Recently I've experienced the loss of a dear friend, nap time. Through
the years we've had our differences, such as leaving me for a week
long vacation without any notice, but it would always return, usually
penitent for the chaos its absence caused. A few weeks ago, both of my
older children decided, whether independently or collaboratively I don't
know, that nap time was a thing of the past. I had managed for quite a
few months to get all three to nap in the afternoon at the same time,
ensuring a couple hours of serenity, time to work on writing, sneak a
scoop or two of chocolate ice cream, catch up on a TV show that my
husband wouldn't watch, attempt a workout, or make a valiant effort
with the mountains of laundry waiting for me in the basement.
I feel unbalanced in adjusting to this new world of constant play. The
children have responded to bleary eyed afternoons in different ways.
My eldest (5) turns into a 17 year old with the attitude to match, and
my 3 year old, despite being as tough as a mini linebacker, emotionally
wilts like any unfortunate plant condemned to my house. And so late
afternoons have been quite a challenge.
The balancing act called motherhood is a constant learning process.
Nap time used to be instrumental in aiding that balance, and now
my equilibrium is recalibrating itself. I find myself searching for
strategies that will bring order to afternoon chaos. The TV has
been on much more than I'd like lately.
Yesterday I ordered the sleep deprived sweeties to their room with
the instructions that they are to either look at books or play with
puzzles. 30 seconds later I heard banging, pounding and screaming.
I marched up and found them wrestling each other down to the
ground. In itself not bad, but my 3 year old has gotten in trouble at pre-
school for not being gentle enough with his classmates, so rough
housing is not allowed for right now. I had to put on a tough demeanor,
put them to the tasks I had instructed, and amazingly they were quiet
until dinner was ready. Again I'm reminded that I need to be the mom
that is best for my children, not the funnest or the coolest, just the best
Although I feel nap time abandoned me without warning (or maybe
I had ignored the warning signs in denial), I need to stop mourning
its departure and move on. I love the motto of the animated movie
Meet the Robinsons, "Keep moving forward." With God's grace,
that's exactly what I'll do!