I’m going to be totally honest here. Hopefully no one will look at me with shame and disappointment. I already look at myself that way most of the time. I have an anger problem. Most people who know me would probably be surprised (I hope). I’m pretty good at hiding it out in public.
But come nap time (or 3 AM), an evil side of me escapes. I’m a complete monster and feel ready to explode at the slightest sign of a child being awake when he/she should be asleep. I know I’m not handling it right. As a matter of fact, I’m probably handling it as wrong as a person could get. But for some reason, even as I’m in the midst of a monster spell telling myself that I’m wrong, I can’t seem to stop myself.
Am I abusive? I don’t know. Honestly. Yes, I’ve spanked. Yes, I’ve tossed a kid onto their bed with more force than necessary. Yes, I’ve used language I am ashamed of. So am I an abusive parent? N says no. I feel like I am. But I want to change. And I know that the first move will be a new attitude.
Starting today (well, yesterday, really), I am no longer expecting the kids to sleep at nap time. Yes, I do expect them to be in bed and quiet, but if they do not sleep, that is okay. Unfortunately, when the two of them are in the same room, they don’t lay quietly. They play, jump on the bed, and wind up hurting one another. Even if one is completely ready for a nap, the other one often will get them worked up and neither will nap.
So today I tried something new. Kyla is spending nap time in the guest room and Lucas is in their room. I put them down about 10 minutes ago. Lucas protested being apart, but Kyla was all for it. Probably because she got to be in the “new” room. So far, I’m pretty sure they are both still awake. But I’m not going to worry about it. As long as all is relatively quiet, that’s all I need.
I realize that we are approaching a point when naps will fade away (a fact I’m very sad about). But I still believe that kids need a “recharge” in the middle of the day (and so do moms!). My nephew, at age 5, still takes naps most days. It would be nice if I could get my kids to do the same, but I don’t see it happening. However, if they can spend at least 1 hour quietly recharging by either reading a book, daydreaming, or actually napping, I’ll be happy.
And it will save us all from seeing the monster come out.