Where Have You Been?

I’ll tell you where I’ve been.

Trying to hang on to my sanity.

You know that whole Terrible Two’s thing? Yeah, I’m living it right now. With TWO Terrible Two’s. My life has pretty much been a non-stop nightmare. Not only are the girls into absolutely everything – and I’m talking making one mess and then making another while I’m still cleaning up the first mess – but they’ve also decided to boycott their daily nap.

Now I know kids give up naps. You might remember last December when my girls dropped their morning nap. I had a hard time giving up that one, but the bright side was that I still had Nap #2, and it was anywhere between 2 and 3 hours long.

During Nap #2, I got a lot of work done – it was my time to write my SmartMomPicks.com and SmartMomStyle.com posts. It was my time to write my own blog posts for the next day. It was my time to get through emails, tweet and pin. Generally, it was my time.

Over the last couple of weeks, they’ve decided that they didn’t need no stinkin’ nap. At first, they’d stay in their room and play and eventually fall asleep. A few days later, they decided to open the door and come out; I’d chase them back in and make them lay down. Eventually they’d go to sleep. But this last week? Nap boycott. No way, no matter what I do, will they lay down and nap. They cry, I cry, and we are all miserable. The witching hour starts at 1pm instead of at 5pm. We are all tired and cranky.

But not only are we tired and cranky, I have no time to work. I have no time to blog (last week I posted a Mommy Moment that I didn’t write and my first vlog…that was it). I fell behind on my SmartMom posts. I didn’t have time to tweet…and that more than anything makes me sad.

So now I’ve got them all running around, demanding attention, wanting something to do every minute they’re up, and I am losing my mind. Writing is my time to wind down, to recharge. It takes the edge off. Those 2 or 3 hours everyday gave me time to do something that I loved that was only for me. Now that I’m losing it, I’m having a hard time.

PLEASE – I need your advice, your tips, suggestions and I need to know how you all do it! Help me before I lose my mind entirely!

It’s the last day to enter my California Wine Club FREE WINE giveaway! Enter now!

Comments

  1. oh man, I don’t know… Chessa has been flirting with giving hers up too. But she just turned 2 and I’M NOT READY, DAMMIT. She’s still in a crib, so at least she can’t get out, but after an hour or an hour and a half after watching her play alone in her crib I start to feel bad and let her get up.
    Earlier bedtime to accomodate the no nap? Maybe?

  2. Oh dear … finding time for ourselves … there is a tough one.
    Pardon me if I chuckled that at the end of your plea you had a wine give away – ironic much ? :)

  3. Ack! That stinks! My two year old is just a mess when she doesn’t take a nap. My 4yo doesn’t take one anymore…she gave it up probably a year or so ago? And my 6 yo, when he’s not in school, wears me down. But, I still need ME time, so I’ve enforced “quiet time”. If they’re not napping, they have to be doing something quiet, by themselves. Reading, doing puzzles, something like that. It helps a lot. Good luck!!

  4. I gate my kids upstairs during quiet time. It took threes months but they got in the habit and now they play upstairs for an hour every afternoon without much fussing. I have a feeling though that yours are likely to get in a whole lot of trouble up there by themselves. So I don’t think this is a good option for you.

    I hope you find a solution, it sucks to not have at least an hour or two of “you” time.

  5. Oh Natalie, I KNOW how sad this is! This past week my girls have skipped more than they’ve napped, and it drives me crazy. No time to myself, and when I’m frustrated like that, I tend to retreat into my computer even more bc I don’t want to deal with them! It’s hard.

    My advice would be to keep trying, or try to administer quiet time, which admittedly has only worked with my girls a handful of times. After that we get up and watch a movie, or sometimes they’ll play quietly. The worst part though is they get that “so tired we’re wired” mood around 3 or 4, and it’s maddening!

    And then? Early bedtime!!! It’s actually a decent trade to get some of my evening back again since they’re so tired. Not only do they go down early, but they don’t call me in there 47 times for water, toys, or back scratches. Good luck!

  6. I’m the same way, I need my time. It helps that I have 2 of my 3 in school during the day, but I’m still here with my 3 year old all day. And she’s quite a demanding sort. I usually put a movie on for her in her bedroom and hope that she’s into watching it, which on really good days, will give me an hour. It’s not the best solution, but it gives us both a bit of a break most days. If I don’t get done what I need to get done, though, I just have to wait until everyone is in bed.

