Friday, March 23, 2012

Taking It's Toll

The Young Man had dropped his day sleep. It's official and it's full on.

Gone are the days where I would get a quiet hour to pic up after the kids, throw on a load of washing and most importantly - take a greedy minute to read your blogs and ponder my own. There is no longer a single, solitary 'still' moment during the day and I can feel it taking it's toll. 


Chaos reigns. 

I need a moment to pause, catch my breath, catch up, get organised and devise a plan. 

What do you do with your sleepless toddler so you can have a moments peace? 

53 comments:

  1. The wiggles on dvd with a snack tray, i would be in an institution without the wiggles!

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  2. Hello :) well, if I can I try to get up an hour earlier and at least get to have a cup of tea in peace! x

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    1. Hi andrea, A CUP OF TEA IN PEACE... at 5 am? Is it great? ;)

      xoxox

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  3. If you can, install a "quiet time". Not all kids can be coerced.....but maybe books,a chill out dvd, blocks/lego in his room etc...something he is happy to do on his own.Hope this helps.

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    1. He is one of the 'not to be coerced' ones. the little escape artist just inds ways to get out of his room!

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  4. We started kindy!
    It's tough Em, it took me a (long!) while to get used to it. Sorry, that's probably not helpful. Would he still have some quiet time in his room? Or you could put the kitchen timer on and tell him that he's not to disturb Mummy and to play with his toys etc until it goes off? Otherwise get searching on the internet for new and exciting things/activities to keep him occupied while you chillax in the blogosphere. That, or Wiggles DVDs. ;) (That was my high-quality parenting tactic for a while...)
    Ages and stages Em, ages and stages. One day you'll wish he was your Young Man again...
    Love to you in this time of change!

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    1. Jess, your comments are ALWAYS helpful. The kitchen times is a great idea, and it works... for baout 2 minutes. I do put a CD on for him and tell him not to come out of his room untill it ends- sometimes it works too! ahahah

      oh dear!

      xoxoxo

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  5. Losing the day sleep for us bought back an easier night-time for a while so it wasn't all bad. But, man, aren't there a lot of hours in the day to fill? And it's only now that we've hit four that she will play by herself quietly for larger pockets of time. But entertaining the big kid when her little sisters came long was the biggest challenge of the whole thing. We had lots and lots and lots of outings, trips to the park, even indoor play centres were saviours on desperate rainy days. Good luck!

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    1. Greer- there are like 87 hours in every day right? Oh, thats just the day light hours, thought so!

      xoxo

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  6. play school, hot milk and a biccie! hard to see now, I know, but it will get easier. in 6-12mths his focus and concentration on an activity will last longer which will give you a little more time. I was actually glad to be rid of the day sleep for my two eldest, they still flake out at 6.30 every night. but it was a shift in mentality that meant 'me time' stuff was for morning and evenings. ahhh motherhood! x

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    1. yeah, i think thats the answer. Its such a lovely but totally exhausting age.

      xo em

      p.s notice the time of this reply- yep- in the evening! HELLO ME TIME (and a glass of wine)

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  7. I tell them there is chocolate in the cupboard... and then I close the door? x

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  8. We are tv-free, but my friend had "movie rest" time with her four year old x

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  9. I hsve moved my computer dowstairs to the family room, it doesnt look great but at least i get some work donecwhildt Rowan is playing aroind me.

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  10. I completely empathise. Our Angus did this beginning of this year, just after we moved to a new house, and so for about a month and a half, I had not a moment of time to think for myself all day. It really did take its toll. It took us a while, but we came up with 'quiet time' whereby he would play with 'special cars' that daddy had when he was a little boy, and he would do this quietly in the famly room while mummy sat nearby at a desk on her laptop. He would do this for about an hour, then I would just put on Play School for another hour.
    Ronnie xo

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    1. Ronnie, you are awesome. That is all.

