I have to be honest and say that we have struggled with the nap time routine for months…heck, maybe even a year! Duce would go days without a nap, if we didn’t go out. What does that mean? It means I would lean on what my sister-in-law has dubbed as the “carseat ministry” to get Duce to take naps. Once we got all buckled in and left the subdivision he was out…guaranteed! So when he would run crazy with a ball of energy and refuse a nap, it was time for a trip to Sonics around the corner for momma. After months of this I’d mastered my transfer skills of moving him from the car to the bed without waking him. 🙌🏾 Before COVID, our week was full of activities that required us to commute in the car, so Duce was guaranteed a nap almost daily. But now…in 2020, not so much and we were all feeling the consequences of it. When COVID hit, we were no longer going on outings, play dates or fast food and drink runs. So not only were we isolated in the home and yard as we practiced social distancing, but Duce went back to not taking naps. By this time I was just used to it. He would go right to sleep at night time so I wasn’t too concerned…I was drained by the end of the evening and short with him at times when he would have a meltdown because he was obviously tired, but still not concerned. After all, he was getting 12 hours of sleep easily every night. Then it hit me…if we’re going to be on lock down for the unforeseeable future we have to get back on track with these naps AND make greater use of our awake time together. So in came the…🥁🥁🥁 SCHEDULE📝‼️
Please know that there is room for tweaking on our schedule on days where we need to sleep in, mommy needs to have a clean day, Duce needs a day off from learning to just explore and do what brings him joy that day, doctor appointments and many other situations that may occur where we throw the schedule out the window and just DO IT! BUT…THAT NAP…it’s happening! So how did Duce do the first couple of weeks? He wasn’t having it! Not one bit! But we stuck to the schedule, and I communicated the schedule to him throughout the day so he knew what to expect. Kids are really good with routines and don’t usually care for surprises unless they are in the forms of toys or what Duce calls, “Poppy sickles.” 😂 Now he knows when learning/play time is almost over and that it’s time for lunch/shower/nap. I say, “Okay Duce it’s time to clean up.” He follows with, “time to eat, take a shower and take a nap so I can get a sticker and surprise?” 😂 You know it baby! 👍🏾🖐🏾And OF COURSE there is a sticker chart incorporated in there! Ya’ll know how I roll by now. 😊We are aiming for no pee accidents/dry undies when we sleep in our big boy underwear. And he’s doing AMAZING! So many days, especially Monday-Friday, I’m winning because he’s taking his nap. I’ve even managed to move baby brother, Elisha’s nap time around so they go down together! YES JESUS!! 🙌🏾
So why is nap time fundamental for us?
💜We ALL are functioning better throughout the day! I never realized how much taking naps-mainly Duce because Elisha ain’t missin’ his naps!😂…benefited me!
💜I’m more rested, compassionate during meltdowns, creative with teaching strategies, and able to complete tasks around the home to promote cleanliness and tidiness.
💜Me Time! I take a nap with them a couple of times a week, but other times I take those couple of hours to do things that fulfill me personally like devotions and bible study, pleasure reading, blogging, special projects, crafts and other self-care activities I enjoy.
💜Prep Time! I’m staying on top of laundry more throughout the day and dinner prep-two things that have tried to take me out often!😂
My main point… I’m better so my boys are better. Our time together is more authentic, genuine, pleasant and eventful. Duce has less tantrums and meltdowns, and because he knows what’s coming because we’re on a schedule with a solid routine, he’s less likely to fight his naps. He rather welcomes them most days and plans what he will do when he wakes up! 😊 Even God and Jesus had a day of rest. I am reminded of Isaiah 40: 28-31 that our God is everlasting and full of strength, never weak or weary. However, we as man or rather woman 😊, grow tired, weak and are succumbed by exhaustion in our day to day lives. It is important that we take care of our bodies He has trusted us with, but most importantly lean on Him for our strength and power. Seek God in discovering new ways you can renew your strength and energy to be the best mommas to your babies, and for your children to operate in their best capacity. For us it’s nap time and more time with God for me. I think of nap time as a time of restoration. We shouldn’t strive to be super moms, but rather great mommas who put the health of ourselves and our children’s first so that we thrive in our purpose and positions. Sometimes it’s hard to see through the chaos and day to day juggling of life, and you’re just getting through the day making sure the husband and kids are fed, everyone has clean clothes on and the bills are paid. But we must remember that we are human and need to be gracious with ourselves, allowing time of rest or pause to recharge. The only type of super mom I want to be is the one who’s strength is renewed by the Lord who allows me to soar high, and gives me His grace and mercies each day as I strive to be the best momma to my boys.
It’s amazing what a nap can do for a 3 year old and 32 year old! Had I known how I was cheating myself and Duce before, I would of been seriously implemented naps for us. But hey, that’s what parenting is about. Figuring out what works for your family with a little trial and error, tears, laughter and GRACE! Like I tell Duce, “Naps are good for you. They make you big and strong, nice and smart! Rest your body!”
How have you implemented nap time in your home with your kiddos? How has nap time benefited you as your child’s caregiver? Your children? Share in the comments! I look forward to reading them!😊
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💜Soli deo Gloria
Copyright © 2020 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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