Secret to Sanity

As summer beckons, I wanted to share our secret to keeping a (mostly) sane mom when kids are around all day every day. While our children are not exclusively homeschooled and attend some classes, most of my kids are home most days. With a hard working husband, most waking hours are attended by mom.

Enter Quiet Time. Each and every afternoon, each boy who no longer naps is required to spend 1 hour quietly by themselves in their room. They may read, play with legos, or play a game as long as it is 1. by themselves and 2. quiet.

I share this because several moms have been flabbergasted by this arrangement recently. They asked, “How can you make a child be in their room quietly for an hour?” I asked, “How can you stay sane if they don’t?” Truthfully, my children don’t know any differently. Even when we travel there is an enforced quiet time even if someone has to read in the bathroom. We all need a little space!! When the boys graduate from nap time to quiet time, they think it is fantastic…a real promotion out of toddlerhood.

But here are a few ideas if you need a little space from the togetherness this summer. Join a library reading competition and have them keep a reading log for it and have one hour of reading time a day. Enforce consequences: if kids come out of their room before the appointed time, they are given more time. Be consistent: it takes 3 weeks to make a habit, right? Make sure they have a clock: Asking mom how many minutes left does not count as quiet time.

What you do with one hour of quiet is up to you! Pray, shower, fold clothes, take a nap as long as it recharges you to get you through the homestretch!

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  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    This is so true. I have not been good at enforcing quiet time around here. Ever since I hired child care help, I am only consistent with the baby napping, not big kids resting. Today is my last day with child-care, so enforcing daily quiet time is just the thing I need to give me a break in the afternoon. 1 hour is completely reasonable. Thanks for the added motivation!

  • Karen

    Just about to lose my sanity here – seems like I say that a lot, but I mean it this time. This is probably why, I am not getting consistent quiet time. We homeschool and I have a 7th, 4th, and 2nd grader, plus a toddlerless toddler with loads of special needs. Despite all the little one’s amazing progress, I find I am using almost all of her nap time for homeschooling. Summer vacation is just around the corner, so it will be the perfect time to implement this back into our daily schedule and brainstorm how not to end up here again next year! Maybe a schedule during NON napping hours where the older ones mind the little one – thanks to all that progress, I think they can finally do that now!! Well written post, explaining it plain and simple. Sometimes a simple answer is right in front of us, and we don’t see it.

  • Katrina

    I’m with you, Kellie, we need to re-commit to quiet time in our house as well! Quick question: For kids who share a room, do you separate them for quiet time? I’m not sure that my girls would be particularly quiet or argument-free in a room together…

  • buildingcathedralstexasmommy

    Yes! I would definitely separate them!! When we are at my parent’s in Colorado and the kids have a double bunk bed room, one goes outside on the porch, one stays in the bunk room, and one gets our bedroom, each with a stack of books from the local library.

  • buildingcathedralstexasmommy

    Karen, we had a similar issue the second semester of this year. I had to use the little one’s naptime to do more challenging school work with older ones, so I pushed the big boys’ quiet time until 3-4. The little one is usually happy to play by himself without big brothers or sometimes I would put on a Signing Time DVD for him while I got on the treadmill to exercise when the big boys were in quiet time. Just try to figure out what will be the most helpful and then stick with it!!


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