How I'm Coping With My Toddler Weaning Himself Off Of Naps

It's hard to believe Dean will be two years old in March. My little baby is no longer a baby but a full-blown little man who runs around all day, playing, dancing, talking, and has even started to sing a little bit. He has a strong will of what he wants to do, when he's going to do it, who he's going to do it with, and where it is going to happen. Is that common for toddlers?

My parents often talk about how "busy" he is. He is always doing something. If he's not playing trucks, he's playing trains, blocks, ball, sweeping, vacuuming, reading books, telling stories to his stuffed animals, running around, eating, or any number of other things... that are not sleeping. Over the last few months he has weaned himself almost completely off naps. For some reason I pictured him napping once a day for another year or so. I'm not quite ready for this change.

Nap time was the time I set aside for myself to work out and catch up on a few things that were easiest to do when Dean isn't around. For the last year I was able to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd two to three times a week. I'm not trying to get shredded, no no no, but I want to build a bit of muscle and loose that stubborn tummy of mine. Now that Dean has stopped napping I'm finding it hard to work that 20 minutes elsewhere into my day. I would do it while he's awake but his love for playing with weights is not helpful to my workout routine.

Luckily the lack of naps don't effect him much. He's not often cranky. I think it's because he gets about 10-12 hours of sleep a night. (The last few nights it's been 14 hours, which leads me to think there's a growth spurt in the future.) There is a point everyday in the afternoon where he does slow down and he'll zone out watching an episode of Thomas the Train or Daniel Tiger, and then he's back up and running again. I figure as long as he doesn't get nasty there's no need to have him nap. That being said, I've now lost the time I used for certain things.

The day I took these pictures we went to two parks in hopes I could wear him out enough to take a nap. We left the second park more energized than when we arrived, I'm sure of it! I was so bummed that day because I had put off a few things that week and was just waiting for him to nap so I could get them done. That day I learned I can't rely on nap time any more and I need to start figuring out a way to get stuff done (especially working out). Laundry, which is difficult because he is the Destroyer of Piles, I now either pile up on the bed and do it before bed with Aaron's help, or I'll put the baby gate up in the hallway and sit on the floor on one side and do it while he's playing toys on the other. Crafting I push back until he's in bed for the night.

Over the last few weeks I've been showing signs of Postpartum Distress, which are making this transition more difficult than I'd like. Things as simple as me showering, getting ready in the morning, and running errands are now incredibly stressful. My body deals with these high levels of anxiety by detaching myself from the situation and slowing me down, almost paralyzing me. Aaron and I are working together to get me through this, and his support has been wonderful. He helps me fold laundry or plays with Dean when he gets home from work so I can have "me" time or do whatever I needed to do without a toddler underfoot.

One good thing to come out of Dean's lack of naps is he wants to cuddle with me in the morning. He has never been a cuddler, but for some reason he wants to sit on my lap in the morning while he watches his morning episode of "Thomas and Friends" of "Daniel Tiger". I don't care how starving I am in the morning, I will sit there with him leaning against me as long as he sits there. Yesterday he even put his arm across my body while he was sitting with me. I teared up because he just doesn't do that. I guess I can handle getting less work done if that means I can cuddle with my baby. I gotta stop calling him my "baby". He's not a baby anymore. But he will forever be my baby so I can't help it.

Do you mama's have any advice or ideas on how to get things done with a little one running around. How do you keep them from getting into your work? What are your best tricks?

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