Heart Pondering

The ponderings of one Christ-following mom on raising preschoolers

Embracing the seasons as we mother January 22, 2010

Filed under: For moms,Mothering role,Routine — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 2:44 am

My son turned four a few months ago, and he no longer naps. It’s been an on-again-off-again thing for six months now, but only recently we’ve hit the Real Deal. He’s done; daytime sleep is over for him as a regular part of life.

This reality been one of the hardest milestones in my mothering life so far.  Man, I loved the daily break from kids in my day that naptime reliably provided.  I depended on it in more ways than I even realized over the past four years.

My son still takes an afternoon rest time, of course, about 75 minutes long.  But these rest times are shorter than naps were and don’t always go down as peaceably as nap times unquestionably did. And even when they do, it requires some thought from me. I have to consider how best to handle non-sleep rest times with my son, especially since we have an independent playtime already in our schedule.  Bottom line: the times they are a-changin’, and there’s no going back.  Often I’ve had to fight a spirit of resentment and annoyance as the naps showed themselves to be evaporating for good….  at my son, at my life, at the New Us.  I didn’t want to give up that part of the Old Us one bit.

I’ve had to repent, put off that attitude, and pray Christ’s help in putting on a new spirit, one of acceptance and enthusiasm and readiness for the new seasons we’re now in.  Because “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Eccles 3:1) – and that truth isn’t any more pervasive than in childrearing. Hundreds of seasons of every type will come and go in our kids’ lives by the time they leave our homes.

Changing seasons in our children’s lives translates, in part, to my willingness to die to myself, my customs, the comforts I build into my day-to-day life.  As my kids grow they’ll just keep changing and changing – and my job is to assist, facilitate, nurture through.  To be faithful to the call, I must not only accept them but even anticipate them.  I need to be joyfully preparing the next step.  Consider, pray, think, research.  So in the case of no-more-naps: Do we want to start doing audio books on CD like Elise (of A Path Made Straight) does for part of her sons’ rest times?  Should we start a quiet independent reading time for my son and me to do together during part of our rest time? Should we consider phasing out morning room time for non-nappers in the household?  These are questions that need answering.

And what of all the other pending arenas of change in the life of our family- of schooling and chores and allowance?  How will we handle these seasons as they arrive?  The questions will keep on coming with each year, getting broader and eventually spanning more kids and more years.  This era of my life, I’m realizing, is one in which I need to be prayerful, attentive, intentional about these issues… Not one to have an annoyed, reactive (or worse, procrastinating), self-focused spirit.  We have a God who knows the members of our families – our styles, needs, and interests – better than anyone and is eager to supply wisdom and direction as we seek Him for guidance in these things, season by season.  Not to mention provide us with joy and enthusiasm in the process!  And to boot, who will usher in beautiful new things as different seasons approach.  Relief to this mama!


3 Responses to “Embracing the seasons as we mother”

  1. Penny Says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and always come away wondering how it is that you seem to know and express so clearly the exact same challenges I have and had in my mothering!
    Your heart to glorify and honour Jesus in all your ways refreshes and inspires me daily, and your honesty about your struggles, and the strategies you use with your children, are so helpful.
    Thank you. Please be encouraged and know that you are an encouragement to me.

  2. heartpondering Says:

    Thanks Penny! Tha blesses me enormously.

  3. Crystal Says:

    I totally empathize with you on the post-nap stage and the frustrations that come along with it. Just wait until they’re teenagers and now you no longer have quiet evening time with yourself and/or your husband! I struggled with this season in my own life for a good couple years before I could even identify what was annoying me – the lack of me-time or husband-and-I-time in the evening was a huge void. But like all stages and seasons, I’ve had to accept it and I’ve actually welcomed it more as my husband, teenage daughter and I spend time together in the evenings after the little ones go to bed. This season makes me realize I only have so much time left with her, and I’ll be missing those evenings spent with her before I know it! Good luck on figuring out your own post-nap pattern!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s