      I love your blog, your writing and your advice! Hit me with it!

      xo em

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  11. I don't have any children but I hope you're able to catch your breath soon! I can only imagine how busy life must get when children come along. Hope you keep up the great blog posts though because I really enjoy reading your thoughts on things :)

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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    1. Oh thanks so much Megan. very lovely of you

      xo em

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  12. Having freshly left art teaching I piled the goodies on the kitchen bench and let them glue and cut and scribble on huge pieces of pilfered cartridge that could take the workout. I can also remember painting their toenails in boy friendly colours, thirty in a row and telling them to sit very still till they dried. I could milk a good half hour out of that while they chatted to each other. The other one when I was really tired was to give them a big bowl of hair clips and ties etc and lie on the couch with my head on the pillow with my hair flopped over the end. Six gentle little hands playing with my hair was very soothing as I dozed!

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    1. Annie, you and I are one. Snap- we do this ALL DAY (you know, except when I jam them infront of the screen to make them SIT STILL for a second ;))

      xo em

      p.s youre onto something with the hair

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  13. I don't know if this would help you, but I joined the local rec centre gym and my little boy goes into the creche for an hour and a half three times a week while I work out and have a shower. I even get to blowdry my hair sometimes. He loves it and I get a bit of time to my myself - I can even read magazines on the X-trainer.

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    1. ooh sounds like a plan. But do i have to exercise? ;)

      xo em

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  14. We do a "quiet" time in the afternoon around 2; where we read books, do puzzles, or color. These activities don't give Mamma a complete break from the kiddos but it helps them have a little minute to slow/calm down and helps my brain get back on track from a long morning of chasing, playing, etc.

    Every family is different. You'll find your mo-jo just hang in there :)

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    1. Its the 'still' part that is important right?!

      xxoo

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  15. Oh golly gosh! This is one of the good things about living in France. Children spend the evening with the parents and go to bed pretty late (I know, I know; not much adult time which can be frustrating), wake up later in the morning (when the mother doesn't work) AND have a nap until the age of five. Even at school until kindergarten is over the children nap at school. Rare is the child who will not be used to having VERY quiet time after lunch.

    Judging from how resourceful you are you will sail through this change in time at all. I think it's quite a good idea to instill a quiet time after lunch. He can do what he likes as long as he does it in his bedroom... even if it's for 30 mins. It's crazy how that short after lunch break keeps me going all morning.

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    1. I'm living in the wrong country.... although Zeph was conceived in Paris.... that must be the problem!

      xo em

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  16. My son also dropped his sleep just as his little baby sister was born, so I feel your pain! It's hard going. We have 'quiet time' after lunch, when his sister goes to sleep. At that time he's allowed to watch a dvd. Sometimes I'll sit with him and read a magazine or close my eyes, other times I sit at the computer at have some 'me' time. I find it vital to get through the afternoon!

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    1. why do they always do it when the new one arrives??

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  17. my spirited daughter (now aged 4) dropped her nap at 2. It was tricky! For about a year I convinced her to have an hour of 'quiet time' in her room after lunch. She wasn't allowed out & had to play on her own. It saved my sanity!!

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    1. YOU HAVE SANITY? mine is long gone!

      ;)

      xo em

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  18. Em, there are days where Ronan doesn't seem keen for a sleep, but I make his room safe and he has a gate on his door and regardless of whether he sleeps or not he has two hours of quiet time. He can play with his cars on his mat, read books or play in bed with soft toys etc. More often than not he ends up falling asleep anyway...probably from boredom. I do this so that Finn can have his two hours of sleep with reasonable quiet in the house (and most importantly, I get the downtime). It works well. Ronan has learnt that this is just how it is, he cannot call out or make loud noise, or leave his room. Another good thing are story CD's that come with a book. xx

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    1. its all about a rest for us hay! Really , its me that needs the rest- not him!

      xo em

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  19. I am guessing (because I have spirited kids) that the rest routine may be a bit hard to enforce. I think that if you persevere though, it will work. The trick might be to find something that he is really keen on doing. For my boy it was craft (painting, playdough, glueing) lego or cooking. So if the actual rest thing doesn't work well for you. Maybe an activity that requires minimal supervision might. Maybe setting aside two quiet times that are a bit shorter in length might work well, instead of one. Goodluck

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    1. yep, hard to enforce. Two quiet times is an AMAZING idea. I can see that really working here!

      xo em

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  20. Tried to post last night from my phone with no luck so will do so now. I like to hide in the toilet for 5 minutes of peace and also am quite fond of the square babysitter - aka ABC for kids.

