Nicky’s question is really two questions rolled into one. First, she’s looking to take the entire house down a few decibels. Second, like all moms, she needs a little peace and quiet but with a house full of children that’s an elusive goal. The great news for Nicky is that the answer to her dilemma lies in solving one problem and the other will solve itself (mostly).
No More Naps. Now What?
We’ve all experienced that magical age when our child is napping once or twice a day and we actually have time that is free from whining, crying, or being treated like a human jungle gym. Some of us choose to use that time to rest, while others choose to work, and still others just feel good about finally getting a shower! The sad fact is that for all of us that magical time eventually comes to an end. Yet the need for some quiet solitude in a day that is filled by caring for others does not disappear.
So we did our research and asked parenting experts as well as local moms right here in the Huntsville area to share their solution to the napless day and the noisy house. Below are some great ideas for moms like Nicky on how to carve out a little alone time and quiet the brood while retaining the delicate balance of sanity on which most moms teeter. If you have a great solution that we’ve missed, please don’t keep it to yourself. Share it in our comment section and help a mom out!
Solution #1: Get Up Early
Not a morning person? You might be surprised if it means an hour or more of uninterrupted peace and quiet. You can check your email, drink your coffee, or read the paper just like you used to do before children entered the picture. Huntsville mom Kim H. uses this strategy, “I am a natural morning person, so I wake up long before they do for my “me” time. My husband does the same thing, but he is NOT a natural morning person. It took, probably several months, to re-train his body to function pre-sunrise.” The advantage to this solution is that you can do this one all on your own and there won’t be any complaining from the kids.
Solution #2: Recruit Help
Your job as a mom means that your primary responsibility is taking care of others. In order to do that well it is critical that you find the resources to take care of yourself. Recruit your husband, a nearby relative, or a reliable babysitter to help you help yourself to some Mommy TLC. Fran M. uses the time after dinner to get out of the house for a bit. “It doesn’t matter if I’m just going to the grocery store or putting gas in the car,” she says. “It’s an uninterrupted 30 minutes of time all by myself. I always come back in a much happier mood.” We all know that if Mom isn’t happy, no one is happy right? So contribute to the happiness of your household by carving out a little time for yourself in any way you can. Who knows? Many all that noise will sound a little less “noisy” when you’ve got your sanity restored.
Solution #3: Whisper
This doesn’t give you any “me time” but it might solve your noise dilemma. Ever catch yourself yelling just to be heard? Ever wonder why your children then yell to be heard? Try whispering next time you really want their attention and then see what happens. Children are naturally curious and they’ll quiet down just to avoid being left out of the loop. Make it a game and see who can spend the largest part of the day without going above a whisper. The winner of the game gets a small prize and you come out the true winner.
Solution #4: Build LOUD Time Into the Day
Children are loud. That’s a fact of life but it doesn’t mean it has to be like that 24/7. Establish a set period of time in the day when they are required to be loud. Loud, boisterous and as active as possible. It’s best for this to take place outside so as to burn the most energy with the least damage to your home. Moving this time outside also allows for some built in “me time” for mom. Likewise, when children appreciate that there is a designated time for being loud, they understand that the other time in the day just might be for a different type of behavior.
Solution #5: Establish Quiet Time
This was by far the most popular choice among experts and moms alike. Even when they no longer need an actual nap, children still benefit from having some quiet or “down” time. Explain that they don’t have to sleep but there will still be an hour (or more) of time when they need to be in their room and quiet. They can choose to read, rest, or play quietly but they need to do it without Mom’s assistance. This often means they need to be alone (two children in a room usually leads to noise) and you may need to find a separate space for each child. As children become used to quieting down for this time each day, you will also see improvements in their ability to do so at other times. Calming yourself is a valuable skill that children need to learn but it takes time and practice. Eventually, they’ll get the hang of it. The problem is, by that time they are headed out of your home!
Do What Works For You
Obviously, there are all kinds of options for quieting down your home. Certainly, there will be trial and error in finding the one that works for your family as no two families function in quite the same way. However, on one thing, all moms can agree – peace and quiet (at least a little of it) is a parenting requirement. When we are able to relax, it’s easier to keep some perspective about this crazy job called Motherhood.
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.