I have two kids and my youngest, who is about to turn three next month, has just dropped his day sleep. As a result, a whole brave new world has just opened up to me!
You see, for five and a half years, my non-work days have been ruled by my boy’s day sleeps. That’s five and half years of having to be home before lunch lest I disrupt their routine and have all hell to pay.
It’s SO WEIRD for me to now find myself being able to leave the house with the boys at say 11 am, have a picnic lunch and not HAVE to be home for a day sleep. It’s liberating and exhausting in a whole new way.
Here are six things I’ve realised now we’re not governed by the all important day sleep.
1. The days are so much more fun!
Without having a day sleep curfew, our days have now opened up. We can take a day trip to the city because we don’t have to be home by midday for a nap. We can enjoy a bush walk and a picnic lunch. We can even go further afield because we have the whole day to fill. It’s fun!
Read more about toddlers:
- New study shows “bedtime fading” helps fix toddler sleep issues
- How to create the a bedtime routine for sleep-resistant toddlers
- 7 brilliant bedtime strategies that will help your little one go to sleep
2. But the days are also L-O-N-G
Without nap time creating an interval in our day, my days suddenly feel so much longer. I now have the whole day to fill, and it’s exhausting. After we’ve been to the playground, done some chores together, baked a cake, made a fresh batch of play dough; after I’ve cleaned up after them over and over, I’m in need of wine time. And it’s only 2 pm.
3. I’m spending more
As a result of needing to fill in the WHOLE day, I’m spending more. While we used to just hang at home in the afternoons, now I find myself handing over $10 so my little guys can go crazy in the ball pit instead of at home, or taking them to a cafe to sip on babycinnos while I indulge in a flat white.
4. My boys are playing, and fighting, A LOT more
Now that his best bud doesn’t have to go down for a sleep everyday, my big boy is relishing the all-day-fun he gets to have with him. While they like to make ‘spaceships’ out of our tub chairs and play hide and seek, they are also bickering more. My house is suddenly so much noisier than it was a month ago. I am craving the quiet time that a nap brought.
5. I miss having some me-time
When my youngest napped, I used to let my eldest indulge in some telly time. This was also MY time. My time to make that phone call I haven’t been able to make all morning, prepare dinner, or gulp, have a cup of tea while scrolling through Facebook. Now, I don’t get that break. While the telly still gets switched on for both boys to allow me time to get dinner, there are fights over wanting to watch Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig.
6. Bed time has gotten easier
Now that my little guy has dropped his day sleep, he’s spent by the time 6:30pm rolls around. Where as, I used to have to coax him into bed and read Where is the Green Sheep 100 times before he’d shut his lids – now he’ll ASK to go to bed. He literally rolls over after just a couple of stories and has fallen asleep. Bed time had gotten so much easier.
7. But the car is the trap
Now that we are in a no-day-sleep schedule and the bed time routine has improved, I have to be wary of the car. Some days my little guy simply can’t fight the urge to sleep on a five-minute drive down to Coles to get milk. When this happens I face a dilemma: should I wake him up and spare us the bedtime battle, or let him snooze because maybe he still needs this? At the moment the answer to this varies depending on what we have on that day.