  7. Oh geez, I’m sorry they are fighting their nap. That’s no good at all.

    Mine has just turned 2 and he still is a good napper. Though, I have a baby gate in front of his bedroom door to prevent him from any ‘Great Escape’ plans he might have.

    Sometimes, he fights them for an hour and finally falls asleep and other days he’s just wasted and needs his sleep.

    I’m diligent about routine though. Nap is always directly after lunch, no later than 1. My daycare lady sticks with the same plan since she’s with him 5 days a week.

    On weekends, we make sure to really wear him out in the AM. Plus, I don’t let him sleep past 7:30 in the morning.

    Good luck. It could just be a phase and they’ll be back to their naps in a day or so.

  8. They are only little once, enjoy them and work on what you love before they get up in the morning.

  9. Losing the nap is a hard transition for everyone. We do mandatory break, where they head up to the playroom and watch t.v. for an hour. I always offer a reward for good behavior like going to the park when we break time is over.

  10. Gunne went through a nap boycott a few months ago. Given that he’s a few months older than your girls, I guess they are hitting whatever milestone he hit.

    The good news! Naps are back! And better than ever!

    Here’s what I did – messed around with bedtime and naptime. I moved them all around until I finally discovered a timetable that worked. It took a few weeks of sliding nap and bedtime back and forth until we hit a nice medium. Now he naps and goes to bed 1/2 hour later than he used to. That’s it. Hopefully something similar works for you!

  11. I say use quiet time, instead of nap time. They must stay in their room for the allotted time and get rewarded if they don’t come out. They don’t HAVE to sleep, but must be quiet and relax. When I’m having a particularly stressful day or I’m tired, I still use this for my 10 and 5 yo. GOOD LUCK!

  12. I totally remember this stage with my kids and thinking I was going to have to check into the psych ward. You don’t even realize how much you appreciated their nap time until it’s gone.

    Mine never did do quiet time very well. I’d put on a movie and have them all lay on the sofa but that only worked temporarily. I finally just bit the bullet and accepted that mine didn’t need any down time. The magical part of it all was that they went to bed much earlier so I at least had that.

    If they’re getting cranky at 1:00 that means they probably still need some down time, maybe not sleep, though. What about taking them outside (weather permitting) and having them run around for about 20-30 minutes…that should wear them out to the point where they’ll sit in their rooms quietly with a book or lay down and watch a movie. Make the movie time really special by popping some popcorn and puff up some huge pillows for them lay on. Then tell them it’s Mommy’s work time.

    Who knows…it could work.

    If not, ship them off to bed at 6:30 pm and enjoy the extra hours of freedom in the evening.

    Whatever you decide to do, wishing you the best of luck and sending you many hugs. I totally know what you’re going through!

  13. Are they together at nap time, meaning, in the same room? If so, separate them. They could be winding each other up. You could also use that as an incentive for them to start napping again (separate rooms until they start napping, or threaten separate rooms if they don’t start settling down).

    Good luck!

  14. We aren’t there yet, but the terrible two’s are right around the corner for us! Hopefully you will be able to give me advice when I get there.

  15. Aw man! I feel for you- I kust wrote about a horrid night over here the other day. I made the mistake of reading a post at ‘Spiritually Aware Parenting’ on Fb- and just became enraged. So my tip is not to visit there as they told me all about their ‘perfect’ 2 year olds and that I’m supposed to just ‘laugh and let be’. Oh. Sure. Sorry you are having trouble, but it helps me feel not so alone…?

  16. I feel your pain, Nat. Last Dec, when Chalupa was 2 & 4 months, he gave up his nap for 3 wks (I wrote a post on it called “Chaos Central Presents the Roast of the Nap) – but then? It came back.

    It seems a little young for the girls to totally go w/ out it – so keep persevering. At least for a little bit. And then if it truly is gone, I’d either plan an hour of quite time where they have to stay in their rooms and play and not bother you OR get out of the house, wear them out, and put ’em to bed super early.

    Fingers crossed it returns. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

  17. no advice here. i have a two week at home so i know the feeling. hubbs is holding her so i can update!!!

  18. Get a lock for their room, put only things in there that they can do no harm with and lock them in there for at least an hour. No this is not a bad thing and I am totally serious. Lock the freaking door and regain your sanity and then put those little girls to bed early.

  19. Have you tried napping them in separate rooms? My boys are a year apart and even though they have always shared a room, I split them up at nap time. It was the only way….

