Updated: Jan 23, 2020
My two and three-year-old daughters don't regularly nap anymore, they haven't for a VERY long time. I would like to say that this means that their little bodies don't require it, they are perfect little angels that exude energy and have calm reactions all day...but who would I be kidding? No naps means an early wake-up time of 4:30-5 a.m., yawns by 10 a.m. and meltdowns by noon. All to be followed by falling asleep during dinner, getting a second wind and fighting bedtime with constant exiting of their bedroom and requests. If we're lucky, they're asleep by 7 p.m.
That is one long day. Not only for them, but for me as well. I would like to say that I keep my cool, that I roll with the punches and because I know naps won't occur I have a toolkit that keeps the day running smoothly - I don't.
There are days I stand in the kitchen chugging a Rockstar so I can keep up with their day. There are days I mentally face-palm. And there are days when I feel like running away (but don't).
The emotions that I have from my own lack of sleep, due to my 7-month-old still nursing throughout the night, are stronger than I would like at times. So how am I currently getting through day by day, hour by hour? I have started blaming myself. This may seem strange and you might have to read that line again to make sure you read it correctly, you did. I have recently discovered that by acknowledging my part in their inability to nap, I am able to come at their tantrums with a gentler, more understanding approach.
My lack of a consistent routine means that they know they can wait me out for any type of nap time arrangement I try and make. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that I still have time to correct the error of my ways, with a third child in the mix who is on his own schedule, it's easier for me to go with the flow. You might find it's easier for you as well and next time you want to (figuratively) strangle them, try blaming yourself a moment for their actions and see if you don't find yourself a little calmer.