To All The Nap Judgers Out There
Naps are both a blessing and a curse. If you succeed in getting your child to nap you will be rewarded with a happy and rested child, AND you get 2-3 hours of glorious uninterrupted “me time”. Those precious minutes tick by as you choose whether you want to join in on the snooze fest, clean up the house, shower or just go mind numb on social media. Decisions, decisions.
And why do we need this “break”? Because parenting is hard. It is by far the hardest job I have ever done. So why don’t we all just take it easy on each other?! Especially when it comes to nap schedules.
By my second child you would think I had gotten used to all the comments on my children’s nap schedules. Nope. Still just as annoying as hell as they were the first time around. So I’ve come up with some retorts for the usual suggestions/comments people say:
1) Why don’t you just let them nap in the car? Well gee wiz, why didn’t I think of that? Ok, maybe not as passive aggressively as that, but you get the point. Look, just because your little Jane can nap in the car ride home from our fun play date doesn’t equate to my kid being able to do that too. If I tried that with my toddler I would just have a stressful as hell drive home with a screaming overly tired kid. So I’m sorry that we have to be home by noon because she can only nap at home. In our bed. With a box fan on for white noise. But thems the breaks folks.
2) Can’t you just lay them down earlier/later? As much as I would love to have a Power Down button on both of my children, they just weren’t made with one. Shitty, right? Ok, but really people. They have their own minds and no matter how much we read, shush, rock or nurse them, they will only go down in their usual window of time for when they are tired. For us personally that’s around noon. At least for the toddler. Luckily, the baby is currently in a when & where ever he wants to nap phase. This is a glorious phase, one that I cherish & pray lasts a long time. But for my toddler? Any earlier or later just becomes a battle and I have enough of those already.
3) Can’t they just skip a nap today? Honestly, my comeback is usually a hysterical laughing fit, wiping the tears out of my eyes and just walking away. Look, some people are able to get away with doing this with their kids. Fan-freaking-tastic for them! Really. I commend all of you parents out there that are able to do this. For the rest of us who will just have tiny screaming crying tantrum throwing menaces running around until bed time, this will NOT work for us. Sorry I’m not sorry that I won’t make my kids tired as shit to fit YOUR schedule. Basically, a “this is what works for OUR family” is the best way to go with this one.
4) Well, my Susie never had problems with (whichever sleep habit is being compared to your child). Well great for freaking Susie!! I mean really, let’s not even sugar coat this one. Just because your kid can breeze through a day with a 20 min cat nap doesn’t mean my kids will follow suit. I wish it worked this way, I really do. But comparing your kid’s nap and sleep habits to my kids, is like me saying “I find a large cup of coffee really gets things brewing nicely down there for a fat poo. This should automatically work for you too”. Will this work for some people? Probably, coffee is a known diuretic. But that doesn’t mean it will work for EVERYONE.
5) If they don’t nap during the day they’ll sleep better at night. Yeah. Freaking. Right. I find this usually comes from people without kids. I don’t really know who thought of this logic. I guess in a perfect world you would think this makes sense. But when has logic ever been able to be applied to a baby or toddlers sleep schedule?!? The answer is never. Never ever.
6) The baby/toddler came to live with you, you didn’t come to live with the baby/toddler. First of all, thank you Captain Obvious. Secondly, yes, WE as parents consciously chose to have children. Thus WE are the ones dealing with the responsibilities that come with having kids. Sometimes (or in some cases, all the time) this means we have to work our schedules around theirs. Is this for everyone? No. But it sure as hell works for me and my family, so why does it bother you? If this is what works for us, then that’s all that matters. If being home by noon every day so I can get my toddler and baby down to sleep at the same time means I can snag a nap too? Sign me the hell up. If making sure they don’t sleep past 4 ensures they’ll go to bed fairly easily at night works, then you bet your ass I’m doing that. Every. Single. Damn. Day.
Bottom line. Parenting is hard enough. So trying to compare what works or has worked for your kids is useless because we don’t have the same kids. They don’t have the same temperament. Or sleep habits. Or same environment for that matter.
So keep on doing what works for you. And if that confuses or pisses people off in the process? Just remember it’s what works for YOUR family.