Confession time: I am an adult, I am someone’s mother, I work full-time, but I still love to nap. It’s something I thought I would outgrow by this point in my life, but I just can’t. I inherited “napping disease”–thanks, Dad! He’s the best napper I know. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is laying back down on Saturday afternoon. I know; it’s kind of sad. When I found out I was pregnant, this thought definitely crossed my mind a few times:
“Having a kid is totally going to cramp my freedom-to-nap-when-I-please lifestyle.”
I’m not proud that these are my thoughts, but when you have “napping disease,” you can’t help it. I spent my pre-motherhood years being able to just lay down whenever I wanted (during non-work hours, of course), without even a second thought. I didn’t realize what a luxury this was.
Now my daughter is two, and no, I can’t just take naps on a whim. It was hard to give up on, but probably good that I was forced to grow up a little.
Don’t worry, I know you’re getting nervous. I won’t make you sit through a whole blog post that is basically my love note to naps–I promise!
Because I also don’t slowly walk around the mall alone with a latte as much anymore either. I don’t spend Sundays watching whatever marathon is on TV or finishing an entire book in one sitting. I can’t just freely decide to stay out later than originally planned on a Saturday night because I’m having too much fun. Sometimes it’s from being on duty alone when my husband is busy. Usually it’s because after working during the day, I owe it to my daughter to focus off-time on what she wants to do. She doesn’t want to sit quietly while I enjoy a Friends marathon. Instead, we go to the park or play with puzzles or take out the Minnie Mouse Big Wheel.
So life isn’t as free and luxurious and carefree anymore, but I’m no martyr; I still fit in time to nap on the weekends. If my husband is home to handle the toddler, why not relax and recharge for an hour or so? Why not run some errands alone if I don’t have to drag along the pouty two-year-old? Why not browse the sale rack at Banana Republic with a latte in hand for a bit?
I have found that transitioning to parenthood means finding a new mix of balancing your old life, preferences, and habits with your new, busy reality.
I don’t think it’s practical to have to change so many things about yourself so suddenly. By the time you have kids, you kind of already are the way you are. You have certain likes and dislikes, and changing too much is going to make you boil over at some point.
So you have to find a way to incorporate things that make you “you,” while facing the reality that your time isn’t nearly as open. I’m someone that needs to recharge with some alone time (and naps, when I can). When my husband and I aren’t at work, and we have some down time, I try not to feel guilty for taking an hour to myself here and there. He fits in alone time too, between going to the golf range or meeting a friend for happy hour. We try to fit in these parts of the “old us” when possible.
Admittedly, this is easier to accomplish while we’re the parents of only one kid. But ultimately, being refreshed and energized helps us to be a better parents overall. I know I personally don’t do as well when I’m frazzled, tired, and overworked. We’ll have to adjust accordingly when we add to our family one day so we can still fit in our “me” time.
So here’s to all the adult nappers out there! Don’t feel guilty for taking an hour to recharge with some blissful weekend shut-eye.