A quiet time for all

When I was pregnant with Fynn I was blessed with an abundance of advice. From everyone who saw my bulging baby belly. I took most of it in stride, nodding my head, saying thank you. From my just over three years of experience as a parent, I can say the best parenting advice I ever received was this: sleep when your baby sleeps.

I know plenty of people who laugh off that advice, like it’s an impossible feat. It’s not. When Fynn was a baby we would spend hours doing vertical dance of nursing and napping. Paige often cuddled between me and Fynn when she was a wee one, or was content in a wrap while I swayed with her as I stood next to Fynn’s bed and waited for him to fall asleep for naptime. Then the two of us would sneak off to the couch and snuggle together, repeating the nursing and sleeping dance of a few years past.

Here’s the thing, I might have taken this a tad bit too far. I still lay down with my kids on the days we’re home for naptime. It started a few months ago when I needed the rest thanks to migraines. I’d gather up the kids right after lunch, plunk them in my bed, lay down with one snuggled on each arm, and we’d all drift off. Truthfully Fynn can go without his nap, and had before I started our new nap routine.

Paige is normally the first one to close her eyes. She nuzzles my shoulder, I smell her soft hair as she holds my finger like it’s the most precious commodity. Then I turn to Fynn, who is snuggled up to me on my arm. We gaze at each other, he sometimes whispers silly things to me, tells me about the stars and spaceships on the ceiling. We have some quiet alone time, though Paige is inches away.

Even if the kids have been devil children all morning, once we hop into bed they are the snuggliest, warmest, and sweetest little beings on the planet.

I’ll take them over a freshly cleaned kitchen any day.

That’s the price for these naps. While other mothers get things done during naptime, I sit with my babies. And truthfully I rarely sleep, mostly because the three hour nap has never graced us with its appearance {my children still think sleep is evil… but we won’t go there…} and also because Paige will wake up several times needing to be recuddled and loved back to sleep. So the minute Fynn finally closes his eyes, Paige’s pop open, and vice versa. So it’s a process. But naptime lasts longer with me involved than it would otherwise… which is another bonus.

These naptimes, where my arms are pinned under children, force me to be with myself. To listen to what’s going on in my head, to feel things. To ponder. Which is a big part of who I am. Half of my blog posts get written in my head between the hours of 11:30am and 1:30pm {on a good day} Honestly, I cherish that time.

Last weekend we tried to get the kids to nap separately, figuring they each needed some one on one time with one of us. Paige had the hardest time settling into slumber. She was with me, so I thought she wanted her daddy. We switched off but that wasn’t it. After many tears she finally fell asleep. After we were all up, she clung to her brother’s side for the rest of the afternoon.

She apparently cherishes that time with him as well.

We’re a very laid back family. We don’t over schedule ourselves, we’re secretly home bodies {and have a huge need for a yard to satisfy the need fresh air while we’re at home…} and we like to keep things simple. And happy. While the time is nearing an end for them… at this point the whole sleeping while the babies sleep thing… that keeps this mama happy. And her house a little less clean. But none the less, happy.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “A quiet time for all

  1. Lovely.. snuggle time is like no other time!

  2. Only thing is, I can’t sleep during the day. The sleep when your baby sleeps advice is terrific. I’ll acknowledge it. But seriously, I can’t.

    gosh. it’s SO nice to know I’m not the only one who does this. I would love visiting your house. I just know it.

  3. Ugh. I just spent a whole darn nap time cleaning, and I wish I would have done what you do instead. Next nap, for sure.

  4. Aaaww, my soulmate! Corinne, I think we’d get along famously in person.

  5. Ps. I’m really excited about the house being a little less clean to rest and spend time with family. I think we’re related. 🙂

  6. Admitting to a huge and hard stabbing pang of jealousy…oh, to cuddle and dream with warm little bodies.

  7. That sounds wonderful, Corrine! I used to be one of those moms who cleaned the kitchen at nap time. But when I got pregnant with my third, I was so sick and tired and I slept with my eldest {and sometimes her sister, too}. Now that my third is here, she sleeps in my lap while nursing. I get nearly nothing done until the hubs is home to help. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s such a special time to be still and happy with your kids. And they won’t nap forever. It sounds like your doing an excellent job of savoring your moments with them!

