Oh, Internet, it’s hard to admit this to you, but after all this time, I’m going to come clean: I take a nap every day. You may be jealous, even a little outraged, but I know you’re not surprised. Napping works for me. Here’s why.
- Because I can. I stay home with Sam during the day, and he takes a nap after lunch for about an hour and a half, before we have to go pick up CJ at school. If he’s napping, that means as his caregiver, technically, I’m off the hook. So I nap too.
- Because everyone always says, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Has conventional wisdom taught us nothing? I started sleeping when Sam was sleeping VERY early on in his babyhood. I see no reason why I shouldn’t continue that practice now, when he’s two-and-a-half.
- Because I’m tired. Chalk it up to motherhood in general, to insomnia, to the fact that I’m not a morning person—no matter what I’m always tired. A nap always sounds good to me. As do trillions of cups of coffee each morning.
- Because I need a break. I like how my afternoon nap breaks up the day. I usually use the morning for homework or household tasks. Then I eat lunch, take my nap, and go out to get CJ and run a few errands if I need to. The nap provides a natural break in my day and gets me geared up to tackle afternoon.
- Because I wake up feeling so much better about life. Depending on how tired I am, a nap can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes I wake up from naps just wanting more sleep. But more often than not, I wake up on my own (meaning, before my two-year-old alarm clock does) and feel rested and ready to go.
- Because if I don’t, I’m a complete monster. Talk about irritability. If I haven’t had my nap that day, when four o’clock comes around, get out of my way. No kids fighting, no husband in the kitchen when I’m trying to make dinner, and you can bet if you’re whining you will be assigned a chore. When I’m tired I become irritable, and my family feels the effects of this the most.
- Because a mid-afternoon nap eliminates the need for a late-night cup of coffee. On days I work, I spend all day with my kids and then leave when Chris comes home. I generally don’t get back until midnight. I have enough trouble with sleep as it is, so I try not to have coffee after 2 pm. If I do, you know it was a rough day and I’m desperate.
- Because it beats cleaning. Sure, I could be using Sam’s naptime to be productive, but why? I can clean when he’s awake, and he likes to follow me around and put clothes in the washing machine and use the Swiffer to dust the carpets. Cleaning is always better with a friend.
- Because science said I could. I’ve read more than a few articles recently on the benefits of napping, which include many of the reasons I’ve listed here. One study showed that after a nap, people feel refreshed and their minds are more ready to tackle difficult problems. Did anyone see The Internship? Google has nap pods for a reason.
- Because sometimes knowing I can take a nap later is the only reason I get out of bed in the morning. Being a mother is hard. Period. More often than not when I wake up I find myself wishing it was the weekend, when Chris takes over the nitty-gritty of parenting and I get to catch up on a little sleep. Sometimes on weekday mornings the thought of packing yet another lunch or pouring yet another bowl of cereal that may or may not get eaten is too much for me, and I just want to stay in bed. I can’t do that, but I can look forward to the nap I’ll get later that day.