Friday, July 17, 2015

Tips for a Successful Rest Time

Mandatory Rest Time is an absolute must in our house, and there are days where it works swimmingly and I actually have an entire hour to myself, then there are days where it's more like 20 minutes, and on rare occasions, Lucy refuses to nap and sabotages all of it, both of the ladder are the exceptions these days.

It is so necessary for my sanity, and now that Bernadette is consistently not napping, she and Naomi actually have a blast hanging out alone playing quietly (or loudly) coloring or "crafting" by themselves while I do whatever it is I need to do during the ever-so-cherished quiet time. It is so important for me to have this little respite in the day, whether it is for meal prep, a little cleaning without ankle biters at my heals undoing it all, time to blog, time to pray, time to lay down if it was a rough night, whatever-- TIME for me. I can't really live without it.

Here are my 5 helpful tips for successful mandatory rest time:

{1} Be consistent about it. Even if it doesn't go well all the time, just make the move to do it every day and before you know it will be a bona fide ingrained habit for them-- it doesn't take long for it to happen, I promise! I find that my kids really thrive on an organized, consistent scheduled day, which I stink at a lot of days, but then some days I hit the nail on the head and those end up being the best.

{2} Have accessible coloring and craft materials. My girls are really into cutting and gluing (uh, what kid isn't? I know). It doesn't need to be an organized craft, if I just tell them they can take out craft stuff, they get all giddy and it occupies them for many minutes. I just recently rearranged our schooling stuff so that they can reach the scissors and glue themselves, which means one less trip down the stairs for me and it makes everything a little simpler.

{3} Leave them with a snack or have one that they can easily and quietly access. I always get hungry around 2, and they do too, so I don't blame them for moseying upstairs looking for sustenance. If I leave them with a bowl of nuts or fruit, or make sure to have an open box of granola bars in the cupboard for them to grab, interruptions are minimized, and all parties are full and happy.

{4} Get some books on tape/cd. These will always be a golden go-to for me during rest time. There are some all-the-time favorites that the older girls have (The Chronicles of Narnia series and the Beatrix Potter stories) and then we have a whole collection of old Disney tapes that they love too. Naomi is perfectly capable of getting them set up, and as long as I leave them out and ready, I don't need to be bothered, which is priority number 1.

{5} Turn on the television. On the really rough days, where I've been up since before 5 and spent hours in the ER with a child, or on sick days or even just on regular old days, sometimes television is the very best way to get a solid chunk of legitimate quiet time. Whatever method you use, utilizing a little screen time can often contribute to the general happiness and well-being of the house hold and while we try not to overdo it here, there are days when it's the best thing for everyone.


  1. Rest time was THE BOMB when mine were little. Especially when I was pregnant or had a new baby. My older ones were allowed to do whatever they wanted (within reason) also, as long as it met two criteria: it was quiet and it didn't bother mommy. Love your hair in the video - you look so cute!

  2. Nap time is permanent around here. And I reserve the right to put everyone in their beds with books. I have been exhausted this whole pregnancy and if they're too noisy for me to sleep, they will feel my wrath!

  3. I agree 1000%! I have six boys, the oldest is 10, and I have enforced (or forced!) quiet time every afternoon. The baby naps, the littles stay on the couch with me and a movie while I rest, and the bigs play quietly. I could NOT live without it!

  4. I am super adamant about nap time. I know the day will come when my children don't nap and I dread it. When I'm tired I'm a ragey mess and if I don't get the break with nap time the evening is a true disaster. I've been trying to think of "rest time" activities for when Michael gives up the sleep... So this is super helpful! (I just pray I never ever ever need it. 😉)

  5. Yep, saving this one! I feel like rest time is going to be my sanity saver one day!