Tired Kid = Tired Mama

Kids' parade!
Kids’ parade!

We had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend visiting family up in New Hampshire. The kids participated in the annual children’s parade, we visited the farmers’ market and we had lots of great quality family time. When it was time to leave, my almost four year old was anything but great. She totally lost it. It was one of those epic fits I dread, where you end up having to pick the kid up and drag them kicking and screaming to the car. All the while, your family is either offering help even though you can’t hear them over the screaming or politely giving you your space by leaving the vicinity as quickly as possible. Don’t you just wish you could be one of the people walking away? Oh man, those moments really make me feel thrust onto center stage. Even though I know that no one in my family is judging me or how I react, it’s just such an intense situation. Heck, I don’t even KNOW how to react in the heat of those moments. On one hand, I feel really bad for my daughter. She’s exhausted, she’s had a great weekend and she doesn’t want to leave. I totally get it. On the other hand, I gave her plenty of warning that we were leaving and I just want to get on the road for the three-hour drive. My husband wasn’t there this time, but when it’s him dealing with a situation like this, I feel even more conflicted about how to handle myself. I understand how upset it makes him (and me) but I just feel so sorry for my baby girl that she’s this overcome with emotion. Watching from the outside instead of being the parent on the front line makes me feel for her even more.

We’ve had some pretty intensely emotional times around our house lately. I usually blame times like this on lack of sleep, and this time is no different. We’ve had night and after night of neighbors setting off huge loud fireworks and trouble falling asleep because it’s still light out. We’ve had missed naps left and right. It’s hard to determine if it’s time to give up the afternoon nap altogether. Maybe the late bedtimes are in part because of the naps on the days she does take them? She’s turning four this month but it still seems like some days she really needs a nap. Could we do a nap every other day? I have a feeling that with my routine loving kids, that isn’t going to fly. Nap has become a real chore. It takes her a long time to fall asleep, she often comes back out of her room or someone needs to lay with her until she falls asleep. Nap hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been easier than it is now. Yesterday we got her a CD player and decided to play a CD at naptime. I told her she needed to stay in her room and have quiet time until the CD was over. I didn’t tell her I had set it to repeat. I think she did fall asleep, even though she was only in there for about an hour. I know people like to keep doing quiet time even when nap is gone, but when you combine this lack of napping with her rebellious streak right now, it’s hard to even get her to stay in her room. Combine all that with daddy having been out of town for the last two weeks and the little one waking up at 5am sharp and this mama is tired! Thank goodness for Grandparents!

I would assume there is a strange and difficult transition period when kids are outgrowing their naps or when you stop having them take one altogether. Help me out mamas – what’s been your experience with this??

8 comments on “Tired Kid = Tired Mama”

  1. We went from napping to “quiet rest time”. You have to be in your room for an hour playing quietly by yourself. My oldest usually reads and the younger one will play with dolls and often fall asleep. We wake her up after 30 minutes which eases the bedtime issues we were having. My older daughter will still sometimes fall asleep too, especially if we’ve had an active day. This downtime works for our family as it gives all if us some time to refresh (we’ve been known to fall asleep during this time too!). She may not be ready to go napless just yet, but the quiet time with practice might be a good solution.

    I did read about someone who does rest time and sets the clock to 12:00 every afternoon and has the child come out if the room at 1:00. Might be worth a try.

  2. Our daughter dropped the nap shortly before her third birthday, right when our second child was born. I was too tired to fight the naptime battle with her, so I just started having her in bed between 6:30 and 7:00. Other than some ugliness in the late afternoon/early evening witching hours, we were all happier napless!

  3. I got tired of the fighting so I just dropped the naps altogether (at about 3.5 years) and OMG, the freedom is AWESOME. My kids still nap at preschool and they could in theory nap at home if I put them into a quiet dark cave, but our house is just not like that (their room is dark but not dark enough). I just make sure I get them home as early as possible on weekends. I bet the weekend tantrum was just because there was SO MUCH FUN STUFF to do. I’m pretty sure my kids would throw a fit, too!!! Anyway, adorable pic!!!

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