Photo: Layna Rae Photography
Almost a year ago to the day, I wrote a post about why I don’t sleep when the baby sleeps. I was still finding my footing as a new mom/new stay-at-home-mom, and my baby didn’t nap for more than 45 minutes at a time.
I was exhausted, and it wasn’t good for anyone.
Not that I’m some well-rested sage mother at this point, but things are different. It may have taken me a year and a half to get here, but most days, I do sleep when the baby sleeps – and I don’t feel the tiniest bit of guilt about it, either.
Praise all that is Holy, but Jack’s nap time usually lasts anywhere from 90 minutes – 2 hours (key word: usually.) When he was a few months old, that didn’t happen. If I slept when he did, it was in a chair or sitting on the couch after he finished nursing.
Also, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and it’s a perk of the job.
This seems obvious, right? At almost 33 weeks pregnant, I’m easily fatigued. By the time Jack’s nap rolls around, I’ve taken him to do some kind of activity outside the house (because what stay-at-home-mom actually stays home?), and I’ve been chasing him around for at least 6 hours. When he goes down, I walk straight into my bedroom and get in bed. Like, under the covers. I’m not messin’ around, folks.
The ‘Lunch Break’ Mentality
My friend Brittany shared this concept with me: the idea that if we were “working parents,” we’d get a lunch break. (This is not an us vs. them comment – it’s just a fact that both of our husbands get to go out to lunch most days. A perk of their jobs.) Before adopting this mentality, I felt like I had to use Jack’s nap as a time to sprint a marathon of housework, emails, blog posts, work etc. Sorry, friends, but that stuff will get done when Sesame Street comes on from 4:00-5:00 every day.
Some people might roll their eyes at this, but me taking 30-45 minutes to close my eyes in the afternoon is a form of self-care. At this stage of the game, it’s what I want and need, so I don’t fight it. I think ‘self-care’ has become this buzzword that’s synonymous with manicures and massages; and while those are forms of self-care, they’re not things most of us can do every day. If we want to be healthy and the best versions of ourselves, we need some kind of self-care every single day.
I also know this is a short season. I’ll have a newborn in about a month and a half, so there will be no napping and I’ll be back to that familiar zombie status. Until then, I’m taking all the naps I can.