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Purposeful parenting amid a world of sugar, screens and schedules.


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Sanity Saver: Quiet Time

QUIET TIME IS AWESOME.  This might seem obvious, but it isn’t always obvious when you are in it. I want to remember how I feel about it right now and I hope I will keep doing it. 

Why I Have Gone Through Times of Not Having Quiet Time…

When I start having trouble getting my toddlers to go to sleep at bedtime or when they start waking up after a nap crabbier than when they lay down, I start questioning nap time.  And if they aren’t napping, then sometimes I forget about doing quiet time. Or I don’t want them to have quiet time because I don’t want them to fall asleep. We go through phases where napping creates toddlers who won’t go to bed at bedtime and I get so so so tired of bedtime battles. 

 

Sometimes kids just need rest though. This is a photo of Little Sis passed out on the floor in the middle of snack time. Before she fell asleep, she poured what was left of her trail mix on her sister’s shoe. Of course she did. Everything a toddler does makes perfect sense. 😉 

Why I Want to Remember to Keep Doing Quiet Time (hopefully even as the kids get much older)…

Quiet time gives me a break. Time to re-charge my patience, my energy, and do something I enjoy. I usually throw a load of laundry in, tidy the living room, and start the dishwasher or something. But most of the time is spent reading a book, doing yoga, hanging out with the bunny or the cat 🙂 …or blog! 

 

Quiet time gives the kids a break! 

Little Sis has her quiet time in the playroom. She can play with toys alone, which something she really doesn’t do much otherwise because she always has someone to play with. Or she can take a nap. We have a big box with a sheet over it that serves as a little fort and she snuggles up in there and falls asleep on days she needs some rest.  I try to check on her and wake her up so she doesn’t nap very long and that usually helps with bedtime.

Big Sis uses her time to play on the iPad, draw, or look at books.  I love hearing her in her room making up stories.

Little Bear sleeps. He sleeps really well because for once, the house is quiet. 🙂
Quiet time gives us all some much needed alone time. It doesn’t have to be very long. Sometimes it can last up to two hours if everyone is really into what they are doing or really tired, but even just an hour is really nice. 

I think that even as the kids get bigger I’d like to keep quiet time as part of our daily routine so the kids can read, draw, or pursue some other hobby by themselves without a lot of noise, interruptions or arguing. And I can have some time for me, too.

Do you do quiet time in your house?

Thanks for reading!


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Staying Sane Amid all the Crazy

Parenting is hard!  There are days that I lay down in bed after a tough day thinking, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to try again tomorrow.”

I realized one day that every word out of my mouth was spoken with annoyance.  And I had been yelling. My husband and I started a yelling jar to try to nip that habit in the bud. The next morning I put five chips in. Five. All before 10am.

The fighting. Hitting. Screaming. Whining.

The baby waking up because of the loud siblings.  (Little Sis is loud even when she’s happy!)

The toddler who throws herself on the ground or runs away when she doesn’t want to do something.

The way I look when I’m carrying a baby, a diaper bag, and a kicking and screaming two year old to the van and trying to explain to the upset four year old why I can’t hold her hand.

Putting the toddler back in bed for the tenth time in one night.  Eleventh.  Twelfth. (Seriously.  This is happening as I am writing this.  I think the time change is messing with their heads.)

How are we always running late?  Why can’t they ever find their shoes?

Will there ever be a meal, other than pancakes, pb&j’s, or mac and cheese that my four year old does not say “but I didn’t want THAT” to, even before she bothers to look at it or try it?

Asking them to do something or not do something and then one minute later they are doing the opposite of what I asked.

Oh the messes! Not just an untidy house, but silly putty in the carpet, mascara all over my toddler’s face, pen marks on kid and clothes and toilet, marker on the walls, pieces of toilet paper all over the bathroom floor…

The list could go on and on.  We have to be able to laugh or we’ll go crazy!

This toddler….

….likes to draw EVERYWHERE.

Do you ever feel like you are at a complete loss for what to do?  That you just keep trying and trying and nothing is working?  Do you maybe have that one kid that you aren’t sure how to parent?  You’re definitely not alone.

I took the kids to a fun class the other day and Little Sis really liked the singing and story time.  But then they played a game and she was pushing the other children who were trying to play.  I tried talking to her about it but she kept doing it. They were stepping on pictures for the game and she really thought that kids should not step on pictures. Haha! So I took her to the coloring station and she colored for a bit.  But then she spotted some scissors and started screaming when I wouldn’t let her play with them.  (There was only one pair and everyone needed to share for the craft.) Then we went to a station where there were a lot of toy animals to play with.  She was having fun playing with another girl and her mom until the girl had something she wanted.  Then she yelled and tried to take the toy away and wouldn’t listen to anything anyone said while she could still see the girl with the toy. I knew all the “right” things to say to my two year old in this situation but she wouldn’t even calm down to listen to me.  She just fought me and fought me until I decided that we’d just go home because the class was pretty much over anyway.

I took classes in child development.  I have a degree in interpersonal communication.  I was a part time nanny for five years.  I worked at or ran summer camps and after school programs for six years.  I was a trained mental health aid for children with attachment disorders.  I read parenting books and blogs.  My favorite game with my husband even before we got married was “what would you do” and we’d talk about different parenting situations.  I feel like I’ve trained to be a parent my entire adult life…and you know what?  I STILL find myself feeling at times like I have no flippin clue what I’m doing!  🙂

Even if things are going well and I do feel confident in how I should handle a situation, there are always bad days or difficult circumstances…and there isn’t just one right way of doing things. What worked with Big Sis does not always work with Little Sis. What worked for your kid may or may not work for my kid.  Or at least not as quickly and easily.

We just need to keep at it. Keep encouraging each other. Sometimes when my child is being a crazy little stinker and I’m feeling overwhelmed and impatient, a smile from another parent is what I need to stay calm and handle it the way I really want to, rather than getting embarrassed and angry.

Nobody has it all together. There is no secret to having perfect kids that some of us just haven’t discovered yet. But there are things that help us not-perfect-moms to deal with our not-perfect-children without going insane. What are some things that you do? Please share things that you do to keep your sanity amid all the crazy and I might feature your idea on my blog!  OR do you have a situation that you are looking for ideas on how to handle it?  Ask away!  Not all ideas work for everyone.  Even an idea that works for you now might not work a few months later.  But I love asking my friends for ideas or advice or reading blog posts.  I find so much encouragement this way and I hope that this blog can be encouraging to you.

Thanks for reading!