Give yourself a break: Cat & Nat tackle Mom Guilt

If you guys don’t know who Cat & Nat are, you’re missing out. In this #momtruths video, they tackle mom guilt, and it’s awesome. I was away two nights this week – taking a program on Teaching and Training Adults, as part of my professional/personal development, and I actually felt bad for being excited for alone time!

Since EJ still does not sleep through the night, let alone sleep through the night in his own bed, I was super pumped to stay in a hotel and sleep solo. Then, for a second, I felt guilty about it. Until, I didn’t even sleep through the night on my own and hubby told me the kiddo went to bed WITHOUT A FUSS, and slept through the night in his own bed (on one of the two nights)! What in the actual F…!?! 

I got home last night and, of course, had to make the most of my time with EJ. We played with monster trucks, we did yoga together, we played with blocks, and had a water fight at bath time. We kicked of the usual bedtime routine, with cuddles and stories, brushing teeth and then there was a major kerfuffle when I tried to tuck him in. Of course.

Hubby confidently took over, despite tears and protests, and I felt terrible because I had been away and I should be the one to put him to bed. However, bedtime would have been drawn out for two hours otherwise and we all would have been miserable.

And so, I gave myself a break from the mom guilt. You should too.

Parents “waste” a load of time putting kids to sleep

Huffington Post published an article about the amount of time parents “waste” on bedtime routines yesterday. It’s super timely for us, considering our recent struggles.

While it’s timely, the results of the study they cited, which was done by toothbrush company Firefly, are not surprising at all.

Apparently, “moms and dads spend an average of 140 hours a year trying to get their child to sleep, which works out to nearly 18 full workdays.” That is a significant amount of time out of your year. For older children, yes, this sounds pretty accurate. For younger ones and toddlers with sleep issues, I’m sure it’s much higher.

If I do the math correctly, hubs and I have probably spent 100+ hours trying to get E to bed just since the beginning of June!

‘Sleep training: Round 1000’ started last night and was executed entirely by A, while I locked myself away with headphones on, as I am no match for my child’s tortured wails.

What does your child’s bedtime routine look like? And how long does it usually take?




A fave product: phil&teds Traveller crib

This crib is incredible. I bought it over a year and a half ago and EJ has used it, whenever we’re away for a night or more, since he was seven months old.

It was more than I wanted to spend on a travel cot, especially when I was on maternity leave and counting our pennies, but I’m so glad I invested in it. The portacot has been to Panama, Alberta (Red Deer and Banff), all over Ontario, and more recently to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Dominican Republic. Read about those adventures here.

The crib is so lightwight, packs into a handy carrying case that you can throw over your shoulder, and travels really well. It’s been on several flights, where I’m sure it was thrown around with heavier bags and I haven’t noticed a single dent or nik in any of the frame or legs.

Putting it together is a breeze, once you figure it out. It’s finicky to attach the mattress to the mesh sides (I wish the hooks were locking caribeners instead of plastic C hooks), but other than that, it’s quick to set up.

One side completely unzips, for easy access. This is an especially great feature for us when we’re using our trailer (a vintage Bonair tent trailer). We typically set the crib up on the second mattress, beside our kitchen table, which is raised and has a low “ceiling” and so we can’t lift EJ out over the top. Instead, when we’re putting him down (if he’s fallen asleep on a walk), we can just unzip the side and lay him down easily. Similarly when he wakes up in the morning, we simply unzip and he crawls out himself, which he loves!

The mattress is essentially a self-inflating camping mattress. I recently discovered that it’s quicker if you just blow into the nozzle a bit so it inflates faster, but either way, it provides the perfect amount of cushion.

If we’re somewhere that only has hardwood or tile floors, I typically put an extra blanket underneath, just for some extra cushion and warmth. Although, it’s not at all necessary – maybe I’m just spoiling EJ.

Who knew one could have so much to say about a crib!

Do you have a favourite travel crib?




The velcro baby’s sleep struggles continue

bedtime-aint-nobody-got-time-for-thatIt’s been a month since I first shared the post about EJ’s sleep regression. Life’s been busy – it’s summer, we’re jamming our weekends and vacation days full of fun. I wish I could say sleeping in has been part of that, but alas, our sleep struggles continue. Along with that, it seems the “terrible twos” have come out in full force.

EJ continues to fight sleep at bedtime, despite following the usual routine. With multiple nighttime wakings every other day, hubby or I have taken to sleeping on a cot in his room just so we can quickly calm him back into repose and get some shuteye ourselves.

At bedtime last night, similar to a few weeks ago, A carted our screaming, tantrum-throwing boy to his room so I could escape to the gym. EJ wailed “Mama eer (here)” for a few minutes before hubby started to counter his wails with, “Dada here!” in funny voices. Soon enough, EJ was saying, “Dada eer” and calmed down enough to lay in his bed and go to sleep on his own. He slept from 8:15 to 6:15 last night and didn’t wake once.

I feel like a new woman today. One night, though, does not mean we’re in the clear.

Tomorrow night, EJ, my mom and I are hopping on a red-eye out to New Brunswick and then heading to Prince Edward Island for the week. So, yet again, I’m going to throw his whole schedule off and he’s going to get used to being with me 24/7. We’ll see how he sleeps while we’re away, but returning to reality after this vacation isn’t going to help his separation anxiety at all.

Hopefully we’ll get through the airports and flights with a limited number of tantrums. Anyone have advice for holding onto (or wrestling) a 30-pound toddler on your lap while in flight?

Sleep or no sleep, tantrums or not, I’m looking forward to adventuring and a little time away with my boy.