I love naps! Who doesn’t, right? That’s a cheap applause line if I’ve ever written one. It’s practically “It’s great to be here in Toledo, the best city in the world.”
But I do love ‘em. I used to doze in the passenger seat on the long drive from NY to Boston; doze on planes, doze on a lounge chair at the pool, doze at my desk. Just kidding about that last one, former bosses. Oh that reminds me – yesterday I was watching my 3 year old jump off the side of the pool about 40 times in a row and over his shoulder I could see this middle aged dude just snoozing the afternoon away, mouth agape. I was so jealous that I wished a wasp would fly into his mouth. Somebody’s tired, eh?
Anywho, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, so I happen to be extremely committed to awesome, consistent, gentle nighttime parenting. My motto has always been “be the same parent 24 hours/day”. And that, my friends, is a tall, tall order. I’ve failed, but I keep trying because I think it’s a worthy goal and I like a good challenge.
For the first 2 years of motherhood a key component to being awesome was napping with my son. Luckily my guy excelled at naps. I was often the envy of playgroup with tales of his 3 hour zonk-out sessions which gave me ample opportunity to refill my tank with some shut eye by baby’s side if only for 30 minutes. Sometimes I’d be the best wife in the world and and get some household chores done to boot.
When I got pregnant with my 2nd son I was in denial that those days were over. I fantasized about all three of us napping simultaneously. Psych!
I’d also forgotten about the topsy-turvy day-is-night-is-day schedule of the first 60 days or so. With #1 I remember complaining to a childless friend “I’m stuck nursing all day.” Man, I didn’t know how great I had it “stuck” in a comfy club chair, living on Baby Time, snoozing when he did. Just one tiny being relying on me.
My point is this and sorry for burying the lede here: Nap with your child if you are EVER offered the chance. Just do it, okay? Don’t think about the reasons not to, because when it comes down to it, you probably have the time or energy to cross, like, one lame thing off the To-Dos if you don’t nap. And if you’re honest with yourself, when you don’t nap you’ll check Facebook and Perez Hilton and eat a sleeve of Thin Mints because you’re starving from breastfeeding. So push out of your mind the dirty dishes and the last time you shaved your legs and climb in the nest. Of all the parenting choices you have in a day, that’s one decision you won’t regret.
Rebecca is Mom to one napper and one non-napper. To quote Bill Cosby, she enjoys sleep like a good steak and is starting to “get” her grandparents 2 twin beds which she used to find hilarious.