True Life Stay-At-Home Confessional | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

August 5, 2009

True Life Stay-At-Home Confessional

My daughter is approaching her first birthday this Friday. Let me tell you: Time. Has. Flown. It seems like only yesterday I was crying over every little thing, scared of this alien-like being in my arms, and afraid of whatever she demanded next. In the past year, my Lucy has gone from a small, innocent and immobile cherub to a smiling-then laughing-then babbling-then rolling-then sitting-then creeping-then crawling-then cruising-then walking-then talking toddler. We've both grown as individuals, learning so much in 365 days. I look back fondly on the days where she slept for most of my waking hours, wishing I had appreciated it more! During those days, wrecked from nights of no sleep (and her howling cries still reverberating in my brain), I would nap sometimes twice a day. Every book I read, and each Mommy I talked to, encouraged me with the same mantra: "Sleep when the baby sleeps, and DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT!"

12 months ago, I listened to their wisdom and took their advice...

...and 12 months later, I still do...

That's right. I confess:

I nap.

Months ago, I couldn't go a day without napping. I found comfort and encouragement that napping was my only defense to the tiring, sleepless nights. As my little chica settled into a more regular nap routine, I found these hours peaceful and quiet: the perfect ingredients for the afternoon siesta. It was bliss.

While my nights started to include more sleep, my days were still tiring. Every mother knows that each stage of baby and toddlerhood includes its unique set of challenging (and tiring) aspects. As the mother of a 2 month old, then a 4 month old, and soon a 6 month old, I convinced myself that I needed these naps to keep ahead of this growing (and increasingly mobile) baby.

Soon, I realized napping had become a habit. Each day, as my daughter became a cranky monster ready for her nap, I noticed my own blood-sugar levels dropping and eyelids drooping. Weakness would overtake my body, and the inviting couch practically heaved warm blankets over my frame and shoved a cushy pillow under my heavy head. I would wake up to the monitor screaming my daughter happily rousing, and I'd look at the clock wondering where the time had gone.

As 6 months became 10 months, I started to feel like I was taking advantage of my job description. While I used to believe I could stop napping anytime I wanted to (we all tell ourselves that, don't we?), I was now not so sure. I soon had to ask myself the difficult question: Was I addicted to napping? Could I really not get through a day without my afternoon repose? No, I didn't nap every day. And hey, I was getting the job done: the sink was clear, the floor was vacuumed, and the clothes were folded (ok, the last part is a lie - I'm really bad at folding clothes, but that's fodder for another post). So what is wrong with getting a little shut-eye while the babe is in Lala Land? Does that make me lazy? A bad mom? Or did I have to face the music that skipping a nap could potentially push me into the throes of withdrawal, shakes and all?

As my daughter nears the Big 0-1, I still have no answers to the age-old contention: To nap or not to nap? I've taken to the perspective that with any job, an employee must be alert and productive during office hours. Now, I'm still not certain what my office hours are, as they never seem to end. But, during the day, while others are participating in their respective workplaces, I feel that I should follow suit and be productive in my own right (read: my house).

So, with coffee in one hand and plenty of chores in the other, I have made a concerted effort to break the Mommy Nap Cycle. It has been pretty successful, With my husband, a teacher, home for the summer, it has been increasingly easy to spend my waking hours...well...awake!

But,every now and then on those rough days, when my little love has worn me out by 10am, and I am barely hanging on by a thread, one might find me in a burrow of fleece blankets, on a 15 minute date with the Sandman...

...and enjoying every second of it...

1 comment :

  1. NAP! This is your mother in law, supposedly a girl's worst critic, right? And I'm telling you take a NAP! Someday Lucy may have a sibling who doesn't take naps at all & you will never get another nap for the rest of your life. Trust me, this I know about. :-)


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