Slowing Down & Simplifying Your Life With Kids
You’ve scheduled Mom & Baby yoga, swimming lessons, and grocery shopping all within the first 5 hours of the day. Baby sleeps for 15 minutes on the way to yoga and then has another little catnap on the way home from swimming lessons. Dinner time rolls around and the witching hour begins.
Witching hour is hard for every family, even with well-rested children. When it comes to children who already have a big sleep debt, however, it can make this time of day even harder.
Our society is go go go. Join this, go to that, drive across the city to grab that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for months. All of these things are great, and it’s important to be social and not cooped up in your house with children. That would drive anyone crazy. However, sometimes it’s OK to just slow down.
My husband and I chuckle when we are home and see our street empty on weekends. People are battling traffic and rushing home on Sundays to get ready for the coming week. We have learned to slow down since we’ve had kids. There’s so much to offer in our beautiful Toronto neighbourhoods that only need two feet on the ground to get around. Walking to get groceries, walking to the park, playing in the sand at Woodbine Beach or meeting up with parents in our local café.
With a 2.5 and 4 year old who still nap close to 3 hours every afternoon, we ensure we’re always home for nap time because our children need it. They are completely different when they haven’t slept, and we enjoy the downtime at home in the afternoons. We get out for two to three hours every morning, and lunch is either a picnic or enjoying some local eats on a patio. After nap time, we always get out again to either a local park, splash pad, the wading pool, or playing with scooters and bikes on our street.
We rarely have to sit in traffic with screaming kids in the back because they’ve been overstimulated or are just exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, we will do the odd Island or Zoo trip, but we know the days will come when naps are gone and we have the whole day to enjoy activities around our incredible city. In the meantime, they are young and we make sleep a number one priority in our house. They wake up with a smile on their face every day. Our 4 year old even asks to go to bed.
We have learned to slow down.
We enjoy our neighbourhood.
We buy local.
We have simplified our life.
And we love it.
Could we take them to the malls and shopping around the city? Sure, but the kids are a complete nightmare and then I’m the mom who looks like she’s about to pull her hair out. I’d rather play with them around home, and gladly go on my own after they are in bed. If I had told myself 3 years ago that going grocery shopping would be the most blissful experience, I would’ve laughed. But really, give me an empty cart in Loblaws and I’m a happy mama.
My kids are both in bed by 7pm, allowing my husband and I time to hang out all evening. They get the rest they need, and we get a much-needed break at the end of the day. Doesn’t that sound like the best of all worlds?
Lisa Kvapil is a sleep consultant with WeeSleep, where Healthy Moms get 15% off select sleep packages. Find out more here: https://gohealthymoms.com/weesleep