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Posts Tagged ‘naps’

There is a great article that came out a while back the CTFD Parenting Method.  CTFD stands for Calm The F**k Down and it is simple advice that I need to take to heart.  In my quest to be the best stay at home dad I can be I have become too uptight in these areas and need to CTFD.

1.  Noise: Loud or sudden noises sometimes freak O out including sneezes and loud coughing or throat clearing.  I often hold in my sneezes or cough into a pillow as a result.  I need to CTFD and remember that I am capable of calming him down when he is upset and that he has to get used to loud noises sooner rather than later.

2.  Naps: My son’s nap time is my downtime/time to get stuff done and as such I want him to get a good nap in every day.  That being said, I stress way too much about when and under what circumstances he goes down.  I need to CTFD and realize that when he doesn’t go down right away for his nap it just means that we can go play more or do something else.  Experience tells me that he’ll just pass out in the middle of whatever we’re doing so why stress about it?

3.  Preparation: I have a pretty elaborate routine for when I exit the apartment with O.  It includes many things like adjusting windows/shades and getting together an elaborate collection of baby related equipment that would probably allow little man and I to survive for a month in a fallout shelter .  I need to CTFD and learn that all I really need when I go out into the world every day is a smile and the cutest baby ever.  And diaper, lots of diapers…

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I have been doing much of my writing these last few weeks late at night after my wife and son have gone to bed.  You would think that being a stay at home dad and getting up with the little guy would mean going to bed early but that has not been the case.  Instead my natural night owl tendencies have been strengthened because  late at night is the only time I can write in peace.  There is nothing that can derail my train of thought and I can focus on what I want to say.  He is much more consistent with his sleep at night than during the day so I don’t feel the “Holy crap he could wake up any moment so I have to get stuff done” pressure and I am much more relaxed and focused on my writing.  I have also rediscovered the joy of playing my favorite classic computer games like “Wing Commander” and “SimCity.”  I don’t get as much sleep but I can sometimes recover the lost sleep during the day.  On days like this I sleep during his morning nap which is varies these days so there are no guarantees that it will help much.  I then have less time to get my daily tasks done so I have to hustle to get all of the housework and dinner prep done during his afternoon nap which can be as short as 1.5 hours.  It’s not a perfect way to address my need for time to blog and unwind but it’s better than the alternatives.

One of the alternatives to staying up late is to blog during his naps.  I put a lot of time and thought into my posts so it is not uncommon for a single post to reflect 3 or more hours worth of writing, editing, link creation, picture selection and research.  Sometimes I have tons of time on my hands because O decides to take longer naps but lately he hasn’t been doing that.  Between dishes, cleaning and making dinner that usable nap time disappears pretty quick most days.  So I might be left with an hour or two to blog on any given day.  Doable, but it takes me much longer than that to produce a post of any length or depth.  I also have a hard time finishing a post from a partially written draft so I end up taking longer per post and producing lower quality content.  I could write quicker but I do not want to churn out a bunch of short crappy posts written quickly while I stress over how much else I have to do that day and worry when my son is going to wake up from his nap.  I did this the first couple of months after I started this blog and did not like it.

Another alternative would be to write after we eat family dinner each night.  This would address my need for uninterrupted writing time but it creates other problems. The evening is when my wife and I can talk and spend waking time together.  It’s also the only time during the work week when we can all hang out together as a family.  It would be easy to use my computer in the other room for hours on end and write but I would miss out on connecting with my wife and son everyday and that would not be worth it.

The final alternative would be to do all my blogging on the weekends.  There’s plenty of time on the weekends right?  I could write multiple posts and schedule them to drop throughout the week!  My wife could take O when I need to blog and we would still have time left as a family.  Wrong again!  Both of our families and many of our closest friends are roughly 3 hours away so we are often out and about visiting them.  Don’t forget big projects and events like road races, spring cleaning, volunteer commitments, etc.  These types of things generally take away 2 weekends a month once you consider the time commitment involved.  Still think the weekends are a good option?

And so we come back to late night blogging.  I sacrifice some sleep so that I can get posts written and play computer games to blow off steam and unwind.  Is it a perfect solution? Certainly not but I will take the occasional day making due with spaceyness and a short nap during the day over the alternatives.  Which would you choose?

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