Embracing the weekend. Then it was Monday.

As I write my four-year old is sleeping.  My two-year old is awake in his crib.  And my four-month old is peacefully sleeping.

Thank you, thank you for the wonderful comments, e-mails and feedback over the weekend.  That darn mother’s guilt kicked in the moment I hit “publish”.  I mean really, what kind of mother tells the world that her precious sweet baby cries and is cranky all the time?  I guess I’m that mother, but thankfully I learned that I’m not alone.  That this will pass, and quite frankly it’s OK to be cranky in the meantime.

Pushing my guilt aside I embraced the weekend.  It was one of those great family weekends.  No big plans were made, but our time together was perfect.  No one was in a hurry, just plenty of time for snuggles and kisses.  Wrestling time with daddy.  Learning to play the drums with daddy.  Floor and tummy time for baby.  Stacks of books to read.  Date night for mom and dad.  Sunday church.  Early naps {even one for mom!} and early bedtime.

Then it was Monday.  I tell you, if it isn’t one kid then it’s another.  Charlie, my “guaranteed 3 + hour nap ” WILL NO LONGER NAP.  This just isn’t acceptable.  {And I haven’t one ounce of guilt for saying that.}  I firmly believe that my two-year old still needs to nap every single afternoon.  He is too young to give it up and quite frankly I won’t let him.  I originally thought this lack of napping was due to his learning to walk.   He started to fight the occasional nap, but would eventually give in after an hour and sleep.  That stopped almost two weeks ago.  I have tried adjusting his bedtime earlier and tried to put him down for his nap earlier as well.  No luck.  So I tried putting him down for a nap later.  Again, no luck.

It’s officially a battle of the wills.  It’s a persistent mom, who even if her child doesn’t nap will insist upon two hours of “quiet time” in the crib versus a boy who is perfectly happy to babble, talk and yell for those two hours.  Then there is the dad who questions this tactic asking: “At what point are we bad parents who are “dumbing down” our kid by just leaving him in the crib for two hours?”  Good, question.  I don’t know.

I’m a firm believer that sleep is important.  It’s restorative value, connection to good behavior and learning are invaluable.  That, and while there are some things that this mama will let slide, napping just isn’t one of them.  My children will nap.  Say it will me.  They will nap.  Yet I’m willing to be flexible.  For example, I’ll allow Henry to stop napping once he goes off to full-day kindergarten.   See, perfectly reasonable.

So please, pass along all of your napping advice, sleeping dust and good wishes to one very sleepy toddler.  And if we are all lucky, my next post won’t even mention sleep {or a lack of.}


10 thoughts on “Embracing the weekend. Then it was Monday.

  1. You definitley are not alone – I have a 2 1/2 year old who hates to nap and a 2 month old who is fussy and cranky most of the time (except when he is eating). I just keep telling myself that it won’t last forever and to enjoy the stubborn little stinkers while they are still little :) Wishing you luck and peaceful napping for all.

  2. I firmly believe in rest time too. My rule is 1 hour in your room, in your bed. You may read quietly or sleep. If you do not read quietly or stay in your bed…YOU LOSE AND HAVE TO SLEEP. This is the rule if you are home at rest time no matter what your age and sometimes, my 7 year old will fall asleep, but my 3 year old who fights me…almost always falls asleep reading and if she doesn’t, then she does need to go to bed a little bit earlier, but not always. Stick to your guns. Sanity is important:)

  3. Oh Libby you and I are so much alike. I’m just like you with regards to nap…..You WILL nap! And I’m not sure how Carson will make it though full day Kindergarten next year without a nap. I’ve spent alot of time “sleep/nap training” my kids. And I’ve made them lay in their beds for 2 hours when they refuse. I don’t really have any advice except that you need to be consistent and it sounds like you are. In the meantime I’ll say a prayer for you and your sanity!

  4. Hi,

    This is Cecily’s mom here…. she is the one that sent me the link to your blog and it is so wonderful to read your musings.

    As a Mother of three (now wonderful…) children….(now adults) , I have to defer to the God given, “mother’s instinct’. For better or for worse, those beautiful beings came to us, and we in turn are somehow wired to deal with their gifts and challenges. We get to take the credit and bear the guilt.

    Wow– how lucky are we?

    Seriously, you are an amazing woman and mother. Those boys are going to flourish despite of or because of what you do. You and your husband, if you are lucky will live long enough, will enjoy stories, and lots of laughter about your parenting skills or lack thereof…

    They and you are so lucky….. just loving your blog….

  5. My Andrew will be four at the end of March. He still naps for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours every day.

    Benjamin will be two at the end of April and up until we went to Disney World for a week (and left him w/my parents at a house where he is completely used to being at and on his same schedule), he was a 3+ hour napper each day, down for the night at about 8:00. Now? He is sleeping a *little* longer in the morning (6:45 to 7 as opposed to 6 to 6:15), but he will only nap for 45 min to 2 hours and bedtime? Three nights in a row now, he has not fallen asleep until 10:00. TEN O’CLOCK!!

    I, too, insist upon quiet time (or as quiet as it will be, lol) in the crib for about two hours, when I feel they still need naps. And in my opinion, they all still need naps.

    I remember that before B was born, A started balking at his naps. I got super worried b/c I was only a couple of months away from having another baby, but I just stuck it out and thankfully he got back to his normal (albeit slightly shorter) nap schedule. All I can do it hope and pray B does the same before Thomas comes!

  6. Amanda started baulking naps, too, but naps are not optional! Mom needs one every afternoon. :)

    We’ve kept working with her and telling her to “shh” but recently the adidtion of a noise machine with ocean and bird noises seems to have helped keep the choruses of “Jesus Love Me” at bay.

    We kept a quiet, in your room time, for a long time with our older boys. Everyone needs a little time to themselves to decompress and unwind. We told them that they don’t have to sleep but they have to be quiet.

  7. This may have already been suggested as I did not read the responses before posting. When my boys were little and with the babies I kept the rule was that they had to lay down and stay down until the kitchen timer went off. I would set it for 1 hour and if they were still awake in that hour they could get up. They could read but they had to be quite. Most of the time they would be fast asleep before the hour was up. At least I had 1 hour of uninteruppted time to chill and regroup before the business began for the afternoon.

  8. Added: I expected “nap” time until they went to Kindergarten as at that time they even had them nap at school. I think they have stopped that now but by then 1 hour of reading is only good for the school work and keeping their reading skills up even in the summers allowing for that time to regroup.

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