Right now, one of my greatest struggles (besides not eating the cheese from Will's plate when I fix him a meal) as a parent is trying find a balance between what is best for Will and what is best for Emma. . . and, okay, I'll admit it, what is best for me.
I am just going to say it: I hate staying home everyday. A day here or there with no scheduled outside activities is fine. But I am not good at being home, day after day, after day, after day, after you get the point.
Now that Emma is (knock on wood) on some sort of daytime sleep schedule, I want to honor that. But if she sleeps from 9:30 - 11:30 and then needs to go back down at 1:30 and Will also needs to go down around that time, it leaves us precious little time for getting out of the house. Most activities seem to start earlier which means either drastically shortening or skipping her morning nap altogether.
So I am stuck between getting Emma the rest she needs and getting Will (and me) the stimulation that we need. Most mornings, Emma loses that battle. I find that she can grab a 20 minute catnap on our way some place and then stay reasonably sane during our morning outing, only to grab another 20 minute catnap on our way home. The payoff is that she takes a nice, long afternoon nap.
But it kind of makes me feel guilty. I oftentimes feel as if Emma gets the short end of the stick. Will's needs are usually easier to both decipher and tend to (he needs a drink of water or for me to take off his socks), so that I can then take more time figuring out what Emma needs, so I usually make her wait for the few minutes that it takes to meet his needs. While I feel as if Emma is still very loved and cared for, I am still aware of the fact that she is getting less of my time, attention, and outright adoration than Will did at this point. So, it makes me feel as if I "owe" her a bit as far as protecting her sleep.
I am fortunate in that she doesn't seem to be one of those babies can gets overtired and can't sleep (Will was one of those), so that we can still get out in the morning and she will still take an afternoon nap. For now, I am trying to balance it in terms of staying home some days and getting out some days. But then it seems unbalanced per week. Like last week, we were home all week (Will and I were bored - Emma was rested) and then this week we are busy and gone a lot (Emma is rested - Will and I are getting more stimulation).