Listen to the Quiet :: A Daily Pause for Moms {part 2}

Written by contributing writer, Daniele Evans at Domestic Serenity.

So we’ve talked about just why rest is important and what true rest includes.  A time for reflection and for leisure, this daily rhythm of separating morning work from evening work by a 15 to 30 minute pause is quite beneficial to our days.

I didn’t always practice this.  Like several commenters in the first post, I felt slightly guilty.  But, I was approaching it all the wrong way.  Instead of thinking ‘I deserve this’, my mentality shifted to ‘God created rest for me and wants me to enjoy it’.  The truth of that statement led me to further study God’s example and commands to pause and rest in regular intervals.

The result was a fresh appreciation for God’s design and a new desire to honor His ways instead of my own.  A daily pause is one way to stop the work, reflect upon God’s goodness and refuel a little.

Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful:


Remember the first step is to believe this pause is a priority!

Assign a time to your rest :: this doesn’t need to be exact, unless it’s helpful to you, but even to the hour such as ‘sometime between 3-4 p.m.’

Decide if anything needs to be adjusted :: what will the children be doing?  are there other chores usually done now that should be moved to morning or evening? Figure out potential hindrances and work at adjusting the routine in order to pause.

A note about children:  I’ve found following the lead of the youngest child’s needs helpful.  Whether you follow a consistent schedule or a more open routine, babies and toddlers usually have some pattern of napping in the afternoons.  Arrange for other children to enjoy quiet time or a nap themselves while you pause for 15-30 minutes.

Note from Lindsay: With three little ones you may agree that it can be challenging to get them all to nap together. But I can testify that with a little work, it is possible. My two older ones nap/rest between 1-3pm each day (anywhere from 1.5-2 hrs). To get my infant to rest during the same period, I shorten her morning nap and waken her by 11:30am (which adjusts as she grows), so that she has a sufficient awake period before she gets tired again when the older two go to sleep. During the transition period from two to one nap, I try to stretch the baby and endure a little extra fussiness to be able to put them down again together. It’s worth it. Sometimes this might include putting the older ones down 30 minutes earlier. Every day is a bit different, sometimes this rest period is shorter or longer, but overall it is worth the effort when your house is full of little ones. My mom always encouraged me to keep a good nap routine as long as possible (I remember my siblings napping till they were 6 years old!).

Designate a space :: find a spot in your home (or outdoors!) that feels restful; I like going to the same place each day — the couch or kitchen table.  Resist the temptation to clean while you’re there!  Also gather all you’ll need to enjoy:  a pen, journal or other paper, book you’re reading, knitting or other handwork, etc.  Place these in a basket or container and have them ready so time is not wasted searching.

Remove distractions ::  say no to the phone, voicemail, email, social media, etc.


Decide on a treat :: a cup of tea or coffee, a sweet…something that feels like a treat to you!  Or maybe resting in itself is the treat?

Light a candle or play relaxing music :: okay, this is not a necessity but simply a way to separate these moments from the rest of the day.  I’ve also found it helpful for my children to know when Mommy’s time is up — when the candle is blown out!  No music handy?  Try David Nevue’s station on Pandora.

Reflect on the morning :: for a few minutes, celebrate 2-3 things that went well; I’d encourage writing these down in a journal or notebook.

Rest!  Either physically by taking a power nap or by enjoying a leisure activity.  You might want to set a timer, most of us can’t take the whole afternoon!

Need some resources for keeping your kids busy during a quiet rest time?

- Check out these quiet time bins (with great ideas for keeping your kiddos playing quietly in their own space after they have transitioned out of taking naps)
- More ideas for quiet time bins
- Invest in a CD player with headphones and allow them to listen to books on tape (many great classic books can be borrowed from your local library for your children’s enjoyment)

So, what you do think — possible?  Feel free to add other ideas or thoughts.

I bless you with restful, rejuvenating daily pauses!

photo credit

About devans

Daniele is a pastor’s wife, a homeschool mother of five and a passionate defender of children who need an advocate. Daniele and her family live out their days in Central Pennsylvania where she enjoys cooking, writing, reading and photography. Daniele takes pleasure in documenting family memories and nurturing the spirit of fellow believers on her blog, Domestic Serenity.

