems. Poor little thing.

Other than that it's been pretty smooth sailing. It's been cold but sunny out and she just loves running around in the yard, in the flower beds, in the neighbor's sandbox. It's great to see her so happy.


Heather said...

BigP is getting ready to leave for a month, so I'm definitely keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Rachel said...

I hope it continues to go well.

I really don't know how full time single moms do it, I enjoy having help from time to time.