Thursday, July 4, 2013

To Nap Or Not To Nap

That is never the question.

What are you doing right now? Me? I am sitting in my in-law's living room with a computer on my lap, typing in silence a post about napping while the girls nap and I will certainly hate myself a little for writing later. But really, I just love nap time and I shudder when I think of it not not happening for every party of the household some day. From the day Lucy was born I started to make it my life's work to get her to nap at the same time as Naomi and Bernadette, I did the same thing after Bernadette was born making it coincide with Naomi's nap- I dare say I am a tad anal about it. I honestly don't know what I would do without this much needed mid-day break and for myself and the children. Even while we are on vacation and entering the last few days before my little sister gets married and the families are all together and the little ones are running around like crazy allllll day.

While most of the cousins age 3 and up play and make merry over at my parents' house, I have ever-so-meanly torn them away from the festivities because I am overly obsessed with their schedules, or more precisely, with NAP TIME. It is an addiction of sorts.

I really don't think about it much during the day-to-day other than when it dictates our life because Lucy is on her 3rd nap of the day and making it so we cannot leave the house, but who cares? I am hands-free, she is sleeping and happier when she wakes up than when she was yelping angrily in my arms.

How else could I photobooth with Lucy if not for nap time?
It sticks out a lot more on these trips home that we are a little militant about it because I am definitely the only sibling of mine who still makes her 4-year-old have a nap time. Naomi is usually super mad at me for making her do it, but then sometimes she is really excited about it. Sometimes she doesn't fall asleep and just destroys quietly, but I would say that most of the time she does fall asleep- like she did within 5 minutes today- because she is tired and needs the sleep. And the girl can throw a mother of a tantrum in her well-rested state, so it is really tempting fate and her nerves to deprive her of the rest. But still I wonder if I am a little too attached to it. I know it will have to stop one day, but I really do not know how the day will go without it, particularly if we do indeed attempt to homeschool (just typing that made me a little nauseous).
You need sleep for these moves.

For now I will relish it and keep being the loser who needs to leave the party early for her kids to sleep.

17 comments :

  1. I'm planning on enforcing quiet time/nap time until John Paul moves out. He almost never sleeps (and it's been that way since he was a little over 2), but he knows that he goes to the guest room with a stack of books or his calculator or something and he DOES NOT LEAVE THE FUTON until I come get him. It is bliss, having all 4 kids asleep/quiet at the same time!

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  2. I am exactly the same way. You are having a nap, dagnabbit! My 5yo only sleeps occasionally, but the more we have going on the more he needs it. I already have plans to force them all to do it at the same time when #4 comes along. Someday they can all read quietly, but for now it's entertain yourself time.

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  3. I am super protective of nap time, for me and my little kids. My kids get to graduate from napping when they begin kindergarten, unless they're cranky then they still get to nap. Which happens once every couple weeks for my current just finished kindergartner.

    Things definitely changed for me once I had kids not napping and we homeschool, so they are with me. It meant I could not longer use nap time to watch PG-13 type shows and eat cookies. Which is what I mostly used nap time for. So, a difficult adjustment for me, but I'm certainly better off for it! Now I still make sure that I have some alone time while the little ones are napping. But I spend it in my room reading and sleeping and sometimes watching something on Netflix on the iPad, but since that wasn't an option until I was already out of the TV habit, I make much wiser choices now than I used to.

    So . . . once again being a mother saves me from my own poor choices!

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  4. I'm so jealous of your determination on Nap Time. Even with one (I will say there is a fluctuation with Daycare and whatnot) but even on the weekends we're on the go so I let things slide and hence, MM slept a whole 30 minutes this afternoon.

    Joy.

    Happy 4th

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  5. I have 6 children, 9 years old and under, and nap time for all is my Holy Grail of sanity. When I was a camp counselor, we had what we called "F.O.B" (feet on bunk) for the whole camp, even up to high schoolers. So my older ones also have F.O.B. (feet on bed), and sometimes they actually do fall asleep, or just color or read books or listen to audio books, or build with legos. The key is finding spaces for everyone to have alone time. Besides bedrooms, I use the basement for one, and I use large walk-in closets for two others, whatever keeps them away from each other, and gives me the break I need, and they need. I feel so frazzled when we don't have this siesta time during our day!

