I have a hard time with change and a hard time when things don’t go the way I expected them to. This is something I am aware of and something I am always working to change.
I’ve realized that my blog is called ‘The Way it Really Is’ and yet I haven’t written from the heart for a while so here is a glimpse of The Way it Really Is in my world at the moment regarding an issue I’m struggling with.
Toddler Nap Time
I knew my kids’ nap time would come to an end eventually, but I still wasn’t ready for it.
My first child stopped napping when he was about a year old. He started out in daycare for the first year of his life while I worked full time and he rarely napped there because there was so much activity. This also meant he slept horribly at night because he was overtired. By the time I left my career to stay home with him when he turned one, he was about done with naps altogether. At least, eventually, he did ‘agree’ to have quiet time which was in his room and would often result in him falling asleep on the floor while he was looking at a book. I’ll get more into that later.
Then it came to the twins…I struggled to get them to nap at certain times between ages 1 and 2-1/2 when I finally gave up on naps. Well, mostly. We went back and forth a few times and they’d nap for a week or so and then be back to fighting being in their rooms alone.
I realized I needed to adjust my expectations for having my much-needed break in the middle of the day.
Years later my oldest continued quiet time and actually did pretty well as long as he had enough things to do. Once we moved to our forever home when he was almost 3, he loved quiet time because he now has a big window out the front of the house so he could watch any vehicles going by. We don’t live on a particularly busy street but between school busses, mail trucks, garbage trucks, and ordinary people driving around, he’s quite entertained.
That only lasted a while though. Soon he had an Amazon Echo Dot in his room that he can have tell him stories and he can ask questions, on the kid setting, which is entertaining to him. He’s always been pretty good at this but his brothers…
The twins are now 3-years-old and one of the two no longer wants to do quiet time at all. He doesn’t want to be alone, yet when he’s with others they tend to be loud and fight. I’m an introvert and am completely drained by noon and really rely on my quiet time to get through the rest of the day. I’m realizing though that it might not be a possibility anymore.
Things I’ve Tried
Since only 1 of the 3 children has a problem with quiet time, I’ve tried to switch things up. I’ve allowed electronics in their rooms that aren’t quiet, but not Kindles or TVs, just basic pretend phones that talk to them, etc. Two of them loved it but it didn’t keep the 1 occupied for long.
Then I tried letting them rotate places throughout the house so things would be different from day-to-day. We are fortunate enough to have three levels of our house, one level for each kid in this case. I have a chart they can see where it shows who is upstairs in their room for quiet time, who is on the main floor, and who is in the basement. Toys and books are on all three floors. The other two love this newfound freedom and ability to hang out and play with different toys all on their own during quiet time. The one…he still isn’t amused because he doesn’t want to be alone.
I feel bad, I really do, I don’t want him to feel abandoned or lonely but I also feel it’s important that he be able to have some time alone and I know that I need my time alone to recoup. I also know that the others seem to like their alone time so if 3 of the 4 of us like alone time, it’s not fair to change things just for the 1.
Where this Leaves Me
I did what I always do when I have a problem in my momma world and talked to my husband about this. It’s so great to have a caring and supportive husband that I can problem-solve with. In this case, we pretty much came up with I should keep trying to do the three levels thing and continue quiet time and see if it works out. He likes to remind me that a great school psychologist once told him behavioral interventions take 6-8 weeks to see if they’re working or not. (I’m that school psychologist…I would tell him this all the time when I was working as a school psychologist and people would be upset that behavior in children didn’t change immediately when an intervention was put into place). Not that this is a legit intervention, per se, but it is a change that I am hoping will result in a different outcome than it has.
At this point, I need to adjust my expectations to realize that over the next 5-7 weeks (it’s already been a week or so) I need to keep the same routine, not waver on it at all, and move forward. I need to realize that over this period of time I likely will not get the much-needed time to recoup BUT that if the intervention works, it will be worth it in the long run.
So, here I go to put on my school psychologist cap, make some charts, and start graphing results of what has happened so far, and continue to do so for the next several weeks.
As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.