Over Christmas, Ben and I were listening to a free CD from Matthew Kelly put out by our diocese. In the CD, Matthew Kelly talks about how 2 PM-5 PM is strict naptime in his house. STRICT.
Ben and I just looked at each other laughing.
We have never been strict on naptime. Never.
All my kids stopped napping by the time they were three. Three. And since our kids are spaced further apart..I've never really had 2 nappers at once.
I never felt a need for an extended quiet time or strict naptime. In fact, I couldn't wait for my kids to give up naps, so we could be free to go out anywhere and anytime without worrying about nap schedules.
In fact, I even wrote about how I hate naps.
That was then...this is now.
What changed is that we now live in a super tiny house. I mean super tiny. Six people...two bedrooms, less than 1000 square feet.
Yes, it is as awful as it sounds. And, yes, we will be moving as soon as we are able (which will hopefully be VERY SOON!).
I've discovered that I DO in fact need quiet during the day.
When we lived in a bigger house..that wasn't a problem. The kids could go play in the playroom or in their bedrooms or outside. I could hide in the bedroom. I could snatch little moments of quiet, even without a designated quiet time...I had quiet.
I could actually be in a room ALL BY MYSELF.
I couldn't plan those times..but they came.
And I savored them. That's all I really needed.
Now...there is no quiet. The walls are closing in and I can't get away. The house is too small and the rooms are too close together and it's too cold outside. There are no moments of quiet to snatch. From 7 AM to 9 PM, it's non-stop noise and talking and commotion.
There is no hiding in one bedroom, because the other bedroom is right next door..and I can hear every word, every squabble, every yell. It's wearing on me.
I need quiet..every single day. And now that I know what I need, I can't get it. You can't exactly put a 10-year old into quiet time. Or a six-year old for that matter.
And the kids need it too. They need to be able to spread out. They need to be able to get away from each other. They need to be able to have a place to play monopoly or chess where two-year old hands can't mess up their game. They've taken to playing monopoly or chess in our one bathroom. Which is even more problematic than it sounds.
There aren't enough rooms to spread out into.
So to every mom for whom I secretly never understood the need for quiet time or strict naptime. I'm sorry. I get it now. I need it too.