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  6. YES. My parents did this for all of us until we left the house. There were TWO HOURS every day that we had to be quiet. SIlent - no electronics either. We could read, sleep, write, color, do homework...but we had to do it quietly.
    I'm sure in the early years, mom napped. But as time went on, she used that time to do sewing projects she needed to get done without us underfoot, read and enjoy a cup of coffee, do whatever she needed to recharge her batteries.
    It's important time - good for you for making it a priority!

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  7. Haters gonna hate. You keep on being anal about nap time! There needs to be more of us valiant nap and bedtime defenders :)

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  8. I'm a Nap Nazi too. As I tell the older kiddos - You don't have to sleep but you can't stay here. They go to their rooms and read, play quietly with toys, color or make crafts, and the 3 year-old power naps. Everyone is unplugged from electronics of all kinds. Now that I'm pregnant with #4, I nap instead of reading or working on projects. It is a much needed break for all of us during the summer and week-ends. Although the older 2 kiddos attend Catholic school, I would absolutely make this a part of our day if we home-schooled. It just makes our home a much happier place!
    Oh - and I am a creature of habit so we keep to our routines as much as we can during vacations, too! Good luck with the napping and don't feel bad for enforcing it when those around you don't - most important is what works for you and yours!!

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  9. You know what makes your family work! Don't let others habits make you feel anal about yours. Different strokes for different folks! Enforce away. :)

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  10. You are not a loser for leaving the party early. You are prioritizing the kids' physical health and your emotional health! Humans need sleep for good health and young children need a lot of sleep. We had to cut the nap for my 4 year old because he wouldn't fall asleep until 9 or 10 at night by that time. Once we cut the nap, he was back to bed at 7pm (I love it!). But how to get rest time for me mid-day? I remedied that by signing him up for afternoon preschool 4 days a week. I drop him off and take his little brother home for nap time. Win-Win! On Fridays the 4 yr old has quiet time. I set him up with his Cat in the Hat CD on the bed in the guest room. Sometimes he listens to the whole thing on repeat, sometimes he is asleep before the first story is over.

    Do what works for you and your family and no apologies!

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  11. Umm, thank you. Napping is an important part of life. I still make my six year old have a "nap". And by gum I'll do it for as long as it gives me even a half hour of blissful kid silence! I think napping is even more important when they're away from home too, or else they become little routine-less-terrors!

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  12. I have to comment on a different note. I was obsessed about getting my first 3 kids to nap together until the oldest was 6. Then I just got tired of enforcing it, and realized all 3 (3 was the youngest) could make it without naps. It was kind of freeing to just give them screen time and an early bedtime. Now I am back in the land of naps with my littler two and even got the "you and your naps!" comment from my husband yesterday.

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  13. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! If the kids don't nap, the whole day is so much worse. I can tell the difference in both kids (and me!) if they nap. When they both sleep well at the same time I feel like I won the jackpot. I know it sometimes means missing fun things, but it is totally worth it to me!

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  14. I also was a nap Nazi. Always! Even when my older ones were not napping anymore, we had enforced "quiet time" when the little ones napped. I truly was sad when my youngest gave it up. And you are a smart Mommy - to recognize that kids sleep better at night AND are better behaved during the day when they are getting enough sleep. Naps are essential until they are truly NOT napping/sleeping when you put them down. Even then, my older ones would "rest" in their beds with books or toys for at least an hour. Mommy's little sanity break!

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  15. I am definitely anal about naptime and bedtimes as well...it makes everyone, especially Mommy, so much happier! And my 4 year old will be 5 in Sept and still takes a nap or has an hour of "rest time" every day, no matter what, while my 2 year old sleeps. Some days I tell him he must stay in his bed, and sometimes I let him look at books for an hour. And we always leave parties/dinners/etc. early too, for their 7pm bedtime. Soldier on, Ana!

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  16. Hey Anna, maybe you've covered this in another post, but what do you do about kiddo sleeping arrangements when you're traveling? We have a couple trips coming up, only 1 pack n' play, and I'm curious as to what others do!

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  17. Oh I cling to naptime for my sanity and it will be a sad day when they no longer nap. I will probably still enforce quite time...;) I just battle whether to take a nap myself or not during that time.
    So many cute munchkins in this post! Lucky for your kids to have cousins!

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