My parenting advice is…you’ve heard it before…”Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Or, in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer terms…try to get your baby on this schedule: Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time. Take that “you time” while the baby is sleeping. And keep on taking it while that baby is growing into a toddler, a preschooler, and beyond.
I know, I know…you have to…take a shower, blow dry your hair, play with your other children, do the dishes, get some work done, or [insert whatever other item nagging at you from your to do list] here.
But y’all have been writing about the burn-out, people. I know it is real. Savor and cherish nap time, and, as they grow, “quiet time” for some good ole mommy me time, lay on the bed, do-whatever-you-feel-like, make it through the rest of the day glory.
I learned this “the hard way” back in the day when I was trying to do it all. Now my goals for the day are smaller. At the top of the list…”preserve sanity.”
This has been harder of late as my youngest child is threatening to give up naps and has moved to a toddler bed, so he can no longer be corralled in the crib; we are now learning how to play quietly by ourselves in our room, even when we think we are not sleepy.
On the days when I spend more time teaching this then reveling in my lay-on-the-bed do whatever momma feels like glory, I have found that if I create a little classical oasis in the middle of the day, I feel ever so much more peaceful. Our local college radio station plays classical music starting at 12 noon each day. I turn it on while I’m fixing lunch or while we’re riding in the car if we’re out, and I find that it helps everyone change gears into relaxation mode. My kids love it. They call it horsey music since many of their favorite tunes have a 4/4 clippity-clop beat, and they often dance around happily expelling the last of their morning energy before *shhhhhhh* “quiet time.”
Oh, to live in a country where the siesta is the cultural norm. Take this little nugget and use it at your house for what it’s worth. Works for me.
And don’t forget what the Bible has to say about child rearing: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. ~1 Cor. 15:51
(OK, I admit this one’s out of context, but I saw it on a baby card once and thought it was hilarious.)