This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.
You never know how pampered you are, until you have to step into the shoes of someone less fortunate than you. I recently did that when my youngest gave up naps. Just 3 months ago, I stepped into the shoes of all the mothers in the world that no longer have nappers in their house. Gone are the days of getting crap done without little people around. Showering, eating, and cleaning all has to be done under the watchful eye and chatty mouths of tiny humans that won’t stop singing “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME WHEN YOU’RE PART OF A TEAM!
And, let’s definitely take a moment to mourn silence. Silence is gone.
Every time I tell someone my youngest is no longer napping I get lots of condolences like, “I’m so sorry. That’s the worst.” or a few, “I remember when my youngest gave up napping” as they trail off with a sad look on their face. It’s a depressing milestone for most families.
But, since it’s better to laugh instead of cry in life altering situations like this, here are 5 things to celebrate when your youngest stops napping.
1. You can now stop threatening your older children with imminent destruction if they make a noise. If you have kids, then you know they are crazy little noise makers. It’s an impossible task for them to shut a door quietly, or get a cup from the cabinet without making a noise. You know you are asking the impossible when you say, “Try to be quiet” during nap time in your scary close whisper voice. But, now that there is no longer a napper, you can stop the threats, and beg for quiet only when you need it for your own sanity.
2. You can stop threatening the UPS guy with your notes on the door. Exclamation points are usually highly prevalent on those notes, as well as all caps. I had one friend that drew a giant STOP sign on hers. Those notes always go something like this, “Do NOT ring doorbell!!!!! or Knock!!! Baby sleeping!!!!” I always wanted to add something like, “or you will DIE a thousand deaths!”. Because, let’s be real. People that work for UPS don’t read our carefully scribbled notes. And, obviously don’t care about our punctuation skills.
3. Celebrate that you are no longer nap trapped every afternoon. It’s amazing how we tell ourselves we’re going to do 52 things during nap time since we’re nap-trapped anyway. Let’s not talk about the days we actually end up watching an old re-run of Full House because most things require making noise, and we’re frankly too. freaking. tired. to work on our to-do list anyway. But, with this new found freedom between the hours of 12 to 2 pm, you can look forward to avoiding chores and responsibility OUT of the house too! Take that energy-filled little person to a trampoline park and let their tiny legs get tired so they beg you to put them to bed at 7 pm.
4. Celebrate Outside Noise Too. I’m not talking the little kid kind, because that kind of noise makery can make me crazy. No, I’m talking about the fact that you no longer have to fear a random construction vehicle rumbling down your street. Dogs barking will no longer have you googling concoctions of anti-freeze, and you’ll welcome the city worker just trying to do his job cutting down that tree outside your house with a wave instead of a crusty glare or worse.
5. Celebrate Exhaustion at Bedtime. Not your exhaustion. Theirs. Sure, the kid that just gave up his naps might be falling asleep in his Spaghetti every night at dinner time, but you can celebrate the battle that used to be getting the 3 year old to just. stop. talking. We can rejoice in the fact that now, we only have to read one bedtime story instead of 5. Get one drink of water, instead of 3. Say, “Goodnight, I love you, see you in the morning” 2 times instead of 23. We’ll cry happy tears when they fall into the beautiful sound of steady breathing at night.
OK. I lied. Crying should be allowed when naps are over. Go ahead. Cry your sad, I-no-longer-have-a-moment-to-myself tears. We won’t judge. But, look on the bright side, too. Only 8 hours until bedtime.
Meredith is a mother of 3 who is all about trying to be “real” when it comes to motherhood after years of trying to fake perfection. But, it’s the hardest job she’s ever done. She loves blogging about all the perfect and not so perfect moments on her blog, Perfection Pending. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter where she loves to commiserate with other moms who aren’t afraid to share photos of their messy houses, laugh at themselves, and admit that parenting sometimes sucks.