One of the biggest struggles as a mom of two under three has been the NAP. Almost as soon as Gronk was born Grace, who turned two a week later, decided to quit the nap. Y’all: I tried everything. The routines, the music, waiting her out (up to three hours!). The pediatrician said she could just be done with naps, but after 4pm this kid flipped a switch and her head spun around until bedtime. It left me frustrated, exhausted, and she still did not nap. So at the advice of a wise friend I instituted “Quiet time” for 45 minutes per day. She could play in her crib, read in her crib, sing happy birthday to herself, dance around until she collapsed, etc. I had 1:1 time with Gronk, then he would sleep and I had 1:1 time with Grace. Sounds peachy. Until my husband leaves for a six day trip and I am left with NO break. I consider myself a patient person, but I was slowly losing my mind. As well as any identity I had other than: “Mom…mom….mom…mama….MAMAAAA”.
Now fast forward 9 months (yes for 9 months I did this crazy balancing act). This same friend inquired how quiet time was going. I explained that it gave me time with Gronk but I was still so exhausted and dreading my husbands next trip before it began. I was sadly even beginning to wonder if I was cut out for this whole SAHM gig. Apparently I had been doing it all wrong. She then told me my new mantra: “They nap at the same time”. I laughed but decided to hear her out. She instructed me to meet her at the park the next morning and plan on lunch at my place. So we went to the park until both kiddos were exhausted. Then we came back to my house and we told them both (the 9 month old and the almost 3 year old) that it was naptime. We read a book, then I put them in bed.
THEY NAPPED AT THE SAME TIME.
It was magical. I mean this isn’t rocket science. I take them to the park in the morning all the time! Maybe it was the calming presence of another adult who wasn’t completely stressed out and had showered in the last 24 hours. I don’t know what it was but it worked. Do you want to know how I spent this precious hour and a half?
I sat on my deck and drank two glasses of wine. Judge away….but I felt like a whole new mom.
I was excited for them to wake up happy and rested. I was refreshed. This is how it should be! This I could get used to. It was a huge game changer for this stay at home mama who was making life way harder than she needed to. So now, they nap at the same time. Grace naps about half the time, and plays semi-quietly half the time. I’m okay with either. And no I don’t always drink on my deck! I find special time with each of them when my husband is home or when a grandparent takes Grace to do something fun.
So moms of two or more kids remember: THEY NAP AT THE SAME TIME! Hang in there. You will find a routine that works for your family and I hope it doesn’t take you almost a year!