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    1. the dunny and the tellie- your my kind of woman!

      xo em

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  21. Oh Em! I get this, only too well. Angus' day sleep ending coincided with the birth of Felix... literally by a week! It is SO hard. Now the cheeky monkey Felix, at 20 months is trying to drop his day sleep altogether also. Mercy! Hope you manage to find a rhythm and somehow fall into a routine of sorts real soon hun xoxo

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    1. NO naughty Felix- he CAN NOT drop his day sleep. that would be all bad

      xo em

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  22. Bummer.

    I did quiet, independent play. I set up an activity or two in their rooms, so that they had to stay in there for 45 minutes playing quietly, or looking at books, doing puzzles, threading, or something like that, while I got some energy back.

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  23. Feeling your pain too, my 2yo daughter hardly ever has a daytime nap anymore, and it is so hard! I just try to get her to have quite time watching a dvd or playing in her room. It helps if I weare her out at a playgroup or playgroup earlier in the day too! Hope you get some much needed breathing space soon :)

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  24. Oh dear I remember this well. My daughter was 2 when it happened. She is now almost 5 so that makes nearly 3 years of no restful moment to myself during the day! My answer is not very politically correct. Two little letters that whisper quiet to me.
    T.V.

    I use it in the morning or the afternoon for no more than an hour, sometimes both if it's a really bad day.

    Best of luck!

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  25. I send the kids to their bedroom to draw or even watch the iPad just so I hours of silence when they are at little school ;)

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  26. I don't have a baby yet, so I'm probably not of great assistance. But, I know that as a child (and even now really) I never enjoyed an arvo nap on my own. But, if someone were to join me it was (and still is) all kinds of lovely. Any chance you could coax the little man into lying on your bed with you and quietly reading books while you took some tea and blog time. Quiet one-on-one time to just be. I'm positive you'll find yourself a new groove any day now!

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  27. My son too, is dropping his day sleep. But I'm taking mummy action to keep him in his cot for some 'quiet time' with some toys. That way I get to keep my Quality Time.

    It's too precious not to have.

    Good luck! xxx

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  28. I am right here with you. My little boy dropped his nap a few weeks ago. Killer. It's hard to get used to, especially because I'd just got my two in sync with their sleeps. I'm finding it a real catch-22. He needs a bit of a sleep to stop him being totally wild by the evening, but more than 15/20 mins and he won't sleep at night. Tough. We're doing the same as the above and trying quiet activities over lunch time to slow him/things down. This works fine on days where he's happy to be by himself, on other days he refuses to go with the quiet play thing and just ends up more and more hyper. On those dark days, I find the only thing that works is to put on a TV programme and invariably he's asleep before the end (which I know you don't have - but something on iPlayer?).
    I'm finding these days now take a lot more planning and they seem to go on FOREVER. Good luck with it all. Please let us know if you come up with a solution to the pain!

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  29. Also - meant to say last night, but I've found that one big positive of the no sleeping thing is that our days suddenly feel a little more free. We've been able to go on day trips that previously would have been too difficult or that would have felt quite rushed because of the sleep deadline. It helps that my daughter (6 months) is pretty easy and flexible, but maybe try and embrace the new found freedom!

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  30. Oh no, Em! Basically my worst nightmare. That sleep time is crucial... but then again I spend the whole time she's asleep in a panic about what to do (and terrified of her waking up!) and then never actually accomplish anything.

    So maybe once you find your groove this could mean you're even more productive. Apparently, the busier we are, the more we accomplish. I believe it to be true! Good luck Beet xx

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  31. god, we're the same at my place. even more fun when that hour and a halfish is really the only time you have all day to squeeze a whole work day into that little time slot... I have to admit, I shove a DVD on downstairs in the room next to my studio and Fern watches tv. Or I move a little table into my workroom and she colours next to me. For a while. Then she gets into my scissors and cottons and god knows what else and causes havoc. eeeeek

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    1. As long as she's got the scissors, she'll be FINE! ;)

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em