When my son was about 2 years old, fellow moms with similar-aged kids flooded my Facebook News Feed with status updates bemoaning the end of nap time. I saw them virtually crying into their coffee cups by 5pm, and thanked my lucky stars that my toddler was still snoozing a solid 2-3 hours every afternoon after lunch.
Then at the age of 3, a new wave of preschool nap-droppers hit and I felt a bit smug … my kid was still napping with very little argument.
But by the age of 4, I started feeling far less smug and quite a bit more irritated. My son was still napping every weekday at daycare and, therefore, every weekend. His nap cut our day completely in half — activities before nap, activities after nap. The nap process became even more complicated when he became so used to sleeping alongside his friends at daycare that he couldn’t sleep without me or my husband lying down beside him. Which doesn’t seem so bad, being forced to take a 2-hour nap as a 30-year-old mom, but it also meant hours of each Saturday and Sunday were gone.
To add to the frustration, his nap at daycare lasts from 1pm-3pm, meaning by 7:30pm, he has only been up 4.5 hours. He isn’t tired, and easily stays awake until 9pm on weeknights. Soon I was cursing the nap that altered the bedtime; at 9pm when all of my friends are kicked back with ice cream, husbands, and House of Cards … I am still parenting.
Unfortunately, daycare has to offer the nap. And while he is in the habit of napping, he’ll still need his nap.
Which means, think of me fondly when you’re relaxing at 9pm. I’m still playing with Matchbox cars.