It was day 7. Seven whole days of no nap for the little guy. And not just no nap. What ensued every day was 1.5 hours of him exiting his room every 5 minutes and 34-week-pregnant me picking him up and waddling him back upstairs. It was a week of exhaustion (on all fronts), frustration, guilt, determination, indecision, and even a bit of comedy.

We had a problem.

I knew the ideal outcome was getting him to sleep again. Dropping the nap doesn’t feel right. He needs the sleep and I need the quiet time to work or rest.

As I reflected back on the week, I realized we actually followed a pretty standard framework that I use to address any problem. I did forget one crucial first step that I talked about a few weeks ago. I forgot to BELIEVE that things would work out.

Here’s what we actually did -

Determined an ideal outcome: Bennet gets back to his napping routine.

Evaluated and eliminated some obvious choices: We decided against locking him in his room.

Did some preliminary research: Learned that these nap strikes can occur and it’s best not to make any major changes until 2 solid weeks of no nap.

Tried a few small experiments: Shifting nap earlier/later, getting enough to eat at lunch, Tylenol for molar teething, being firm, being gentle.

Considered how to mitigate the development: If the naps were really done how was the schedule going to adjust? Extra childcare? Allowing a quiet activity downstairs? Shifting my afternoon work to include lighter admin stuff that could handle many interruptions?

Realized I need to let go my attachment to the nap outcome and perceived control over the situation and BELIEVE that things would work out: On Monday, I decided to drop my need for control, increase my belief, and give it up to the higher powers. I allowed myself to truly believe that the nap would happen. I stopped the internal chatter in my mind about what I could do to make it happen and just believed that it would.

And on Monday, we got a 2-hour nap!

When I really thought about it, this “process” is something I go through with any challenge that pops up. I need to remember to stay positive in the beginning. Believe that things will work out. When life shows me that my ideal outcome isn’t happening then I can start with what I can control - getting clear on what I desire, experimenting, learning - and then ultimately trusting that everything will work itself out and releasing my control and attachment to the outcome.

You can try this “process” with anything - tough work, lost clients, pregnancy symptoms impacting your day, kid’s developments, illness, pet emergency, car trouble - you name it. It’s often a dance, an art between the scientific method and the belief that all will be well.

What do you do when something stops working? Do you have a process?