Want 2 Hours EVERY DAY to recharge and sit in peace and quiet?!?!? I will tell you how I manage to do this EVERYDAY with 4 kids!
Some of you know and some of you don’t know…
I have 4 babes!
Meaning that a couple days ago I gave birth to my FOURTH (and final;-) baby! They are 7.5, 5, and 2 and new. Someday soon I will be writing out my surefire ways to have your newborn sleeping through the night by 12 weeks old (my latest was 8 weeks old due to being sick) but I figured I would go for 4/4 over my current 3/3 before writing out my detailed schedule for you;-) but be ready all you new mommas out there… you will thank me;-)
But back to the 2 hours EVERY DAY… the title of this post! It still relates to sleep but…
I am talking about daytime sleep…
Aka QUIET TIME!
I am a SAHM that still seems to always be working at least two different jobs but for the most part I am home… Every. Single. Day.
Every. Single. Day. I spend TONS of time feeding and caring for 4 children. I home school our babes. I am the primary care-giver to our babes.
Sometimes I just want a break from the babes…. or to scream for SILENCE;-)
Actually, I have come to the conclusion that I need a break… DAILY. At first I thought maybe I was being selfish, that I wasn’t the “best mommy” because I couldn’t stand to be around my kids all day every day for those extended periods of time (7am-8pm daily) and be sweet the whole time…
But then I talked with other mommas… and guess what I learned?!?!!? I am not alone!
I also started researching this topic., mainly because I am a weirdo that likes research but also because I wanted to know why. I want to know what makes my kids tick and what makes me as their momma tick….
And I figured it out!
QUIET TIME DAILY!!!!!
From the beginning of my mommy journey almost 8 years ago, this has been a non-optional in our home!
So for 8 years now we have had 2 hours a day of quiet time. Whether that is with the little babes sleeping and the big kids playing games, reading books, or running outside, or everyone sitting and watching a movie or doing an easy craft…
They leave their momma ALONE!
They know these are the rules, and they don’t mind them. From the research I have done, this is also GOOD for THEM too!
They need time to themselves. They need time to think, and learn, and reason, and challenge themselves… ALL BY THEMSELVES! They need this time without someone telling them a better way of getting something done, without someone saying they need to do something differently.
They need this quiet time just as much as momma does!
They need to learn to self-sooth as babes. They need to learn that they don’t need to be entertained 24/7 as toddlers. They need to learn to use their imagination as kids.
That is why, although my 7.5 year old hasn’t napped in over 4 years, he is quiet 2 hours every day, along with the sleeping ones.
How do you do that?!?!?! (Some ask me.)
First of all, it is all they have ever known so they never fight it. But if you are new to this idea, don’t lose heart my friend!
It IS possible to accomplish with a little bit of upfront effort!
~Explaining to your kids what is changing and what to expect if there isn’t obedience.
~Prepare for EFFORT on your part mainly in re instructing over and over again for the first couple of days of this new change.
~Discipline for disobedience EACH TIME.
This is the biggest short fall of a new family change.
People will say “Well, that just didn’t work for us. They wouldn’t do it.”
Kids do EVERYTHING based on parental reaction. If you aren’t consistent, they won’t be either. Bottom line.
The first few days will be rough if this isn’t something your babes are used to but stick to your guns momma! It will be worth it for you AND for your babies. A couple days in and they will learn…
Momma isn’t kidding and this is the new normal.
~Have fun things for them to do quietly to make the time fly by for them.
If you have readers, have new, fun books that are only allowed to be read during quiet time.
If you have littles that are just out of the nap stage and still need to REST, have an educational TV show or movie for them to cuddle up with a blankie and watch.
If you have non-readers but non-sleepers, have a big box of crayons with coloring books and give instructions to draw everyone in the family a picture and give it to them as a gift.
Every once in a while now my kids need guidance on what to do with quiet time but for the most part, they are completely self sufficient! They don’t ask what to do, they know what is allowed during quiet time and what isn’t and they enjoy the alone time so much!
They ask for nap time and “When does Beau need to nap? Is it quiet time yet?!?!?”
Don’t make your first quiet time 2 hours long! This will be overwhelming for the babes and make momma more stressed with the continual discipline than for it’s intended purpose: RECHARGING!
Depending on the age of your babes, start with a half hour. Or an hour. Whatever you think is reasonable for your babes and for you.
They WILL learn to enjoy quiet time about as much as momma does!
They need this time to recharge too! No one was created for continual stimulation and interaction. Granted each person has different social needs, ALL PEOPLE BIG AND SMALL need rest and recharging.
No one can give from an empty well, including those precious babes we have.
So what about ME?!?!?!
What does momma do during quiet time… for 2 hours every day?!?!?!
~a bigger painting project over a couple days of quiet time
~drink a HOT cup of coffee
~take a nap (my favorite right now as baby is making me soooo tired;-)
~time in the Word if for some reason that morning it didn’t get done.
~organize a cabinet
~respond to emails
WHATEVER I WANT!
It’s ME time. It is time to RECHARGE!!!! Time to be QUIET! I am sure once we get out of a “nappping baby phase” this will not be a daily thing around here. But for now, in this phase of life, this allows me to THRIVE as a momma, not just SURVIVE (especially those last 3 hours of the day before bedtime)
ONE IMPORTANT TIP!!!
Don’t allow quiet time to start with the house a DISASTER overflowing with toys in every corner!!! This will negate the purpose of RECHARGING. There is NOTHING recharging or refueling about sitting down with a cup of coffee and feeling guilty about the tornado that is your home, your sanctuary, and your haven!
Twice a day we clean up GOOD!
The kids know it, they don’t question it, they made the mess, they clean it up! We start young around here too! They start cleaning up after themselves when they start walking, for H, that was 10.5 months old!!! They find it so fun to please mommy and daddy and squeal with delight when the toy actually makes it into the toybox;-)
They know to put toys away before naps and before bed.
My house has messes but they can all be cleaned up in 4 minutes flat if need be! Make it fun, make it a game, but make them do it. We don’t do our children any favors doing everything for them. Be ok with the countertops not being cleaned perfectly by the little uncoordinated hands working to clean it. Be ok with a toy being put away but not necessarily in the correct location. It’s cleaned up right?!?!?! And they are learning, which is most important;-)
This small but HUGE tip will make that recharging time even that much more enjoyable for everyone. It’s the clean slate for a time of QUIET every day.
I PROMISE you will not regret your decision to stick to your guns on this one. You will gain not only 2 hours of TIME a day, you will gain the ability to be a GOOD MOMMA soooo much easier! It’s hard to do the mommy thing day in and day out, and this is not a sure-fire way to make a happy momma 100% of the time, but it is one of the BEST WAYS I KNOW to enjoy my babes, not just SURVIVE life with young children.
Mommin’ it is HARD sometimes, and I know you want to THRIVE at this difficult and rewarding job, check out some of my other posts on “Mommin’ It”:
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