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Scheduling My Sanity

I have found that there are two kinds of moms out there. Those who care about sleep schedules, and those who don't. We can break it down even further though, if we separate naps from nighttime. I have been a stickler for naps and bedtimes since day one with both of my children, and I have never benefitted from it more in their lives than I have during the COVID stretch.

Of course, when I had one baby I could do errands around lunch time and know that she'd sleep in the car, in the stroller, wherever we went. But as she got more routinized out of infancy, those car naps were harder to sustain. Kids can sense when the car comes to a stop or when the engine shuts off. I enrolled my daughter in daycare at 10 months where they quickly trained her to take one nap a day. That blocked out time was sacred to us on the weekends - to keep her on schedule, and provide us with some much needed downtime - I mean, I was already pregnant with my second on the way and the sleep couldn't be more valuable to me at that time.

My second baby barely slept for the first four months. He defied all nap rules as an infant - I got a real run for my money (Ha! Having a second kid because you think it'll be just like the first!?) But by six months he had a rhythm, and I was sleep training him by night. My only goal as a mom during that time was to get everyone to sleep at the same time, every day. My life revolved around it. Our life as a family revolved around it.

Now, they are 1.5 and 2.5 years old. Every day from 11:30AM-3:30PM, we don't leave the house. Naps are in session. Sometimes they're 2 hours, sometimes they're 3.5. I don't question it! I don't even want to leave the house with them in the AM, for fear that the little one will fall asleep on the way back home and then FORGET IT - the nap transfer is a disaster every time! Our lives revolve around the schedule and the sanity. When the older one doesn't want to take a nap, we still strictly enforce quiet time in her room.

I understand this amount of discipline isn't for everyone. People want their independence to do things and take their kids in tow. But I just want to have some quiet time so I can work from home without anyone kvetching. As COVID comes to a strange crossroads during this summer, we are all wondering similar questions...

  • Will we go back to work and resume life in September? 
  • Will we be quarantined again for the coming school-year or even parts of it?
  • Will we have to figure out hybrid models again, of parenting full time and working full time?
  • When will my child's sleep routine once again change, and as a result, change us all during an extremely chaotic time?
I think it's a powerful time to take inventory of our lives, of our responsibilities, pros/cons, in every way we can. Realize the power of what works for you, and the power of what does not. If your child's sleep makes your life easier, commit to it. If you need extra help around the house, find a way. If you need to decompress, take a walk alone after bed time. I guess it sounds easier said than done - to tell people to spend their money and time doing things that aren't always feasible - but I believe if there's a will, there's a way. Good luck, mamas!


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