A while ago, I had to say goodbye to something which I absolutely loved. Something which made me a better person and I looked forward to every single day. I’m talking about…
I was so lucky that the boys napped at the same time for a good year or two. I cherished that alone time, especially when I was working more frequently because it meant I could either get some work done while they slept or I could catch up on some TV and drink a hot cup of tea. If I’m totally honest with you, I chose the latter 99% of the time! Having the boys at home with me is a privilege and obviously it’s a choice we’ve made but it doesn’t mean that I don’t need that alone time. I enjoy their company, but I was a person before having children. Sometimes I like eating in peace and being able to watch an episode of Catfish without Henry reading the subtitles!
Henry was the first to drop his nap. He’d kick up such a fuss when it came to 11am and I took them upstairs. I kept them separate for their naps, even though they share a room. Henry would sleep in his bed and Archie would fall asleep in our room. It just worked better, especially when I was still breastfeeding. Our house is tiny so I could hear Henry rolling around in his bed, talking and making noise deliberately. I will admit that I got a bit “ragey” with him because he knew what he was doing but in him skipping his nap, I had an overtired toddler come dinner time. It just wasn’t pleasant for anyone.
I think he finally dropped it around September last year. Archie wasn’t far behind; once he realised that Henry was staying downstairs while he was sleeping, he developed FOMO (fear of missing out) and his nap disappeared too. Unfortunately for me, Archie still needs his naps and now he’s the grumpy one at around 4pm. I’ve recently been making him take a nap again. We’ve got a spare duvet downstairs and I’ll cuddle up with him, give him his dummy, and he’ll usually fall asleep. But because he’s on me, I can’t do anything. I enjoy the cuddles but I need to work, do the housework, spend time with Henry.
If you’re a parent reading this, which you most likely are, you’ll understand how precious naps are. It’s the time you get to compose yourself, gather your thoughts and refuel. It was my form of self-care and now that it’s gone, I don’t get any peace. And life will only become more chaotic when baby number three arrives, whenever that is! Women are notorious for not looking after themselves and putting everyone else before them. I’ll leave things to the last minute, stress out about it and burn out very quickly. I have started trying to take care of myself in little ways;
- Making sure that I get dressed by myself in the morning (I try to keep the boys downstairs so I get that time to myself.
- Yoga; even just 10 minutes a day helps me to reset
- Eating. This is a silly one but I used to skip breakfast and lunch. These days, I’ll probably miss breakfast but I make sure I eat lunch. The headaches I used to get were unreal.
- Drinking enough, whether it’s tea, juice, squash or water. Keeping myself hydrated is important.
- Having fresh flowers in the house, they just cheer me up whenever I look at them.
- Getting out every day. Even if it’s just to Tesco and it ends in disaster, a change of scenery really helps my mood.
If your child has recently given up their naps and you’ve lost that little pocket of peace, you’re not alone. Try and find some other ways to take care of yourself and hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration above.
We can’t give our all to our family if we don’t look after ourselves first. I mean, you wouldn’t expect a car to drive if it had an empty fuel tank, would you?
Hang in there, you’re doing amazing!