From the Mommy Files…

I love naps! Why don’t you?

Posted on: March 12, 2010

What is it about naps? We adults have an absolute love affair with them, and kids, well, they try to avoid them like the plague. I tell my kids, “trust me; you aren’t missing out on anything!” They still don’t believe me. When will they finally heed my words? When will they realize the value of the nap, the sheer joy of napping? Will it be, when they have their first hangover?  When they have to pull all-nighters studying? Or will it ultimately happen when they become parents themselves? Oh gosh – I hope it doesn’t take THAT long. Who knows, but I wish it would happen soon!

I remember reading something on Facebook a few months ago that had me cracking up. It was from a guy, in his late 20s. My husband and I both got a big kick out of it. It said: “Dear Nap, I’m sorry I was so mean to you when I was younger. Now that I’m older, I do realize how important you are, and I was wondering. Can we get reacquainted?” It was something like that and I loved it. I wish babies and kids knew (or at east could acknowledge) that naps were good!

I have heard many new moms say, “Heck, I’d kill for a nap right now!” And heck, I’ve paid for a nap! Yes, I’ve hired a babysitter to take care of things so I could nap. Naps are good and soooo necessary! Due to health issues, we didn’t have any family help. When #2 came a long, a dear friend of mine came to take my older daughter a couple of times a week, so I could rest when the baby napped. She saved my life!

I recall a time, when the girls were quite young, my life seemed like it was a series of naps. And I loved each and every second of those naps. For a while, I couldn’t sleep more than a few hours at a time. I was in nap mode 24/7! Now I find that I can sleep 7 or 8 hours, but no more, or I feel like I’ve slept too much. However, I can get up for ½ hour and then go back to sleep for a couple more hours. The operative word is could, because it rarely happens. I’m still in a sort of nap mode, I guess. Last weekend, my husband took the girls downstairs to give them breakfast so I could sleep in. Couldn’t do it! Thanks for trying, Honey. That was an awesome gift. I wish I could have taken advantage of it!

My 3 year-old pretty much refuses to nap. When, at the age of 2, we moved her to a “big girl room” with a “big girl bed,” she announced, “big girls don’t nap!” I remember the conversation. I said, “uh-huh!” and she said, “Nope!” Then I told her how much Mommy likes to nap, and that I’m a big girl. She said, “No you aren’t. You’re a mommy!” So now, do you get that, in 2 year-old logic? Big girls can’t nap, but mommies can. Hmmm….so how do we nap if the big girls don’t? Ah….the $64,000 question!

My one year-old gets upset at nap time. She is terribly afraid she will miss some momentous and wonderful thing that her big sister might do – because big sisters always do momentous and wonderful things – and has a fit when she even sees her bed. It takes her a bit to settle down, but most of the time, she does. I must confess, she is a better napper that the first. We had trouble getting there, but we did. #1 gave up the morning nap at 9 months. Fortunately for me, #2 still naps most mornings, and in the afternoon.

Now by afternoon, as most moms can attest, I am dragging my butt. So I try to get my 3 year-old to lie down on the couch with me, so I can catch a few zzz’s.  Some days it works, but other days, she’s so squirmy or is in the mood for multitasking. You know, read a book, but play with toys and sing a song. All when you would love just 15 minutes to snooze. Whoever said mommies never get a break…was telling the God’s truth!

After one of the girls was born, I made a comment once, saying, “When am I going to get some sleep?” The response – “When your kids are 18.” Something tells me there will be sleepless nights then too – with different issues at hand. What can you do? I guess naps will always be my best friend, well, my second best friend.  I’ll keep trying to get my daughters to appreciate napping. We all could use a recharge, couldn’t we?

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