Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Gave Up on Naps...and it is AMAZING!

NOTE: Please understand that what works for one family may not work for another family. What I think is best for my kids/me/my sanity/etc may not be ideal for yours/you/your sanity.


A friend of mine, who is also a mother of 4, said something quite interesting a few weeks ago:

"I gave up on naps a long time ago. Too stressful."

Of course I thought, "Whaaaa???" I mean, how do you quit naps? How am I suppose to get anything done when I lose that chunk of time? What about enough sleep? And, this and that and blah, blah, blah???

Let's rewind the story a bit...

Andrew has gotten to the point where he is done with naps. He reads (books on cd/mp3/etc), plays puzzles, or Legos. Alex has reached that stage where he is starting to fight me on taking naps. And, Austin, well, he is still in the can-take-a-nap-any-place stage.

Catching a nap at the zoo

Because of the crazy weeks that we have had going on between finishing school, play dates all over the place, Vacation Bible School, etc, naps just weren't in the cards anyway. And, what would I do? Get so stressed out that they weren't going to be home to take a nap or that I wouldn't be able to get the house tidy before Jason got home. I wouldn't have my me time! Ahhhh!!

This is where my friend's words of wisdom popped into my head:

"I gave up on naps a long time ago. Too stressful."

She is right. They are too stressful.

So, I quit naps. 

And, let me just say this: It is quite a freeing feeling.

No more "Oh, we can't do/see/play ____ because that is nap time."

Exploring the Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago
And, I love it! It is great!

Of course there is a something you need to know. In order for this to work well for everyone, I need to have my act together. That means I need to be up when I am supposed to be awake. Which in turn means I need to go to bed at a normal time. I need to have the bulk of my "mommy work" done in the mornings. The typical stuff. Basically, I need to manage my time wisely.

Once all this falls into place, I have more time for my boys. And, really, that's what matters the most: that I am present in their lives. I don't want to be the mom who is too busy for her kids. I want to be the mom that makes time for her kids.

Right now, as I'm writing this, the boys are playing a game on the floor. We were together almost all day at the zoo having a blast. We went all out, too! Splash pad, picnic, train ride, checked out every animal (some twice!). It was great. And they are happy playing together while I switch loads of laundry between emails/uploading pictures/etc. And, Austin (if you are wondering) is taking his nap. He is only 7 months. I know when he is tired. As soon as I laid him down, he was out.

Awesome zoo day today!

The point is something had to change. I was getting all worked up over "the schedule" and blew over my kids' happiness (and my sanity!). And, don't worry... Just like Baby Austin, I can tell when the other two need to recharge their batteries. Luckily, that just means letting the sleep in the mornings for now. Alex has had to take a nap to get out of whatever mood he was in the other day... But, even so. It isn't a scheduled thing anymore.

And there it is... it isn't a scheduled thing anymore. Because of that one tiny fact, I get to catch things like this happening:

I get to watch the rain with my little guy. He was completely amazed at what was happening outside. He stayed there for about 10 minutes...just watching the puddles form. Because I had finally learned to slow down and just let things fall as they may (for the most part), I was able to catch this moment with him. It was so sweet. And so wonderful.

And that's exactly how this life should be.

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