How in God’s name do you put your kids down for nap if there is more than one?! I remember it being hard to put Jules down for a nap because she always protested, even when she was a baby baby. Now, when she is home with me on weekends or vacations, she always refuses a nap unless we are driving. Even when she was a newborn, she only ever wanted to nap on me. In the time that I am packing the car for our nap drive, Hudson already falls asleep or just wants the boob and then falls asleep at it. Then she is up playing puzzles, with her dollhouse, or running and dancing around the house like the energizer bunny.
If I am home with both kids, I have to dedicate about 3 hours just for nap time. The other day we had early dismissal because of some random wind and rain storm and it was actual mom hell. They were both tired and crying so when I got home I kept Hudson in the car seat, ripped off my clothes, got their rooms ready with white noise and darkness, took Hudson out and nonchalantly had to bypass the puzzles and bring them into Jules room. He started crawling around and she wanted to play. NO, it’s nap time and if Jules doesn’t nap, watch out world, it’s bipolar tantrum city. She starts making no sense, talking like a baby, hitting Hudson, becoming defiant and hyper, meanwhile, Hudson wants to cuddle at the boob and fall asleep. What else is new?
Finally, I let Jules that nap time wasn’t a choice so I read them both 2 books (set the limit) and explained to her that I had to hurry and tuck her in before the nap police com. These police are coming in handy- stay tuned for my fun toddler post after this. She laid in bed with a few books, I rubbed her back like Ms. Patti does and she was out for 2 hours straight! I nursed Hudson in our bed and transferred him to the crib and he slept an hour and 20 minutes! This was a record for me because sometimes I just forgo naps on weekends or just drive around and reward myself with an iced coffee. This took less than an hour to do and it wasn’t a planned early dismissal day. So now I’m sitting here in bed, not knowing what to do because they are both asleep. I already went running today and it takes me forever to fall asleep to take.a nap so by the time I fall asleep, they will both be up. I can’t really do laundry or dishes because it makes too much noise and I’m afraid to even move because this moment is too good to be true. So I will just write and let myself sit down and breathe. It’s rare, but oh it feels so good.
Naps suck. I feel like toddlers know that at bedtime, the sun shuts off so they have to sleep for a long time, but in the day, the sun stays on so she doesn’t want to turn her body off. She does at daycare because of the routine, but it’s hard to stay routine at home with both kiddos, plus I get so tired of chasing her and begging her to nap. Most weekends, I will designate a certain time to drive around while they sleep. My favorite thing to do is park and cut my split ends, blast K-LOVE (Christian music) and sit and breathe. Those moments are rare, but I take them when I can. I hate when people say, “Sleep when they sleep.” Dude, come to my house and try to sleep when they sleep. Juliana is awake in her crib singing Brother John, Hudson really doesn’t want to go to sleep without nursing to sleep in my bed first (my fault, but I’m not sorry), and I am just too tired to do anything else, but can’t actually nap myself. The before part of this is not pretty either. It usually involves me chasing Jules and then making sure Hudson doesn’t hit his head on anything he is trying to stand against. Then I have to trap them both in Juliana’s room or my room and put them in my bed and read. If Howie is home, one of us is criticizing or hating on each other- it’s a shit show really. As much as I complain that I’m alone a lot, I’m actually okay with it because it’s less stressful and overstimulating. It’s just exhausting.
Naps are so essential for both my kids because they miss them, the turn into little mean baby tigers. Hudson is still pretty chill and will sleep in the car, on me, or in the crib with the right atmosphere (no yelling, white noise, dark). If Jules misses her normal 1-230 nap or just around that time period, she becomes a beast at dinner time and will occasionally wake up throughout the night becoming restless or having nightmares. Even driving in the car, Hudson will usually fall asleep within 5 minutes but it can take Jules up to an hour to even fall asleep. Once she falls asleep, he’s all done and he’s ready to play. That’s when I will drive back home and take him out and leave her in the car with the music on in the driveway.
Those moms that can get shit done or even shower because their kids take these beautiful, long and scheduled naps, I envy you.
Dear moms who don’t shower everyday or struggle with naps, bed time, tantrums- anything mom life,
Find that peace within those crazy moments. Embrace it when they fall asleep and take a few seconds to breathe. The naps may only last a few minutes or a few hours, but recharge. It doesn’t mean you have to nap or run or do 3 loads of laundry. Just be in the moment and breathe because mom moments come and go so fast that it’s hard to embrace it all and be on 100%. It’s okay to sit down and be tired and write or nap or run or do anything you want. It’s rare we get these moments to breathe or slow down, even if it is only for 5 minutes and you park at Target with the intention that when they wake up you can all go on a cute mom family trip to buy cute stuff- but really they wake up startled and cranky and moody because really they should have been sleeping an hour or longer, but because I stopped the car they both wake up.
For the most part, they nap at day care, on me or in the car. I usually can’t get them both in their cribs on the weekends, snow days or vacations, but I try my best. They both thrive on routine and recharge with naps. Jules can go without one, but she’s nowhere near ready to cut naps out altogether.
Next up, toddler behaviors…oh the joys.