evicting the naptime monster!

i made a decision regarding the dreaded nap recently. naps are still necessary. the end!

seriously though, they are! 

i’d have to do some digging to figure out when exactly naps were abandoned in our household, but i’d like to say that it was roughly about the time that eden was born (so about a year ago). i used to pride myself on my schedules and my ability to commit to them. isla napped from 9 to 11, ava napped from 2 to 5, and isla returned for a nap at 3 until 5. that schedule was glorious and evolved into both of the girls taking late afternoon naps and waking shortly before dinner. it gave me plenty of time to clean up, make dinner, write, shower, catch up on phone calls, e-mails, or even rest myself as a pregnant mama (who was also in the midst of selling a home).

times quickly changed once eden grace arrived, and the overthrow of naptime commenced. i listened hopelessly to friends telling me that their child also gave up naps at 1, 2, 3 years old. i waved my white flag thinking that our days of rest and accomplishing things were in the past.

eden now naps from 11 to 1 each day and the older two, who are almost always up with the sun, are cranking through the day with a tired and dragging mother. it.is.no.fun. now, don’t get me wrong…i put on my happy face, i laugh, play, joke, read, serve meals, run errands, etc. we are not a house full of grumpy zombies, but we do have a fair share of arguing, meltdowns, and stretches of laying listlessly on the floor in front of the television out of sheer exhaustion. however… no.one.surrenders.to.a.nap. unless my kids are in a moving vehicle, no one ever falls asleep!

i fought them and fought them. i tried everything i could think of…quiet time, silent reading time, snuggle together in mommy’s bed… i tried early naps, late naps, even lunch time naps! nothing seemed to be working. i threw in the towel until this week. i made that decision. naps are still necessary, and it’s time for mama to be mama and enforce them. period.

it’s not going to be pretty, and it’s not going to be popular. it is however going to be necessary, and i won’t take “no” for an answer any longer. the kids will see that i mean business and rather than fight it forever, they will adapt, and it will become a part of their daily routine once more.

“family rest time.” that is what i am going to be calling it from now on. as of tomorrow, ava and isla will be sharing a room together, so it may be wild and challenging for a bit, but i am determined to see this through. they need it. i need it.

as i sit here typing, i hear them flipping pages of the books in their beds. all is quiet. eden is still sound asleep, and i am sitting on my bed, enjoying a cup of tea and the great view from my window. for the first time in a while, i am feeling like i’m steering this parenting thing in the better direction. notice, i didn’t say “right direction”, just better – better for my family.

in just a few minutes, i’ll return to their rooms, close their books, and tell them that reading time is over, it is now time for sleep. they’ll probably protest, but like anything else, consistency will be key. chances are, eden will be awake before anyone else falls asleep, and one of the two may not nap at all, but i’ll press on anyway, b/c i’ve got an end-goal in mind.  so, wish us luck! i’ll let you know how things are going after a solid week of being a meanie!  😉

in the meantime…leave a comment telling me about your naptime woes or triumphs!

*update as of 1:30pm:
ava and isla are both asleep!  day #1 was successful!

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  1. says

    Yay for a successful first day! Jake started to reject the idea of naptime around 3.5 (which was also the time Liam arrived…perhaps you're onto something, I see a pattern!) but he desperately still needed them, he was a HOT MESS without one by dinnertime. Jake always wants to do things his way or no way at all, and once he rejected the idea of "nap", I couldn't even mention the word without sending him into a fit of rage. instead, I started telling him that he didn't have to nap, but he had to take a "big boy rest time". Basically, I had him go to his room and he could look at books but he had to stay IN his bed. He almost always fell asleep on his own 🙂 Liam, on the other hand, is my champion napper at 3 and still asks to take one on his own!! good luck!


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