Since I became a new mum, there’s been one moment I’ve been completely dreading. I know it has to happen eventually. But just thinking about it is enough to send me to the shops for a Bex and a good lie down. I’m not talking about the day Birdy brings home her first boyfriend, or gets a nose-ring or wants to go bungy jumping over Niagara Falls. No, I’m thinking of something much more terrifying. The subject I don’t mention in front of her. I’m talking about the day that Birdy drops her daytime sleep!
I’ve been talking to other mums, and I’ve been reliably informed that there comes an age when you can’t get them to sleep until 9 o clock at night if they do nap in the day. And that’s when you have to make the call that afternoon naps are a thing of the past. (Consigned to the dustbin of history along with flared jeans, Rick Astley and Soda Streams.) And that is exactly what happened to us the other day. We came back from the long weekend, we went straight to the Colin Buchanan concert and when we got home Birdy was so tired that I put her straight to bed. She slept and slept and slept and slept. She was so tired I could not physically wake her up. I could have started a chainsaw next to her bed and she wouldn’t have stirred. But then she wouldn’t go back to bed until 9 o clock that night. And that was when I knew that our days of daytime napping were numbered.
In fact, while I was writing this, I had two little girls, both in their beds, both playing and singing and calling out, refusing to take their afternoon naps. But for my sanity, I put them both to bed with a couple of books, and let them entertain themselves in bed for an hour. I need that time out and so do they. Otherwise we all get cranky pants.
But the question that’s really bothering me is this: If Birdy gives up her daytime sleep, when am I going to get anything done? Right now, I use that time in so many different ways…. to do work, to clean my floor of mashed up food, to write my blog, to sit back with a cup of tea and a book or to call a good friend for a chat. It’s my little window of peace and quiet and tranquility and restoration and opportunity and it’s ALL MINE! MINE, I said. It’s the only time of the day when I do something for ME. (OK so cleaning the floor isn’t exactly for me, but it is important to my sanity.) So you can understand why I’m so reluctant to give it up.
So for that reason, I’ll keep putting her to bed in the afternoon, even though I know I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m sooo not ready to give up my cherished little snippet of me-time just yet. Some things are worth fighting for.
What age did your kids give up their daytime sleep? Did you prolong it for as long as possible? Did they start refusing to go to bed during the day, or did it just get harder to get them to sleep at night? Do you still enforce some kind of rest time? If so, how successful is it?
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