Thursday, March 8, 2012

Accepting the unacceptable


Today has found me defeated once again in the never ending battle of getting my children to nap, I mean to take a decent, refreshing nap that actually leaves them happier people.

This is something that I want to complain about nearly every day via my blog, but I have always stopped myself because, well, I annoy myself when I complain about it. But I lost the battle, I am having a bad day, a friend was bragging about her kid's 4 hour nap on facebook, and my husband is not home, so you win: you get to virtually listen to my scatterbrained whining and if you hate it just exit out and go somewhere less chaotic and happier.

I always feel stupid for needing an alotted time for myself in the afternoon. I mean, lots of moms don't even give their kids a nap and they get by just fine. I am clearly a wimp for needing 30 minutes to lay down and 15 or 20 to have a snack and not share and read something, but wimp or not, I need it.
I will give Naomi some credit because from her birth she would never nap for longer than 45 minutes- ever. Now she'll do an hour on a good day, a big improvement, but Bernadette as severely regressed. She used to sleep for 2 hours minimum and now I am lucky if she does 45 consecutive minutes, an hour on good days, but she is almost always screaming and angry upon waking and that attitude continues for the day's duration.

My main complaint is that I can count on nothing. They are unbelievably inconsistent and the slightest thing will throw them, and consequently me and the whole day off. Like today when the heater was a tad louder than usual and woke Naomi who proceeded to scream and wake Bernadette making nap time 30 whopping minutes. This is unacceptable.
My other complaint is when they do not get the amount of sleep they need which makes them little anger balls during the day, and me a large anger ball. 

I have always encouraged a daily schedule and set nap and bed times. I work really hard on it from the time they are born and I have never reaped the benefits that I feel I should. Plus I know way too many people and have had one too many nap-time conversations at play dates to know that it is not odd for children to sleep for a good chunk in the afternoon. Thus I am constantly angry and bitter that my children can't be like those 3 hour nap time children- I am the worst.

In the end I think I am just selfish and want more time for myself during the day. I am sure one day, God willing, when we have many more children I will just nap through their shenanigans and screams and be so holy that I don't need an ounce of me-time, but for now I prefer to complain.

Good thing a nap replacement named Winnie the Pooh came to the rescue
A young sleeping Naomi back in the day when I used to just watch her sleep

5 comments :

  1. Ana, coming from someone who works at home, nap time is essential to getting any work done. (even though I would rather nose dive into my bed for a nap of my own) So I can completely relate! Sure I can manage without nap times, but managing means melt downs at 5 pm from both babies and mama. So I have come to realize nap times are essential for maintaining any sort of virtue in the household;)

    I don't know if it would help you or not, but I use fans as noise killers so they don't hear each other if one wakes up early. It has helped a great deal! Also, I remember my mom always made us have quiet time in our rooms or basement to play so she could have her daily nap! Might start doing that when Gabriel grows out of naptime. :)

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  2. Naptime is SACRED!!! The only way I survive a day when naps are skipped is by turning the tv on and leaving it on for the rest of the day. I have no other coping mechanisms. I have children who nap an hour & a half or 2 every day. But sometimes they go through periods where they cannot wind down to sleep (um...this whole week...). The world is a happier place when the babies have napped. I don't know why they don't or how to get them to sleep longer! My newest addition has mastered the skill which is my only saving grace. I wish I had an answer for you!! My only bribery tool for my 3.5 year old was to tell him he didn't get his show after dinner because he didn't take a nap and kept his sister awake. It works for us enough that he will quiet down so at least she can sleep!

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  3. I totally feel you, sister. I nanny full time for an eight month old and 24 month old, neither of whom sleep longer than an hour! Luckily, their mom signed the two year old up for preschool, which runs DAILY from 12:30 - 2:30, so I have two full hours where it's just me and one baby. But still, the eight month old never naps longer than 40 minutes... so the days are long. Ludicrously long. I can't imagine being a mama and not being able to peace out every day at 6 pm! I love my lil nuggets but I need my red wine hour at 7 pm sharp. ;)

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  4. I thoroughly appreciate your honesty. I would be feeling much the same if it was me. I still remember being 4 or 5 and telling my Mom that I was not tired and hated naps, and she just got to the point where she said, "You don't have to sleep, you just have to be really quiet." Haha..poor Mom!

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  5. I had this problem too, and then I came up with a solution! We all nap....together....in the same bed. Then everyone sleeps better. A 20 MINUTE nap for both kids at different times of day have turned into a 2-3 hour nap. If I get up before them, they still sleep as they have been tricked to thinking i am in there with them. Good Luck!! I too cannot function unless naptime happens

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