“What about nap time, don’t your little ones nap?” I would ask.
“Oh, nap time is when I get the house picked up, cook and do laundry.”
Yikes!! Do you see what is wrong with this picture? Why does mom wait until the children are asleep to get her chores done?
Does mom feel she is neglecting her children if she doesn’t play with them every waking moment? Or does mom just want to do what is easiest for her?
One of the best gifts we can give our children is to do life with them. It may take more effort and time, but the benefit will
be them learning skills while always thinking it is normal to work by your side. If a child is old enough to get toys out, they are old enough to put them away. It is not to a child’s benefit to play and then have their toys magically put themselves away while they sleep. Part of prepping for nap time could be clean up time. Sing with me, “Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share…..”
If a toddler is too small to help make supper, then give him a drawer in the kitchen to empty and refill. Talk to your child about stirring soup or peeling vegetables. Even very small children
can sit on the counter and hand mommy things or taste test the progress. Tonight I saw a chair like contraption, which was made for toddlers to stand on to watch mom in the kitchen. It had a base a little bigger than the seat of a chair and a few inches higher. The legs continued up until they were the height of about two inches above the kitchen counter. Another rail was around the top, with the front rail being the same height as the counter. Yes, standing on a chair still works; this just had the added safety of a rail all the way around and was extremely sturdy.
When we first had children, we lived on the third floor of an apartment complex with the laundry in the basement. Every Monday I would load my baby in a backpack and have my toddler
help me drag the laundry down the hall and bump, bump, bump down the steps. In the laundry room the baby sat and watched while big sister handed me garments a few (very few) at a time. Then up to the apartment we would go until the timer we had set rang to send us down to put our belongings in the dryer.
As the children are included in the daily chores of life, what is a mom to do during nap time? Naps are for those things that truly cannot be done with a toddler in tow. Perhaps mom could nap herself, have a true quiet time, meal plan, or return phone calls. Use naptime wisely while you have it, it doesn’t last forever.