Even Unsolvable Parenting Problems are Useful, Here’s Why

I was recently asked for tips on naptime.

It made sense that this desperate Mom would ask me. We’ve had a solid bedtime routine for years. It’s safe to assume I have figured out all sleep issues.

But when she asked, I paused. I didn’t have an answer. My mind flipped quickly through years of naptime at our house.

It wasn’t good. Closer to horrible.

In fact, I’m not really excited to share any of our naptime experiences.

I’m exhausted just thinking about how I sat outside the bedroom door. Giving my EXTREMELY ACTIVE son no choice but to stay inside the room and myself the chance to be not moving.

I can still feel the tension caused by the daily battle between his desire to continue exploring and my need to sit still… just for a few minutes.

I cringe at the “end of my rope” parenting choices I made. Always regretting them immediately.

So no, I don’t have advice on naptime. You’ll have to go somewhere else for that.

This conversation did stir up some different parenting thoughts. Something that might be just as important as naptime. (Is anything as important as naptime? Probably not.)

You see, I’m a fixer.

I like finding solutions. Looking hard at problems until they become crystal clear.

Trying out different ideas until something works.

I like the entire process.

I also like having an answer and a solved problem.

3 steps to take when you find an unsolvable parenting problem

When I looked back at naptime and found a problem that was never solved, I was struck with an interesting thought…

It didn’t matter that we never figured it out. We made it through. We learned a lot from that experience (even if it wasn’t how to actually make naps happen).

He is now an awesome early teen. Whether or not he laid down without a battle for naps is no longer relevant.

These battles didn’t create a defiant child. My inability to solve this naptime problem didn’t put a strain on our relationship. We made it through and that is the only thing that matters.

3 Steps to Take When You Find an Unsolvable Problem

I love to be inspired.

I especially love to be inspired and directed.

If reading the story above gave you peace and a little room to breathe. Great! Let it sit with you for a bit and then move on to changing up your parenting mindset shift.

However, if you’re like me, after reading an inspiring story you want more. Okay, I’m moved… what do I do with this new insight?

  1. Keep trying. You may never find the right solution to this problem. But with every new attempt, you’re learning something about yourself and your kids.
  2. Use this struggle as a way to practice cutting yourself some slack and stop beating yourself up.
  3. Find the peace in it. You are going to go through this struggle anyway. Where can you lighten it a bit? If I could go back, it might have been helpful to find rest time for myself in other ways. Maybe an afternoon sitter once a week. I also could have lessened the battle by switching to rest time instead of fighting for actual naps.

Think back over the last few months. What parenting problem did you go through without ever finding a solution? How do you feel about it now that it’s in the past?

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