Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quiet Time

My blogger friend Reforming Motherhood posted her thoughts and questions about quiet time during the day. I have been rearranging this area in our own life since my 3 year old has stopped napping. The number one struggle for me is my selfishness. One of my greatest temptations is the inner dialog "Oh poor need a break". This year God has really been working on my heart in this area. First and foremost...I deserve nothing. All that I have and all that I am is a good gift from him. Once my heart is in the right place, it is then easier to accept those days when there is no break and be much more grateful when I do get one. I am not saying we don't need breaks put my struggle was about getting them when I wanted them. As all mothers of young children know...they don't always follow our agenda.

Now to Stacy's post. When my son napped all was peaceful. My 6 year old would go in the office with some planned activities (some school work this year) and a story on CD. She was go0d for 2 hours. My little guy would sleep. Now he is not sleeping most days. For the first week or so it was constant interruptions. Almost 4 weeks into it he is getting the idea. My kids share a room. My 3 year old goes in their room during Q.T. One thing that has helped him is preparing for Q.T. I will go in his room before he comes in and set out some toys he hasn't played with during the day. When I display the toys and give him some ideas he does much better. It helps that my kids don't have access to all their toys all the time. It creates an element of surprise that I think is helpful. He will usually stick with this about an hour. I also turn on some music. If he gets restless I put him on his bed with books and that's usually good for 20-30 minutes. If he is really having a hard time I bring him in the Living Room with me and he has to stay on the blue couch with a few cars or books till I release him. He can be rather chatty but after a few corrections he will usually be quiet for a while. There are definite times where I need to discipline him especially now that he has a clear understanding of what's expected of him. I feel giving them a week or two to clearly get the changes is important. Being consistent with what I expected of him helped.

This last week he has become very cranky mid afternoon. To the point of melting down. When he naps he stays up till 9-10 at night. It's a catch 22! If he doesn't sleep on these days he is crazy and when he does he is up late. I have been trying to put him down on those days and only letting him sleep an hour. It seems to being working okay. The other day he got so worked up over something. He was melting down and beyond any form of reason. I don't tolerate attitude but this was sheer exhaustion. I went to put him to bed and he was screaming NO TIRED MAMA! NO TIRED! He was asleep in these then 5 minutes. It's a learning curve for us both.


Stacy said...

Yes, I agree. I, too, struggle with selfishness. And I certainly don't deserve anything. And yet, I so want to delight in my children and find that this happens much more easily when I've had a little rest. And, I've found that they thrive with some rest in the afternoons, too.

Like you said, planned activities help. When I have planned some activities for my daughter to do, things are much smoother. But I am usually just hurrying to get to my rest time. (More selfishness on my part, I fear.) I've also found that music helps. My daughter is social (which is why she wants to be with me) but when there's music on for her it helps.

I'm still pondering your toy swap idea.


Mrs. "M" said...

I am so with you that rest helps in the delighting. I am so hungry to still be pleasant and peaceful when I am not rested. I fear this is a life long pursuit for me. I have grown but desire to grow more. It's so amazing that God places the perfect little people in my family to serve his purpose of sanctification in my life. I don't always welcome it as I should. My kiddos do much better with rest. My 6 yr old loves her Q.T. I think it is part of her son is a whole different guy!

With the toy swap...I have everything in little and medium size rubber maid tubs. The bigger toys that aren't in pieces are on their own. I usually bring out one big thing (doll house, car garage), two small bins like cars and animals. We almost always have some building toy out like Kinex, blocks, legos. I would be interested to hear how it goes if you try it.