Ever get to the end of the day, you are dragging, the kids are over-tired and grumpy and no matter what you try it doesn’t seem to help and it happens day after day? Exhausting? – yes, but quiet time may help.
When I returned to working remotely after having my daughter, I thought “great!” – this little person isn’t very hard (she really was a very easy baby) she sleeps most the day, I can keep working – not a whole lot is going to change…
I know…your laughing now!
To my defense, I had never been around babies before. Every now and then I had one thrust into my arms, and I comically tried to figure how to correctly hold it without dropping them, it really wasn’t pretty. At least I knew which end was up!
The good thing is, because of my naivety I knew I was starting at the beginning. So, I learned and learned and am still learning. Just when I think I got it kinda figured out – the rules change. One thing I learned very early on was that my little one (and mom, and even the dog) got very tired and a bit grumpy by the end of the day. I was trying to take care of her, find time to work and take care of our house. And being an introvert, I need time every day – even if it’s not a lot – to unwind and just be. It really is amazing what a 10-minute break with a cup of coffee on the back step can do for you.
So, in my exhaustion and need, I figured that every day – at the same time – my daughter could “do quiet time”. Which in turn put the whole house into quiet time. Which actually turned into the nicest time of the day somedays! And since it became a blessing and life saver at our home I thought I would write about it. Maybe it will help you!
Rules are simple:
How long: It can be any amount of time you want. Our is 3 hours at the most. Somedays it’s less. It really depends on the day. But when my daughter was little it was crucial that it was for that amount every day just to get into the routine. I know, 3 hours is a long time. We started with 30 minutes and after a couple weeks moved to 1 hour, and after a couple weeks 1 1/2 hours, etc. until we reached the 3 hour mark. The reason for 3 hours and the next step – time of day – was done for a reason. I had to finish work. Thankfully I had a flexible schedule. I would work the bulk of my time in the morning – early morning…and finish when she went in for quiet time.
What time of day: Ours is always about 1 hour after lunch. We would enjoy lunch and then go outside to play and get some fresh air and then usually around 1:30-2 in the afternoon We would get her in and I would go back to work. I found that this time was the best, it allowed her (and me) a little break every afternoon to just rest. I would get work finished up or finish up house chores and by the time she was coming out I would be a lot less stressed because everything was done. It’s also a great time to sneak a piece of chocolate – shhhh!
What to do: I did limit activities. No TV/computer or loud overstimulating toys. It’s called quiet time for a reason – Quiet activities! Read books, play with dolls, cars, blocks, color, draw – anything quiet. It really is amazing how better you feel after just a little bit of time of no or very little noise. I would also have calming music playing very low every now and then. Now my daughter has a radio in her room and she listens to it – on low – while she’s in there. And now that she’s getting bigger every now and then she will ask if she can “do quiet time” in our living room where her Legos are stored, or outside on nice days in a homemade tent or in her playhouse.
Remember to check on them: We started quiet time when she was about a year and a half. One day when she was about 2, I heard her giggling and just having a good ole time. When I went in to check on her, I was hit with an overwhelming smell of baby oil. Somehow, she had gotten the lid off a baby oil jar and had poured it all over herself and her bed. And I caught her with a bottle of baby powder in hand – headed back to the bed. Ugh – I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened! I cleaned her up (she had wonderfully silky skin for a few days) and cleaned up as much as I could of the oil that had soaked into the mattress (her bedroom smelled of oil for a week), removed any and every other bottle I could find, popped a load of oily sheets and blankets in the washer and got her back in to finish. As soon as I left the room and was out of ear shot – I busted out laughing – it really was very funny! But the biggest lesson for me is that even now that she is bigger, I still check on her.
And that’s all there is to it. Pretty simple and straight forward, I notice immediately that the afternoon grumpiness went away, and we all had much better nights. Also, above I did note what works for us, so if you try, adjust it to your own needs. I hope it helps you!
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