FIRST THING I DID when I got up was text my friend, Julie, and ask what time we’re meeting at the pool. Because if you have little kids at home you know that from the time you get up to the time you leave is all the time you have to get stuff done and get everybody ready.
We decided to meet at 11. So there was my timeframe. Three-ish hours.
At the pool we had a lot of fun and for the most part relaxed. Julie and I were able to get in a good bit of catching up in which can be hard to do at swim dates. Getting ready to leave proved to be a differetn story though.
My one and a half-year old started to leap off the steps in the water towards the deep part over and over without giving me a moments notice. And I can’t even begin to describe the scene of my eight-month-pregnant body running after my little monkeys trying to pack up to go home. Last summer I had a compliant three-year old and baby not yet walking. This summer I have a deaf four-year old and a one and a half year old future Olympian sprinter.
I told my four-year to get out of the pool more times than necessary and I ran into the pool to get my daughter back out three or four times. She was out and dried off twice and still ran back in the water. I know this because I changed her diaper two times before leaving home. She ended up riding home wearing a damp diaper. Whatevs girl.
So be it.
After swimming for two hours my kiddos were tired. Once home, I gently laid Cali down. Her eyes were still open but I was confident she would fall asleep as soon as I left the room.
The boy on the other hand was a different story.
He’s at the place where he doesn’t nap every day but today after swimming and sun, I figured he would sleep. Plus I could see in his eyes he was plain tired.
But do you think he would sleep?
No. Y’all, this preggers mamma needed her rest after that crazy pool workout cleaning up to go home.
After showering and hanging up wet clothes and towels, I lay down with Gavin. It wasn’t long until I was totally asleep. But not for long. Before you know it, I felt bouncing beside me and I thought, this boy is fighting sleep.
Well, a person can only sleep for so long with a bed-bouncer and I went through several phases of, “Give me your toys.”
“OK, lay still. I mean it!”
“Lay on your belly.”
But to no success.
I was getting frustrated and my heart was accelerating a little faster than need be.
Right then I gave myself a pep talk.
This was a moment where I saw two choices. 1, I could be grumpy the rest the day because this boy’s actions, or 2, let him get up and play and I could lay, alone and still and get some sleep. Which has been done before successfully. Why was I making this particular nap-time a big deal?
In the end he did not sleep and I opted to not let his choice affect my attitude there after. I also had to decide if I was going to rub it in that he had no nap (you know, lay on the guilt whenever he through a fit or got maga whinny) or view the afternoon, the child, with grace.
ONE THING I LEARNED as a parent as our kids grow up is – they change. And as they change we ought to change as well. Our expectations for them should change. Knowing that Gavin doesn’t always need to take a nap and he’s fine (usually) is a fact I need to accept.
So my expectation for him to nap every day is unrealistic and therefore has changed.
That’s the way of parenting. We adapt to our kids in each different stage that comes.
Motherhood is a constant growing and stretching. Changing and challenging. It’s relentless. Ever moving onward. Pushing us on without our consent. Calling us to surrender into the change of a new season. It’s never-ending. It makes us haggard
and weary, all the while warming and inspiring our hearts as our little byproducts mature and develop. Along the way they grow us into fuller, more wiser and beautiful versions of ourselves.
Our children just want us to see them and hear them. To be noticed at the pool as they swim and learn new skills. As they show off their moves. They want us to accept them as they are. Give their ‘no napping’ feelings validity. Permission to be themselves. They are after all the most important thing.
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