We all remember that sweet precious time of the day when we FINALLY got the baby to sleep! For many of us this marked that special time during the day we too were going to hit the hay but for others it was hitting the laptop to get that work done! Regardless of the master plan once he closed his eyes tight enough for the tip top away, it was SHOW TIME AKA MOMMY TIME!
With both my children I was dealt the royal flush in the nap arena. Now let me say this I was NOT dealt this same hand in the sleep through the night card game so hold on to your “must be nice girl” commentary LOL. Luckily, each of my daughters would gladly take their midday naps with no fuss–not only were there zero problems, these babies slept for 2 hours! This made my life during the “day” super easy which is probably how I lived through being on team NOSLEEP for the first two years of their lives without turning into a zombie! I was able to clean the house, do a little online shopping, pay bills, catch up with phone calls to friends and sometimes all of this plus a lil bonus cat nap. Ironically people would say to me all the time, “Girl enjoy these times because that nap life will end soon into those toddler years”. Welp for the Okoli Girls…Mold broken as it never happened.
Preschool and Beyond Kiddies Dont NAP
YES they DO!
How is this possible you ask? Well let me share a well know secret weapon that we all have in our purse…ROUTINE! Yes that is it! I will say with my children guess what, at the ages of 6 & 4 STILL NAP. YES MAAM! I dont think this is by happenstance or becuase they are just sweet little angels, I believe it is because they are just accustomed to doing so. Anytime we happen to be home between 1-2 ish the girls are down for the count. Now of course this is not possible every weekend or school closure as now that they are “big kids” they have sports, birthday parties and a totally active social calendar more packed than mine. However, we get it in and here is how…
- Breakfast (8:00 am)
- TV Time (9:00-10:00) 1 30min. show for each kid
- Academic Enrichment Workbooks/Exercises from School Week Topics (10:00-11:00)
- Outdoor Activity/Something I structure scavenger hunt/painting (11:00-12:00)
- Lunch (NOON)
- Afternoon Story Time (12:30)
- Nap Time
The WORD NAP May Sound Like Punishment
Now of course the word nap for the 6 year old is like a punishment sentence, so for her I simply say its quiet time. With quiet time we go to our rooms, free from toys, electronics etc and we have 45min of doing nothing. The funny part is after the action packed day they are both out like a light in less than 15min. When they are asleep my online working *coughs* shopping begins! On a serious note, this time allows me to replenish energy and gives me much needed me time. The funny thing is most times I honestly end of falling asleep myself with computer in lap! LOL
Moms with older kids you may have passed the “Nap” time but certainly try implementing the quiet time. In the world of tablets and video games its easy to be okay with the kiddies being tucked away and on some electronic device. However, this gives you an excuse to peel them away from it so that their mind will rest. Incorporate “reading time” encourage them to find a book on their fave thing and flip through it. Believe me flipping through books ultimately leads to reading it.
Moms with Infants: Starting Dat Baby Early
Moms if you have a baby try your best to get her on a nap routine as early as you can. The key is to maintain it now matter your location. So no matter where you are set aside a specific time and stick to it. For me, I integrate our schedule into wherever we are, even when we are on vacation or visiting grandma. It will be hard at first, and folks around you may get annoyed but stick to your guns. Take the time to explain the importance of your decision and why you are doing it. I find that with grandmas they just want to feel included all the way around. I used grandma because she will definitely be the first contender of this monkey wrench LOL. Again just be confident in your why and description of its importance and you will be just fine 🙂
In the end every child is different and there is certainly no one size fits all. However, as a working mommy I totally know the struggles of feeling like ME time is deserved. The truth is sometimes we just gota take it! Try to do just that by encouraging them big ole kiddies to just RELAX AND NAP!