When I had my first child, everyone told me to “sleep when the baby is sleeping.” I did not nap, in fact, I cleaned, cooked, and shlepped laundry up and down the stairs (why they didn’t put washing machines upstairs in these homes, ugh). With my second child, people insisted that I nap when the baby was sleeping. No, still no napping for me. How could I nap with those dirty dishes on the kitchen counter and in the sink! And the laundry, even if it is not folded, it must be put away. Let’s not forget the thank you note to the Finkelsteins (parents friends) because they haven’t heard anything about the adorable gift they sent, etc.
Finally, with my third child, people didn’t tell me what to do anymore, thank you. However, my body and mind told me that I needed rest. I was cranky, unmotivated and stressed. Yet, I would rush around while the babies were napping, how else would I get everything done? Well, you know what, it did. Not immediately, but that was okay. It was more important that I took that time to close my eyes, even if it was for just 15 minutes. That extra boost enabled me to get through the day with more energy. Even during the 5 pm to 7 pm shift, a.k.a, breakdown city, I learned to manage with three kids, three and under. Even if I did have a babysitter scheduled for that time period, I had to be prepared for the ocassional, “I can’t make it” phone call. Okay, things happen (speed dial husband at work) only to find out that Husband won’t be home ’til late. This is when I tell myself to take a deep breath and embrace the hours ahead. If I find that things are too hectic (3 year old hit 2 year old, 2 year old hit 3 year old, etc.), I change the focus and invite Dora,The Explorer to the party (DVD in player already). I appreciate that Dora has the ability to keep my kids intriged, however, the best part is when I can tell my kids that Dora has to gone to bed (Dora’s voice gets to me after awhile).
I am so into the nap that I plan the day around the nap. Even an hour before the nap, I start metioning it to my 2 year old (positive reinforcment) She doesn’t always go down without a protest, but if I can get in at least 15 minutes with my eyes closed, I’m good to go. Do you nap? It does a mommy good!