Monday, August 11, 2008

Nap - or at least QUIET - time

If you've been a mother of young children, you know how important, even sacred, ALONE time is. I, for one, would probably go insane without even a short block of time during which I can do what I want to do without listening to one or more of the following: whining, nagging, pulling on my pantlegs, fighting, a big crash, or an extended period of silence after which I find one or both of my children involved in something I should have suspected (ie eating toothpaste, smearing lotion all over one another or creating somesort of artwork somewhere it shouldn't be). Things have been going fairly well over the past few months, at which point my two toddlers finally consolidated their napping schedule and gave me up to an hour of my own time each day. It's been HEAVENLY, especially since I'm pregnant and often need a nap myself. Unfortunately, however, my 3 year old has, over the past couple of weeks, given up naps. She's at the awkward stage where, if she does nap, she lies in bed awake until sometimes after I go to bed at night; but without a nap she gets cranky towards the end of the day and usually needs to go to bed early. I can't fault her for this - I've read that only 53% of 3 year olds and 27% of 4 year olds still nap - but what's a woman to do??? I've been trying to incorporate quiet time, a period of an hour during which she must 1) remain in her own bed and 2) keep quiet, but I am running out of books to keep her occupied. What sort of brilliant schemes have worked for you mothers out there?


Krista said...

I like Thomas and Friends DVD's. (There- I said it!) I might not win parent of the year, but for me, a little kid time in front of the tube is better than a frazzled, burned out mom who barks at everyone. Take it for what it's worth. And try not to judge. lol

Ma Fitz said...

GIANT bags filled with books from the library. A huge stack to go through every day, no resistance allowed. But, somehow I managed to have two out of the three nap right through Kindergarten, but it was brutal when one stopped napping around the age of 3. But, quiet time was the 11th commandment, and we Fitz's are committed to keeping all of them, so it worked! Good luck!

Queen Bee said...

Audio tapes! We've checked nearly all of them I think. It's hard to find ones that are great for younger kids. But sometimes I can get my 4 yr old to listen for 2 hours! hooray! Sometimes he still needs a nap too but most days it's quiet time. Lately he really likes 101 Dalmations. Good luck!

Jennie said...

I know what you're going through! Brynlee stopped taking her naps shortly after she turned 3. Since you can't technically "force" a child like Brynlee to fall asleep, I just gave her the option of either quiet time or nap time. Both choices gave me the same result, a break and maybe even a nap for myself.

We only have a 2bd apartment, so Rae would take naps in the pack n play in my bedroom and then Brynlee would have her quiet or nap time in her room at the same time. (at night, they both slept in their beds in their bedroom). This was the only way I could survive.

It would end up that even though Brynlee would tell me that she wanted quiet time, sometimes she ended up falling asleep right before Rae woke up from her nap, but I wanted to make sure to wake Brynlee up, otherwise if she slept too late in the afternoon, she wouldn't fall asleep that night until really late like 10 or 11PM!

On average, Brynlee would end up falling asleep 2 times a week for a nap, and now that she just turned 4, it's about 1-2 times per week.

I always laid down the on the couch during her quiet time and sometimes she was quiet enough for me to get a nap, and sometimes I just got a good "almost asleep" break.

I would have B in her room for 2 hours, only allowed to come out for potty. She had all her toys and books in her bedroom and that kept her entertained enough. The main thing was that because there was no longer a control issue about being "forced" to take a nap, then she just took one whenever she needed it. And on days when she REALLY needed it but didn't take one, then it was EARLY bedtime for her that night.

Being pregnant, I would say that naps are SO necessary! I don't know how I would've survived without them the last time I was pregnant. Hopefully you'll be able to get the rest you need.

Lately, Brynlee has been really good and has been wanting to cuddle with me during my nap time and always ends up falling asleep. But then, there's the trade off, nap for B and that means late bed, which isn't good either.

Thanks for your sweet comment on by blog. It's good to hear that someone thinks I've got it all together. Truth is, I just get by just like all mothers do! I also stay up late (sometimes 2AM) to finish my sewing projects, which I know wouldn't happen if I were preggo because I would go have to bed MUCH earlier.

I don't watch any tv either. Sure, the kids watch PBS in the mornings while I get ready for the day and do some household chores. But I don't have any shows that I watch because I don't have time! But Trevor and I do watch movies for date nights on Fridays and sometimes Monday nights (when I get free redbox codes from Mom Advice).

I'm on the computer a lot, just checking out the coupons/deals and blogs and stuff. So that's how I get the deals from CVS, etc. And now that Trev's home, I try to do my deal shopping after the girls have gone down and Trev needs to work on school stuff. But my usual walmart ad matching grocery shopping I do with the girls because I'm used to it.

Plus, I've settled for a less than perfect house. I have dust on my baseboards and bookshelves. The dishes are done everyday and laundry is done once a week (all day). But that's about it, everything else gets done only when it's past my dirty tolerance.

I've also tried to simplify my cooking. I don't like to spend 1 hour EVERY night cooking dinner.

Yikes, this post is super long sorry! Hope this helps a little.

Jennie said...

Just saw your comment on my recipe blog. The meatless meatballs are the Trader Joes brand and are called "Meatless Meatballs, a delicious soy alternative". Pretty easy huh! Hopefully you have a Trader Joes there!

Travelin' Bea said...

My mom insisted on naps (quiet time) for us during the summertime, even when we were in school. It was the time she needed to write letters or pay bills or sew. Looking back, it provided a rhythm to our days that i treasure.