13 Responses to Listen to the Quiet :: A Daily Pause for Moms {part 2}

  1. Allie March 10, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    This comment is late, but I agree this is a great idea! My first child stopped napping right when she turned 2, and when I got pregnant soon afterward, I NEEDED an afternoon nap. I just turned her former naptime into what we call “Quiet Time” – she plays in her room for 90 minutes on her own after lunch every day. (We didn’t start with 90 minutes, but worked up to it!) It took her a bit to get used to it, but now she loves it and knows to come get me if she needs to go to the potty. I am now 5 months pregnant and I still nap most days – and I am definitely going to continue quiet time once baby #2 is born and try to get him to nap with me at the same time!

  2. Kelly January 26, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Love this post! Thanks so much for the link to the quiet time bin ideas. What a fabulous idea! My three are 5.5, 3.5, and 20 months and all quiet at the moment :) It’s funny that we just started doing this a few days ago and today I found these posts. It’s a confirmation for me that a moment of pause is good for me and not laziness as I tended to feel guilty as well. I also think it is good training for little ones to learn to be quiet and entertain themselves for a while. Now I have been challenged to rest and reflect on my morning, prepare for my afternoon/evening, when I tend to jump online. Let me get off now and do just that!! Thanks again.

  3. Lizzy January 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    I am 20, and just married but I still remember nap times when my younger two sisters and I were kids. I remember napping till I was 6 but also having a ‘read rest’ until I was about 11, where we all had to lie on our beds with a book for an hour and not talk, which was interesting as we were all in the same room until I was 14.

  4. Mandy January 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Oh, and I love what you said about naptime! I have a 4y, 3.5y, 2y and 5 mo old and they are ALL asleep right now! They are most days…like you said, reorganizing morning nap a bit sometimes & being consistent…naptime is just another part of the day!

  5. Mandy January 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I’ve been trying to intentionally do this for a year…it’s on my daily “routine” but I so often skip it. THis post has reminded me of how important that 10-15 min really is for me, the kiddos, my hubs, especially if I renew my mind with the Word! Thanks!

  6. Pam@behealthybehappywellness January 25, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Great post! It is common to take a few minutes in the morning or before bed to rest, but often we really need it in the middle of our days – this is a great reminder. And to make it a daily habit – wonderful! I’ll definitely be trying to put this into my day!

  7. Kelli January 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    I love this post!! Fresh Appreciation for God’s design… Yes lovely.

  8. Lacey Wilcox January 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanks for the advice on getting two little ones to nap. I’m due in April, and my 16-month old daughter has been doing so well napping, and the time is a much needed break for us both. I’ve been really nervous about losing that time with a newborn, but I’m excited to try these tips!

  9. lorilee @ loving simple January 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Wanted to add that your site comes through really good on my phone.

  10. lorilee @ loving simple January 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm #


  11. JCF January 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I just wanted to share how I’ve made our afternoon quiet times work, and hopefully it will help another mom who was in my circumstance. My oldest gave up napping around his third birthday, when I had a 1.5yo and a newborn. He just would not nap, no matter how I tried to force it. He doesn’t need that extra sleep and does just fine without it. I would have still continued to have him do a quiet time playing in his room, except that we only have two bedrooms, and one of the children was napping in each of the bedrooms. I couldn’t put him in there for a rest time, or he’d keep another child awake.

    More than a year later, just in the past few weeks, I’ve found a way that works for us to reinstitute a rest time for him (and for me!) every day. The baby (now 18 months), sleeps in a Pack and Play in my bedroom, and I go in the other bedroom with the older two (now 3 and 4). They each sit on their beds with books and a few dolls or stuffed animals. They are allowed to play and look at books quietly, and I sit in the beanbag chair in their bedroom to make sure that they stay quiet and in bed. The majority of the time, the 3yo falls asleep within the first 30 minutes and sleeps about 2 hours. My oldest never falls asleep, but while he rests, I am able to read or sometimes close my eyes a bit. It wouldn’t work if I didn’t sit in the room, because the kids would get unruly with each other, but it forces me to sit and take an hour to relax and recharge before the afternoon. I’m so glad we do this now!

    • Sandy January 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      Thanks for the very specific tip.

  12. Amanda Evans January 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I now have four little kids and a daily quiet time is a necessity! I work really hard to keep everyone’s naps/quiet times coordinated so that I have some time in the day to myself. Keeps me sane! My challenge now is to use that time wisely. I tend to want to just vedge.