  20. You could try a big cage? 😀

    No seriously… I had to put one of those child safety door handle thingys on the inside of Monk’s door when he started doing that because he would refuse to nap and then even worse, he would get up all night every night and NOT STOP. But once I put that on the door, he tried it a couple times and went back to bed. A few tears were shed, but I just explained to him that it was time to sleep and that when he woke up we would do something exciting like paint or play. It worked really well for us.

    I am actually considering putting it back on because he has started crawling into bed with us at night and no matter how many times I carry him back, he sneaks back in as soon as i fall asleep.

  21. I really had some good advice but when the kids decide nap is done, there isn’t a lot you can do. Maybe quiet time in front of the TV while you work :)

  22. they are too young to be giving up their nap and sounds like you definitely need them to nap or have down time every day. I like to consider myself a nap guru having spent 12 yrs in a classroom getting 20 kids to nap. Not sure what you are doing now but I would suggest a basic that includes outside time before lunch…playing outside, going to the park etc. Come in and eat lunch (have it prepped if you can in case they are cranky). Cuddle up and read a few books, get them their blankies or loveys and off to bed. I think separating them is a good idea for now. What about sitting down with them and helping them unwind? Pat their backs, magic fingers (gentle fingers on their faces..they can’t help but close their eyes!) It may seem to be a lot of work at first but once they learn or re-learn to self-soothe you can back off and not do it. Dark room, comfortable temp and gentle music goes with out saying. Sorry for writing a novel.

  23. Abbey dropped her nap at 23 months. Once in a while (she’s 3 1/2), she’ll go to sleep in the car while we’re out an about, but that’s it.

    I don’t have any advice, because I tried EVERYTHING, and she wasn’t having it.

    I do have lots of sympathy for you, and I hope it gets better :(

  24. Oh I feel for you. I wrote the exact same post a year ago when my two quit. I was miserable, they weremiserable. It was awful. We don’t have the space but if there were any way to separate them I would have done it in hopes it would salvage nap time for a little longer. Otherwise, I tried to enforce quiet time but that didn’t work that well either because they just got into trouble. I guess I’m not much help other to say that I’ve been in your shoes and I feel for you.

  25. If it’s possible can you put one in their bed and the other in your bed? Separation usually works for my boys and now it’s just standard practice. Use a timer of some sorts and gradually increase the time… say when the time goes off you can get up and set it at 30 minutes for the first couple of days. Gradually increase the time once you think they get the point of waiting for the ding. Work your way up to the hour or more you long for. Don’t give up though! They still need it as much as you do!

  26. As soon as I start to write “advice”, my girls will probably revolt and never nap again…so please take this for what it’s worth, but not as “advice”! :)

    Our girls went through a tough period of a few weeks when they were just over 2 1/2. It was misery. Yes, I missed my “me” time in the afternoon…but more than anything, they were not the happy, healthy little girls that I knew they could and should be. It was so, so hard.

    I played around with the timing of their naps. Whereas they had been going down around 12:15 or so, I pushed them back to between 1:00 and 1:30. I am very deliberate with the time after lunch (which I pushed back from 11:30 to 12:00). We have at least 45 minutes where we “wind down” (or so I call it). I do my best to get them to snuggle with me on the couch while we read books.

    I also invested in blackout shades and a sound machine for their room (which I only use during nap time).

    KNOCK ON WOOD, we’ve been doing really well the past few weeks, and it makes the world of difference for us all.

    My gut is…if your girls still *need* a nap (based on their moods), then I’d be consistent with trying to figure it out. I think some moms concede nap time when these shenanigans start to happen, but I just didn’t feel it was the right timing for our girls. Go with your gut…you know what they need (although they *think* they know what they want!).

    Best of luck…and hang in there, Mama!!!

  27. Oh girl, I can feel your pain. I have 4 year old twins and a 2 year old and it was awful getting my twins to nap past the age of two. It was critical though as I had a newborn at home and used their nap time to also get work and me stuff done. If it gives you any hope, we all got through it and all three of my kids now take one nap a day for at least two hours. Whether they actually sleep or not is unknown. The baby is still in the crib but most likely will be jumping out soon and I will do the same to him as I did to my twins. Brace yourself, it is sort of mean but…I locked them in their room. I had to lock their bureau drawers, take toys out I could not handle cleaning up daily and bolted their furniture to the walls and just made it clear that it was lunch, potty, then nap. There was crying, playing, everything you can possibly imagine but they were in there and that was that. When they turned three I sepearated them into their own rooms but still locked them in as twins have no self control! The are drawn to each other like magnets! you NEED this time, something to look forward to each day. Believe me, implementing it sucks and the looks I get when I tell people I lock them in are horrible but unless you have twins, seriously..,, you know what mean girl! Hang in there!!

