So...Perhaps Jacob was just sleep deprived. I don't want to come out and say that he's better, because every night is a new adventure around here these days. However, he did pretty much sleep through last night with just a little fussing (not enough for me to wake up--Craig checked on him briefly on the way back from the bathroom, though). Much better than the previous couple nights where I was up feeding in the middle of the night for the first time in a long time. Ugh. Jacob's napping wasn't going well for most of the week. Hardly anything on Monday with my parents other than when my mom took him for a walk, and just an hour yesterday before majorly crashing for most of the evening. I did some research and figured out that there was a chance that he just wasn't getting enough sleep in general, which was making him overtired and therefore extra cranky at night. I decided that I needed to make an effort to get him to bed earlier than I had been (usually around 10, depending on his feeding schedule). Early on he'd go to bed between 11 and 12, but back then the days just ran into each other...every three hours, day or night. Slowly but surely it's gotten earlier, usually with me aiming to get him eating his last meal by no later than 9:30. That didn't always work, but most of the time that's just how it worked out based on his schedule after day care. I knew that kids generally go to bed earlier than that, but figured it came later. I figured at this point he was mostly flexible within our schedule. But with how cranky he'd been with napping and going to bed lately, the sleep-deprived crankiness theory seemed plausible.
The problem? Well, here's my issue right now. Every day Jacob wakes up somewhere between 6:00 and 7:30. Sometimes I have to wake him up, but not often. He gets a half hour of feeding time, and other than that, there really isn't a lot of quality time. I try to play with him a little when I'm dressing him, or to interact with him if he ends up in his swing or vibrating chair while I'm finishing getting ready. Lately I take him in to Craig (who's still in bed) while I do any finishing touches. As it is I wake up at 6:15, get out of bed by 6:30, and need to be out the door by 8:30. There just isn't a lot of time to just have fun with him, and I really can't get up any earlier. At the end of the day, either Craig or I pick him up by 6:00. Often the non-picker-upper isn't home until 6:30 or 7. If he's awake at that point we can usually squeeze some playtime out of him before dinner, but between feedings and naps and cooking dinner and any other evening tasks that need to be done (dishes, bill paying, shopping, etc.), again the playtime is limited. Add a couple feedings in there and there's even less.
So...the point to all of this is that there wasn't a lot of good bonding time with Jacob before, and now, with an effort to get him to bed earlier before he melts down, there's even less. It bothered me enough before that the people at daycare see my baby more than I do, but this just made that even more obvious. I'll admit that I was a little nervous today when I came in to pick him up and he just kept staring at Ms. Angela and wouldn't turn to me even when I tried talking to him. Did he like her more than he likes me? He was good with me after we left, but still. That sort of thing messes with your mind. A handful of hours each day just doesn't seem like enough. I feel really bad about that. However, what can I do? I can't give up my job, and neither can Craig. On top of liking what we do, we can't afford to give up either salary, even if you take out the daycare cost we'd save. My dream has always been to go part time, but that's still a ways away, if ever. Not only is that probably not possible for my position, but money-wise I still think it would be a little too tight. It's a bummer.
If going to bed early gets Jacob sleeping better overall, we'll both be happier in the time we do have together...so that's good. But I can't deny that it kills me that I don't have more time to spend with him. He's so amazing and totally makes me laugh, and even giving up one more hour of that is tough. We'll see how it goes, though...