Compromising My Parenting Ideals

Compromising My Parenting Ideals


Naps. That’s where I failed to hold the line.

The plan was that even when Bella got to the point where she was ready to give up her nap, she’d still have an hour or so of quiet time while Sophie and Ben napped. I think having a restful time to sit and read or otherwise quietly amuse herself would be good. I’ve read about homeschooling families who insist on quiet time through high school even. I wanted to be that family. I need a little peace and quiet in the afternoons. Sometimes I even need a little nap myself.


But expediency has trumped idealism. By the time I’ve got Sophie settled and Ben settled, I have little energy left to fight with a fractious 4 year-old who desperately wants to be playing outside. Especially when I’m exhausted and want to curl up for a little quiet nap myself.


Recently I’ve really been struggling to get to bed at a reasonable hour. By the time nap time rolls around all I want to do is curl up and sleep. So after half an hour of Bella’s trying really hard to be quiet but failing because she starts to read her book out loud to herself or she forgets she’s supposed to be lying down and wanders off in search of a a drink or she just has one question, mommy, I banish her outside and tell her not to come back until Ben and Sophie wake up.


A few times I’ve been collected enough to put her outside with her quilt so she can shack up in her play house. Yesterday afternoon she actually fell asleep outside on a blanket spread out on the grass. So sweet!


It’s not that skipping her nap works really well. Lately Bella’s been very cranky in the evenings, a result, I’m sure of no nap. But when I don’t get Sophie and Ben down until late, then it become really too late for Bela to nap without being up all night.

Perhaps once she’s past this stage I’ll try again with required quiet time. I’m not quite ready to hang up that ideal. But for now, I’m giving in and letting go.

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  • Yay! Our library has this book and I’m second in line.

    It’s a little daunting, isn’t it, how MUCH they’re learning at such a young age? It makes me want to talk nonstop—to sing, to play classical music.

    (I do do these things, and I know you do too. Do we do it enough? We hope so!)

    PS. You have an awesome dad. smile

  • Margaret,

    It is daunting. And oh yes the need to talk and to play music and to read them books. Stimulate, stimulate, stimulate. How I wish I could speak other languages to them. And oh yes the worries that I don’t do it enough, any of it.

    And yet this is what really jumped out at me from her list of stimuli whose lack will cause synapses to wither and die: “love never felt”. Oh pick up those babies and hug them and love them. Touch them. Nurse them. Kiss them and kiss them and kiss them. I think we’re both pretty good at that. Our children are not growing up in environments impoverished of love. Oh those are the circuits that matter the most.

    And yes, my dad is awesome.