  28. I remember those days well and believe me, with teenagers; I wish they’d still nap. (LoL)

    Some of those suggestions are really good and I do recommend trying some but, I’d caution you on seperating them.

    The girls have been together forever and if you suddenly seperate them they may wonder ‘where’s Sissy?’ Or, ‘what is Sissy doing’? Creating more stimulation and stress counter-productive to napping and down time.

    I’d also suggest getting rid of ‘nap time’. Babies need ‘naps’. Big girls need ‘quiet’ time. Half the battle with naps is independence. Changing the name allows them to feel ‘bigger’ but may still get the results you are looking for.

    Good luck.

  29. I’m sending hugs and virtual bottles of wine.

    Mad gave up her naps on the weekends around 2.5 and I thought I was going to lose it.
    Now, they’re back and its wonderful. She’s 3.5 and she puts herself down.

    I wish I could give you advice but I think your other commentors are way more qualified than me.

    Lots of hugs, my friend. I hope to read soon that the nap has returned. Though I do like Poppy’s comment, even if it makes you want to smack her!

  30. My youngest gave up his nap a little over a year ago when he was 2 and 4 mo. I cried. Oh yes,I did.

    Television is my friend. As is letting him play out back while I work on the porch and watch him.

  31. Oooh, and PLAYDOH.

    How that helps, too!

  32. Crates for children are wonderful for containing them during nap time. I kid. Please don’t call CPS. But don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. 😉

    While you’re dealing with naps, I’m dealing with the word, “no”. I found this trick to keep my sanity while my 2 year old goes through this phase. Hope it makes you laugh. :)

    http://hahasforhoohas.com/the-king-of-no/

  33. ummm your freaking me out! Im a momma to twin 11 month olds…
    Im now sticking my fingers in my ears and closing my eyes, shaking my head so NO NO NO NO NO….

    ok I may have one eye a little open to read advice….

    tell me it gets better….please :)

  34. I dont have any advice, I write here at work (Shhhh) and when work gets crazy and I can’t tweet or write things that will allow me to catch up and I have to go home and do it there…well I HATE that. Because the boys don’t let me do anything. NOTHING. I’m at their mercy…so I know how you feel and I am feeling for you since I know how chaotic one Sat and Sun feel, I can’t imagine every day being like that.

    what can I do for you???? is there anything i can help with? I’m HERE if you need me.
    xoxo

  35. I have twins too. They are in separate rooms. I always put them down for “nap”, but sometimes one will sleep, the other will talk to theirself, which is fine. I always close their doors, but I hesitate to lock, and that honestly scares me that many people do! What if there’s a fire?! Or something else happens that you need to get to them quickly? I’m not a worrier…..I just think this is common sense? I guess whatever works!

  36. Wine wine and more wine?

    Kidding. Sort of.

    I mourned the morning nap when Lucas gave it up too, but now I prefer the big block of quiet in the afternoon, WHEN he goes down.

    I find, the more I tire Lucas out, not only will he take a nap but a longer one. So that means a lot of running at the park or crafts or a big outing that involves much activity. Easier to wrangle one kid, I realize, but activity for us is KEY!! And limited TV.

    Good luck and hang in there, friend.

  37. After not wanting to take naps, JDaniel announced this afternoon that he was going to take a nap. I am so enjoying the down time.

  38. We’ve had a few weeks where this has been an issue. I’ve instituted “quiet time” where they can do whatever they want in their room as long as I don’t hear them. I do hear them, but I totally ignore them long enough to get my stuff done. Then they come downstairs and I put a movie or a show on and get more stuff done (noisy stuff that I couldn’t do if they were sleeping). I basically keep working so they see that naptime with me isn’t fun, it’s work. When I think “naptime” should be over, we do something fun together. I crave that time in the afternoon though…I cry when we lose it too!

Trackbacks

  1. […] sure that you read my mom tell you about how we aren’t taking naps anymore. She says we are boycotting naps. But we just don’t need them […]

  2. […] job of interlinking your posts. For example, in your “Where have you been?” post you reference a previous post about a similar topic (the dreaded dropping of a morning […]

  3. […] really miss it sometimes. And in light of no naps, this isn’t going to be a touchy, feel good post swooning about the wonders of […]

  4. […] and Natalie’s are no exception. Natalie is another very real mom. She isn’t afraid to ask for advice when she needs help. She has a Mommy Moments feature, in which other real moms post about […]

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