It’s the day I knew would come, and I must say I have more mixed emotions than I thought I would. It is time to say goodbye to nap time in our house. With some reluctance, but also relief, we have come to the end of an era.
When my firstborn was a baby, I was a full-time student and teacher. A strict nap schedule was in place, and we followed it to the letter. With my second child, I slacked slightly on my strict nap schedule, but I really craved the alone time and chance to catch up on chores without interruption. When my third child came along, nap time was again more lax, but again it was non-negotiable. I fully relied on that time to a) tidy up b) catch up on sleep c) shower in solitude for years!
All-in-all, naps have been on the menu in my house for nearly seven years! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss them.
With my youngest nearing the age of four, I know quiet time, rest time, nap time, whatever you want to call it, is a luxury at this stage. He can still sleep with the best of them, cranking out a two or three hour nap no problem. I realize this is not normal! But as the kids get older and have become involved in more activities, naps have outlived their purpose in our life. Rather than providing solitude, it’s become a stressor. Waking up a LARGE toddler in order to pick up siblings from school is about as fun as it sounds.
As I look back on the countless hours of sleep training, shushing, sending littles BACK to their beds, and sacred quietness, I am amazed at how something so simple can profoundly impact the order and mood of the day. There were times when momzilla was in full effect due to failed naps, let me tell you! At the same time, there were days when the absolute perfect nap time alignment came into being and I had a beautiful, quiet house for about two hours. Gloria! Either way, as I reflect on the years that nap time ruled the day, I’m struck by an overwhelming excitement for the freedom ahead as we bid farewell to naps.
When I think about the future of our family sans mid-day sleep, I wonder what hallmark will hold for this new chapter. Seven years of naps, followed by seven years of…school activities? Ballet recitals? Basketball games? Zoo trips? Maybe all! I feel like I’m truly saying goodbye not just to napping, but to the “baby years”. And that’s a bittersweet thought. However, it’s an exciting one as well!
How did you feel when your youngest gave up naps?