How to get things done when your kids won't nap
How do you get things done when your kids don't nap? Especially when your kids still rely on you. I am going to share something you can implement, especially in the afternoons to make sure you can get things done even if your kids don't nap.
What I highly suggest is that you work some quiet time into your afternoon. There is a need for us all to have some quiet time, some restorative time in the afternoon.
Maybe your kids still nap but are getting to the point where they don't nap all the time. You can still do this.
How to set yourself up for success and get things done even if your kids don't nap
So, how do you set yourself up for success with this? What do you actually have your kids do during quiet time? Why do you need some quiet time as well?
What is quiet time?
If you're not familiar with what quiet time is, quiet time is basically time that your child spends in their room without you or your spouse being there. They are resting and rejuvenating a little bit.
What we found with Erik is that sometimes he'll sleep and other times he'll play for a while and then he'll sleep.
If your kids do this make sure that you wake them up at their normal wake time. And from the research that I've done, they say that after three o'clock, your child starts to use up their nighttime melatonin. So make sure that you wake them up by three. And they'll be able to transition to bed.
I know it's tempting to let them sleep long so you can get more work done, but then you're going to pay for it at bedtime.
Make sure you have an afternoon routine so you can get things done if your kids don't nap
You need to have a routine in place in the afternoon to help transition into quiet time. Our routine with Erik is we have lunch. Then Erik plays for a little bit. Afterward, we go upstairs, do potty, and put on a sleep diaper. We pick up the room a little bit and get his bed all situated. Then we'll read a book together and do some snuggles. We'll talk for a little bit.
So once you have a routine in place you can then tell your child that it's time for quiet time. With Erik, we tell him he has to stay in his room on his own without us.
Make sure you go over some rules such as staying in their room. We have a baby gate that we can put in front of his door to show him that we're really serious about him staying in there. I know that's not Montessori, but there are times that Jeff and I have deadlines that we need to get done. And also it is very good for Erik to have quiet time.
So we have to balance a little bit. Erik has free reign of his entire room. He's got some toys in there, like Legos, a whole bunch of books, stuffed animals, and blankets. Puzzles a good thing to put in there, but only if your child is good with puzzles and can do them on their own.
Try to minimize screen time as much as possible and use it judiciously.
Make sure the toys you use for quiet time are no loud toys. Don't put things in their room that they will get frustrated with if you are not there to help.
Quiet time can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Quiet time for older kids
Quiet time is really good for your older kids as well. It's a great time to put away electronics and do some creative writing, drawing. Or they can learn new things without a screen.
Think about what your kids are really interested in. And if they're trying to figure out what their interests, get some books from the library or have them do some research outside of quiet times so that they can have activities to do during quiet time.
Quiet time for olders can last about an hour.
Everybody can benefit from quiet time
Everybody can benefit from quiet time, including you as a parent. You probably need about 20 to 30 minutes.
I'm actually reading a book right now called "No-Fail Habits" by Michael Hyatt. It's a really good book if you're trying to build in routines.
It's really interesting to see just what that rest can do for you and your mind. Your quiet time can be a time where you close your eyes and meditate.
Early afternoon, our circadian rhythm, which is responsible for sleep and energy, will typically have a dip in your energy levels in the afternoon. Instead of trying to power through that and caffeinate your way through it, sit with it for a little bit.
You can spend 20 to 30 minutes rejuvenating. You can do some gentle stretches, read, sit in a massage chair, close your eyes. Just step away from your desk. Get a drink of water, and let your brain go for a little bit. You will find this so helpful. And you will find that it will help you transition into the afternoon with more energy and excitement for what you're doing.
It also helps to restore you. Even if you feel you don't have enough time, give yourself 20 minutes to restore before you jump into a busy afternoon. You'll be more productive. And you'll get more done. You'll be more focused. And so sometimes taking that 20 minutes will make you so much more effective in the afternoon. I really encourage you to give it a try.
Taking this little bit of time for you is really beneficial. So I hope you'll take this time. Let me know in the comments below how beneficial you found this time.