LITERALLY buying time.

My kids are 6, 5, and 3, and it's been over a year since I've had even one regular napper. They wake around 6:30am and the last one doesn't go to bed until close to 8:30pm, which makes for very long days when there is no break for nap time. Because they're all quite young, they still need me for so many things, and it can be draining spending day in and day out with this crew (even if I love them to the moon and back). But guys, I figured out a way to buy myself an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon of peaceful alone time. PEACEFUL. ALONE. TIME. It's possible!

I bought an alarm clock. A cute one, from Target, that was $16. Those sixteen dollars have bought me two hours a day, every day this summer, of peaceful alone time. I know. It sounds too good to be true. Here's what we did:

Set the two alarms for 7:30am and 2:00pm.

7:30am is when the kids are allowed to come out of their room, so they're not allowed to ask before that. They can read the numbers too, but there's also an alarm to let them know. They wake up 30-60 minutes earlier than their alarm, but I explained to them that they weren't allowed to leave or ask to leave until the clock read SEVEN THREE ZERO (aka when the alarm goes off).  They hang out together, read, play quietly (and loudly), but they don't leave. For those worried about bathroom issues, we have a potty in their room so unless somebody needs to go number two, we're good!

After lunch, which is around 12:30pm, the kids also go to their room for a quiet time until 2:00pm. This gives me about an hour to clean up from lunch, start dinner, do a bit of work, read, or sneak in a nap. It's glorious. Like the morning, they aren't allowed to come out until their clock says TWO ZERO ZERO (aka when their alarm goes off).

The first day the kids were a little resistant, but they got used to it and now it's part of our daily summer schedule. Once kids are done napping, the days can feel really long and everybody needs some time off, so quiet times have been amazing for us! Try it!


  1. Sarah10.7.17

    Ooooh, what a great clock! We got a gro-clock last year for our two year-old who was getting up too early. (We turned the light setting for night to "0" because we didn't like the blue glow.) If she'd been able to tell time, this Target would have been a great option.

    Quiet time has been a life saver here as well. What's changed is that in the past month, I've been more intentional about how I use that time. Instead of sitting down to browse the internet, look up things on kijiji, going on facebook, etc, I either watch a show/listen to a podcast, read a book, nap... something that doesn't feel like I'm just "wasting time". That's made all the difference for me, and I come away from that 45 min-1 hr knowing that I've had a little break.

    I am inspired by your previous post, though, talking about how you set an alarm to have time to yourself in the morning. I may need to aspire to that. Thanks for sharing your tricks of the trade!

  2. That is awesome!!
    I am glad you were able to get that extra time that you need.
    My sons are early birds too (it is something that runs in my family because I have been up since 5:30 AM since I was seven and my mom is up at 4:30). My sons were REALLY long nappers and my eldest didn't stop until he was 6, which made my then 4 year old want to not nap most days too. It is hard having tiny kiddos and no rest time, so great job!!!

  3. I come away from that 45 min-1 hr knowing that I've had a little break.

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