Ok, so let’s be honest. There are times, especially in those early days of newborn delirium, when your baby naps and the only thing you can think about doing is joining them. Your house looks like a bomb went off. There are dirty onsies and burp cloths lurking around every corner. The pile of mail on your kitchen counter is stacked so high it’s threatening to topple into the sink, which is overflowing with take-out-caked dishes. To you I say, “Snuggle up and enjoy.” Those quiet moments are so few and precious that you need to give yourself permission to really embrace them. Flop down on the couch. Pull down the room darkening shades in your bedroom. Take the phone off the ringer. Or just plop down and curl up on the floor. (I’ve done this.) The mess can wait. It’s not going anywhere. Sigh.
I remember (hazily) in the early days of Annabelle, pulling her little bassinet basket right next to the couch so I could lie down and still be able to (obsessively) look over at her. I’d float in and out of consciousness, always awaiting the cry that meant our naptime was over and it was time to mommy it up again.
By the way, why do they say babies eat every two to three hours? That is a total misrepresentation. As any new mama will tell you it TAKES about an hour to feed, change and get your newborn back to sleep. And that’s if everything goes smoothly. You don’t really get the two to three hour breaks in between feedings that I swear we were promised. Before Annabelle was born, Mike and I took a breastfeeding workshop. When the teacher informed the class (casually, it seemed, as I’m sure she didn’t want us to run shrieking from the room) that newborns eat between 8 and 12 times a day, I remember Mike looking at me with a mixture of awe and fear and asking, “How are you going to do that?”
How exactly? I think in the beginning moms run on pure love. We’re just in complete and utter fascination with this adorable little creature that we somehow don’t need sleep. As time goes on I think what fuels us is brute strength and determination. Mamas are a very strong lot.
All this is to say, if you need a nap, cut yourself some slack and take it. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You need your rest, just like your baby does. Heck, you just made a PERSON. That awards you a few quiet moments to snooze.
Eventually though, when your baby (miracle of miracles!) begins to sleep and you are able to get a full night’s rest (full night now being a relative term), you soon find yourself able to function while your baby naps. Once Annabelle began sleeping through the night and I was able to rejoin the living during the day, I would find myself lost during her nap times. I would put her down to sleep and I would be so overwhelmed with everything I needed to do (or FELT I needed to do) during her nap that I would run around my house not really completing anything. Before I knew it I would hear her crying for me and I would look around my STILL chaotic house and wonder, what did I do for the last hour?
So, that leads me to something I’m calling Nap To It! These are little challenges I’m creating for myself (and you if you’d like to play along) that will be quickie-organizing projects you can complete while your child sleeps. I’m talking things you can start AND finish in an hour. My goal will be finding one naptime (or one free hour) to complete the mini-makeover. I will post the first Nap To It! on Friday. I know, I know, you can hardly contain your excitement. So for today, if you need it and you can, snuggle up and enjoy!