Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quiet Time- The Super Sanity Saver!

365::50 - relax
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Just one simple concept has totally revolutionized my life. Seriously! Who knew that something as simple as a daily quiet time could brighten my entire day, and my entire outlook on life??? I sure didn't, or you'd better believe I would have started this a long time ago!

You see, my kids don't nap. I dunno why, but they've always been the kids on the low end of the "sleep needed" spectrum. They both dropped down to one nap around 12 months, and both stopped napping completely around 19 months. I know- that's really early. Tell me about it. This means that from morning until bedtime at night, I've had at least one kid awake that entire time for almost 2.5 years now. It's been exhausting! Being an introvert has only made the problem worse. As an introvert, I need alone time like I need oxygen, so with the kids up all day I'd then stay up late after they went to bed to get some alone time. Then I'd be tired the next day from staying up too late, and then I'd be grumpy and get frustrated with the kids more easily, which would lead to me REALLY needing alone time at the end of the day. And then I'd stay up too late again. It's been a really vicious, exhausting cycle.

I'd always dismissed the quiet time idea as something that wouldn't really work for us, or that would be too hard to implement, or something we didn't really need. Ha! The other day I was complaining to my friend about how exhausting motherhood was, and how it would be so much easier if the kids would just take a nap. She brought up the quiet time idea, and again, I blew it off. But the next day the kids were going crazy, and I had to pull them off of each other for what seemed like the millionth time, and I decided to just give it a try.

"Okay, guys, it's quiet time now!!!"

They looked at me inquisitively. Then they actually got excited! Tristan said, "It's quiet time?" "Yep, buddy, it's quiet time. Quiet time means that Hayden is going to play in Hayden's room, and Tristan is going to play in Tristan's room. You guys will each play quietly in your room until I tell you that quiet time is over."

And it actually worked! I couldn't believe it. They actually (mostly)stayed in their rooms and played quietly! I can't even tell you how wonderful it is to have some peace and quiet! To have a little break in the middle of the day when I'm not having to play referee, or entertain someone, or listen to screaming is just AMAZING. The first day, quiet time lasted about 25 minutes, but after a couple of days of practice, quiet time yesterday lasted for a whole hour! A whole hour to myself in the middle of the day! It's seriously one of the best things that's happened to me in a long time.

I'm getting time in the middle of the day to relax, recharge, and regroup, which means that by the time the kids go to bed, I can just finish out my day, relax a little bit, and then go to bed at a decent hour. No more staying up late because I'm absolutely starved for alone time! I've actually been going to bed at a decent hour, which means that in the mornings I'm actually in a good mood! I've actually been waking up feeling optimistic about the day- knowing that if I throw myself into doing activities with the kids and taking care of housework I'll get a break in the middle of the day.

I can't even explain how much of an impact this has had on my outlook in general. I had NO IDEA that just a simple daily quiet time could make me feel so much happier about my life. If I had known, I would have started this years ago! If you have small kids that don't nap anymore, I highly recommend that you teach them to have a daily quiet time. If you're anything like me, you'll totally thank yourself!

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