  8. sorry I spelled your name wrong, Corinne!

  9. I used to try to nap with my boy, but it just never worked out. He stopped needing naps when he was a year and a half old, and that was fine with me. Now, however, he’s so busy and chaotic that naptime appeals to me! Anything to slow him down! But alas, not to be. 😉

  10. Can I take a nap, even though I don’t have any children at all, let alone ones who have a nap time? I’d just like a nap is all. =^)

  11. I miss those times. It has been way too long since mine were little like that. 🙂

  12. I’m with you all the way: when I just had Big Boy, I used his nap time to do everything I couldn’t accomplish with a baby underfoot or strapped to my chest. But now I use the overlap in the boys’ naps to do whatever it is I want to do at that moment – nap, read, (okay, let’s be honest) blog. This post, though, has given me some inspiration to try a family nap this weekend…wonder if we’ll all fit in the bed!?

  13. You are doing a wonderful, loving thing for them by being there to cuddle at naptime. They will look back on it fondly as I’m sure you will. I just adore snuggling my babes to sleep because we’re normally so busy; it’s my chance to exhale and give them love. 🙂

  14. I have been “blessed” with two kids who will NOT sleep in my presence. They need the quiet and alone comfort of their beds or it’s a free-for-all bed party. Luckily, Hannah is an amazing cuddler and will snuggle with me for hours on end if I let her. Sadly, I have never had the pleasure of Luke sleeping or cuddling anywhere near me. He is a rockstar sleeper but when he’s awake, he’s ON THE MOVE. Cuddling does not exist in his book. I am so jealous of your cuddle time. Those are times you’ll never forget and will cherish forever.

  15. Oh I always nap when my little one does, sadly my three year is past naps but she also goes to pre-school 3 afternoons a week 🙂 I do love the feeling of a little ones fast asleep in yours arms. x

  16. it doesn’t take much for me to push aside housework… but what i wouldn’t give for snuggling with my sweet babies all over again. once in a while… my son will snuggle on the couch with me. but at 13, i can see that he is beginning to think it is not so cool!

    nap on, friend. i think you have your priorities set just right!

  17. Oh, yes, sleeping with the little ones is heaven. There’s no naptime for me anymore – that’s for special time with my big girl – but when that big girl curls into my arms in the middle of the night all of our daytime troubles get snuggled away. It’s hard for me to be patient and understanding all day long, but I feel like those nighttime cuddles wipe the slate clean.

  18. I was never any good at napping when Sean napped. I would run around trying to catch up on chores, and when I did try to nap, I just couldn’t wind my thoughts down enough to sleep. I finally discovered the wonder that is napping during the day in the past few months, and could kick myself for not doing this ages ago!

  19. I always loved napping with the boys. When I was in grad school and pregnant with Eli, Owen and I would snuggle up in my bed for 3 hour naps on those days I was home with him. It was awesome. And then when Eli was a baby, he and I would nap together while Owen was at afternoon preschool. Sadly, E stopped napping super young, and I can’t nap with Axel because I can’t leave the other two unsupervised!

    so enjoy those naps while you have them. It is really such a special time, that closeness.

  20. It’s true. No matter how the day has gone, when the kids are sleeping your perspective totally changes. I fall in love with my children all over again every time they fall asleep.

    Nell

  21. Oh how I love to snuggle!! And to take naps. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who is taking a nap while the kids nap!! I don’t do it every day, but enough that I feel like I’m losing some productivity in my week.

    I do have a question though: are your kids not wiggle worms while they sleep? I just got back from a weekend trip with Finley. We shared a bed, and he was flopping and kicking and rolling all over the bed in his sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much at all. But those moments when he’s still and snuggly are definitely the best!

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