I strongly believe that a well rested family is a happy family….lately we haven’t been well rested, you can see where I’m going with this!!
We have children who don’t sleep a whole lot. (They haven’t since they were born!)
Hunter who is less than a year and a half gave up his second nap right at his first birthday. Which results in him getting a single one-two hour nap each day. And there have been way too many days where he doesn’t even take the one nap. It’s killing me. He needs more sleep. He’s proven that by being so extremely grumpy at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I would put him to bed then if I thought he’d sleep through the night. But instead he goes down around 6:30. He sleeps decent at night. Wakes up a couple times but is able to get back to sleep on his own. I am at a loss as to how to get him to sleep longer. He needs it, and I really need it.
Hallie still takes a nap every day. Yes, she’s 4 1/2. People are amazed when I tell them that. But you’ve got to understand she wakes up extremely early and doesn’t fall asleep until pretty late. You see, Steve and I teach early morning seminary. We have since the beginning of the school year. We teach it every morning at our house, at 6 am. Hallie demands that she’s there. It kills her if she misses a day. However, if she’s sleeping, there is no way we’ll wake her up. She knows this. So whenever she wakes up in the middle of the night, she refuses to go back to bed because she doesn’t want to miss it. On Tuesday this week Steve found her in the kitchen, with lights on, waiting for the seminary students at 2:30 am. She went back to her room kicking and screaming. It was quite the ordeal for so early in the morning. This morning she got up just before 5. Turned on all the lights upstairs and laid down on the couch. I walked through at 5:40am and she couldn’t stop talking about seminary.
She loves it. I love that she loves it. But what I don’t love, is a girl who at 10 in the morning is ready for a nap. And you can bet I put her down that early this morning. She was unbearably tired.
We try and put her down to bed early to make up for the lost sleep, but it doesn’t work. She’ll sing to herself for 2 hours before falling asleep. Something has got to change!
As for me. Well, before teaching seminary I was one late owl. I would work until late at night. But I can’t get up as early as I need to with that kind of schedule. So I make sure I’m in bed by 10:30 on the mornings I need to teach (Steve and I switch off). However, my mind doesn’t want to go to sleep that early. I will lie in bed for an hour or two. Watching time slowly slip from me, getting more angry and frustrated with each passing minute. But I can’t shut my mind off. I try really hard. It doesn’t help that I’ve slept through my alarm TWO TIMES and have left those poor students out in the cold, really cold. So then I get paranoid that I’m not going to get up in time, which also sends my mind racing.
I’ve tried all sorts of ideas to wind down at the end of the night. Nothing seems to work. Plus I can hear Hunter crying multiple times while I’m trying to get to sleep, I hear Hallie talking in her sleep, and I can hear the sweet and simple snore/hum of Steve in what seems like the deepest sleep a person can attain.
I long for good sleep. I long for good sleep for my children. I want those children who sleep in an extra hour if they’re up late the night before or had a rough night sleeping. Instead, I have “energetic” children, much like myself, who feel as though it is a waste of time to sleep. Darn those kids who end up just like their parents!!
not sure if your asking for advice, but here's mine anyway. go get the book 'healthy sleep habits, happy child.' by Marc Weissbluth. i've read it several times and i love it.
i'm a big proponent of a lot of sleep for kids and i see a huge difference in my kids behavior when they aren't getting enough.
all my kids have napped until at least four, and usually until almost 5. they go to bed between 8:00 and 8:30 and get up pretty early. it works for us.
good luck. love your blog by the way. sorry i never comment.
Sweet Kara– I FEEL so bad for you! I know we have lately had a problem with Mikey NOT going to sleep at night… So we started a star chart– that each time he goes to bed, stays in his room ALL NIGHT, and comes out only when we come and get him in the morning, he gets a star. Once he gets a 10stars, he gets something– 1 stay up late pass(his fav), 1 icecream cone with Mom or Dad, etc. Since having done this he's asking more ways to earn stars, and wants to help around the house more (he's finally happy from getting sleep!) and goes to bed EXTREMELY well, not coming out til we get him(usually going to bed at 8:30 and getting him at 6:30). GOOD LUCK!!!
I cannot believe she gets up for seminary! What kind of kid does that? I just tell myself I'll won't get a full night of sleep until my kids are 18…that makes the good nights a wonderful treat. 🙂 but my kids aren't as bad as yours!
i slept through the night the other day for the first time in 6 years. it was beautiful. maybe you will have a day like this? being a parent is draining. i can't imagine teaching seminary. in fact i have nightmares about my children starting seminary cuz i will have to get up with them.. do you they come to your home??
Oh man….seminary at 6am?? Serious? How do you do it? Anything before 7 feels like death to me. Jack is like Hallie though…if he goes to bed an hour later than usual, he does not sleep in. Sleeping in does not exist in his world. But I guess it does get me up and going in the mornings. Usually he is up between 6:30 and 7. I cannot believe Hallie will get up at all hours and wait for seminary…that cracks me up!! Hopefully she is still like that when she is in high school and has to go! 🙂 Good luck with the sleep. I have also read Healthy Sleep Habits; Happy Child. I love it. It has sleep strategies for all ages. Maybe there is some good advice in there? I'll pray for you to get more sleep! 🙂