The end of an era.

4:10 PM

My children, at ages 2 and 3, have decided they are finished taking naps.
   I love blogging about topics like these because I feel like a plethora of napping wisdom and advice will coming flowing into the comment section after doing so (she says hopefully).

  I well remember a short time ago when both of my girls were consistently taking 2-3 hours naps DAILY and I would hear the woes and complaints of other mothers of nap-striking children and I just didn't get it.  Just MAKE them take a nap!  It can't be that hard!

Oh but was I in for a surprise.

  Turns out, you can't make children nap.  Nope.  You can do everything you need to do, (stories, milk, dim lighting, whatever) and they can still lay there wide awake babbling and talking to themselves for hours.  Hours!

   And believe me, I've tried the whole "quiet time" thing too.  But it seems it's never long enough, or even remotely restful enough for me to be hardly worth the trouble it takes to supervise.

   And so as you could imagine, right on cue with their recent nap aversion, enters my blog aversion.  I never really realized how DIRECTLY correlated my computer time was with nap time.  It's kind of like, during nap time or never.  And so no naps = no computer time.  Which = keeping up with online things MUCH less.  Which = to be feeling like I'm always falling behind and disappointing someone, or myself.  Which is a pretty crummy feeling.

   And no time to myself (or just blessed SILENCE) during the day = lack of desire to even talk on the phone, or do anything, really.  I feel like I never return any phone calls, or go many places, and I even put off grocery shopping until we're practically destitute before forcing myself out there.

  Basically, nap time was the key to my existence.  And now that I don't have it, I feel like I'm stumbling around all over again like the first few weeks with a brand new baby trying to figure out how to "re-enter" the world and dwell in this hemisphere of life in a somewhat normal way.


   So last week, to help pass along the never-ending day, we decided to go to the library and swing by the thrift store in town, both of which were CLOSED.  Epic fail.  So we swung by the coffee shop and used our stamp card to score a free chai latte and headed to the park so as to not count the trip a complete failure.

  And so once again, I'm sorry for the quiet around here lately, but sometimes this little place online sort of gets whatever is leftover, ya know?

And sometimes that's just not very much at all.

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  1. Offer yourself grace during the transition! I wish I had enforced quiet time. I think it's good for more than just the immediate. I wish I had forced some quiet and one play. Are they going to bed early at night? That helps but I hear you on the alone time. Mine are teens. I came force them to sleep either. Or a lot of other things!

  2. Hmmm. Napping wisdom and advice? You kinda just summed it up in one {sad} little nutshell: you cannot force a child to sleep. But I'm with you on this napping thing; It Is My Sanity!! When my kids don't nap, I become a less-cheerful mother. Anyways, here's a couple little tips that may {or may not} be helpful:
    * I separate the nappers into different rooms. They keep each other going with the chatter & gossip & arguments & songs.
    * I put on the Bible on CD on the boombox in their room, with quiet monotonous tones of the genealogies of Noah. Or even the parables of Jesus can work. It's kinda like my version of white noise or a fan. But it creates a peaceful atmosphere.
    * Once a child proves to me that they really don't NEED the nap, such as being able to be cheerful & sweet all afternoon, and rarely being able to fall asleep, I switch to "quiet hour". I still put the child in a room alone, but this time they get to have a little basket of books, puzzles, coloring, polly-pocket dolls, or other quiet, still activities. This often happens around age 4 or 5, and I teach and train and slowly work up to an hour. Usually by this time they are SO excited that mom allows them to skip nap time, that they do really quite well with a quiet time.

    So yeah, I fight hard to maintain an hour of quietness in the house, but in reality, it doesn't happen every single day. Probably 5 out of 7. Cheers to you as you figure out what works in your family! =)

  3. Sad for you to lose nap time!! That is a sad day indeed. Daph gets quiet time in the guest room with a story CD (she likes Antshillvania, Nathaniel and the Grublets, and one about the Fiery Furnace; they're ones David had as a kid so we looked for them on Amazon) and some books, then she gets up after the CD is done. It's only 45-50 minutes, but it's better than nothing! Christian's napping is on and off, but he seems OK just hanging out in his bed until D gets up. Hopefully that will last awhile longer. Good luck navigating these new waters! Let me know how to handle two non-nappers! :)

  4. My oldest girls have sad memories of me trying to force them to nap for hours. I regret the power struggles now. My youngest...she napped until MAYBE age 2...that is stretching it probably...and by then, I realized, when they don't need it anymore, they just don't, whether me as Mom thinks "I" need it or not! Some kids may need that daily nap but I think some just don't and we need to accept that and learn to live with it.

  5. My four year old is starting to transition out of her nap time, and it makes me sad because I LOVE and feel like I need that quiet time. Can your girls go to bed earlier if they don't nap? That would give you quiet time in the evening. When mine skip their naps, I try to get them in bed by 8:00 or 8:30. Or sometimes I get them up at 7:00am or soon after, and they are much more likely to nap in the afternoon that way.

  6. I didn't read the other comments so maybe this advise was already given. I make even my 7 year old go to his room for an hour on the days when he is home from school. First, I get you, all 4 of mine hit that time in their lives when easy napping became a thing of the past. The temptation is just to give up on it and some days I did. However, if you stick through some tough weeks that naptime\quiet time will become a life saver down the road. Sometimes, I lay down with them for a bit and held them still if I think they really need a nap and just are having trouble sleeping. It's amazing what a couple minutes of you just being there can do to help them settle down and sleep. Taking a book with me to read while I waited took the frustration out of the waiting. But mostly the rule in our house is you just must be quiet and stay in bed during the hour of quiet time. My 5 year old doesn't sleep most days unless he's really tired. However I turn on a story cd for him to listen to. I let him look at books or even play quietly in his room. If he get's too noisy with playing I make him lay down, and time is added if he comes out of his room. Also not letting them be in the same room helps. Hopefully, this helps because I know it can be very frustrating not to have that time in the afternoon. hang in there!--LaDonna


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