Rebranding Quiet Time


Coming from someone who has seven children at home with her full time, it might seem crazy to  learn that I can't stand noise.  I can handle a small amount of music in the background, but I'm not someone who can read while the TV is on or focus well on a conservation while other conversations are going on at the same time.   Especially when several conversations are going on and someone is listening to an audio book, the dog is barking, and, and, and....

I need my quiet time to shake all the cobwebs out of my brain.

My children, however, it turns out do not need quiet time.  Now, don't get me wrong, the baby and toddler need their naps- but being the youngest two of seven it turns out they can (for the most part) sleep through anything.  

Every day I would beg with them to please give me this hour or so of peace.  I would dangle carrots of favorite TV shows, screen time, cooking projects, and extra yummy snacks.   Most of the time, it didn't work.  By the time I finished getting everyone settled at "quiet" I was out of time from the littles naps to actually get any peace myself.

I was just about to give it up completely.

Except it turns out I didn't need to give up, I needed a new marketing director.

It started with Logan wanting to do Legos during quiet time.  I don't know about you, but the sound of digging through buckets of Legos doesn't exactly meet my definition of peaceful, but I gritted my teeth and said yes anyway.   Then Lucie started joining him, each with a small bucket of Legos for what has become a couple hours each afternoon of Lego building.  

Slowly, everyone started gathering around the dining room table to work on some project of personal interest.  Legos, calligraphy, sketching, unfinished schoolwork....

I stopped calling it quiet time or reading time and started calling it creative quiet time.

Initially I just called it creative time but I had to add the quiet to remind them mom still needed the quiet part.  It's not completely silent as I might have been picturing, but it is productive and easy to transition to.   They even look forward to it at least as much as I do.  

Working alone or in pairs they are often found pursing interests that don't easily find their way into other parts of the day.  Some days, everyone ends up reading a book exactly like I once attempted to require.  Other days, rather than rest myself I find myself sitting at the table with them trying my own hand at calligraphy or working on a blog post nearby.  

Having made this new discovery of quiet time, I realize I probably should have asked other moms with wide families what they did long ago!   I'm guessing many of you already figured this out, but just in case you haven't I thought it would be good to share.

 Do you quiet time at your house?  What are the guidelines?   
Leave me a note, I'd love to hear from you!

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