We’ve heard since the beginning of time, “sleep when the baby sleeps.” But how long does that go on?

I remember the days so clearly. After preschool, my mom and I would crawl up in her bed and take naps together. She would read the newspaper, and I curled up in her arm, pretending to read with her. I would gently drift off to sleep, telling her, “don’t get out of bed without me,” as she wrapped her hand around my ankle, so if I moved or got out of bed, I would jerk her awake.  I was terrified when I would wake up, and she wouldn’t be by my side. Often times, that would happen. She couldn’t take a two-hour nap as I could. She had things to get done, and other children to tend to.

I feel like we did this until I went to kindergarten. And now, that I am a mother, I get it. I 100 percent get it.

Being a mother is exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home or a working mom. It’s exhausting regardless.

I’ve been really blessed with a first child, who is almost four years old, and still asks to take naps. I understand that’s rare. And most children are done taking naps between ages two-to-three years. However, my daughter, everyday around 1:30pm, tells me she’s ready for a nap.

My second baby is 14 months old. Since the day he was born, I tried to schedule their naps so they would sleep at the same time.

It worked. Making about two hours for either “me” time, or naptime with my little ones.

Its nap time all around at our house. I feel so rejuvenated after a nap. I feel refreshed, and ready for our second half of the day.

I understand now what my mom was doing. I get it. I now see myself crawling up in my bed with my daughter, reading her a library book and falling asleep as we snuggle. It’s our time together. And next year, she will be off to kindergarten, and I won’t have this time anymore.

I understand not all four-year old children take naps. But what about quiet time? I’ve seen SO many amazing mothers do this with their little ones who have outgrown naps. They have purchased a “time to wake” light, set the timer, and that child now knows that their quiet time is done when the light turns color. This still allows you to have your break (yes, although we love our babies, breaks are necessary for our sanity) and your little ones to have a break as well.

They might destroy their room with toys strung all over the place, but let their imagination soar. Let them play with their toys without being told “no.”

Now is the time for you to do what you want with minimal interruptions. Go watch The Bachelor, go drink your Diet Coke, read a book, take a nap, and have some YOU time.

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