My kids are very dependent on their sleep and their naps are precious. When growing tired, they become increasingly whiny, impatient, and irritable. My nearly 6 1/2 year old will still nap on the weekend when given the opportunity. Miraculously, he will still go to bed on time even if he took a two hour midday snooze. On nights when the kids go to bed 30 or more minutes late, we will almost certainly pay for it the next day in the form of two whiny cranky-pants who spend the day antagonizing each other.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
At 6 times my oldest’s age, I too will nap if given the opportunity. In fact, most weekends I’ll lay down to catch some shut eye when they do. Yes, the house may be in desperate need of tidying and the laundry may be piling up. But despite staring down a sometimes seemingly unsurmountable to-do list, I’ll usually choose to nap.
I enjoy crossing things off my to-do as much as the next person. Accomplishing anything is satisfying on some level. But you want to know what’s more satisfying for me?
Taking a nap.
Curling up for a good weekend nap on the couch is not only relaxing, but it rejuvenates me for the rest of the day. Sometimes my naps are short and sweet, others are just as long as the kids’ naps. Catching a few midday zzzz’s also gives me the opportunity to turn my mind off for an hour or two, which is sometimes just necessary for my mental and emotional well-being.
Also, when I’m tired, like the kids, I can get a bit grouchy. Some midday sleep can really help with this. That is, as long as I am woken up on my own. You can ask my husband about the creature I turn into when I don’t wake up on my own accord (but I can save that for another post).
Speaking of which, guess who else sometimes lays down for a nap when the kids do (albeit less frequently)? Yup, you guessed it – my husband.
Adults aren’t immune to the same effects that a lack of sleep has on the kids. A well-rested and relaxed me is a lot better than an impatient, overwhelmed, overtired me. The same goes for my hubby. It helps makes us not only better people, but better parents. Parents who are re-energized to handle the next curve ball the kids throw at us, not to mention parents who have more drive to tackle some of their to-do list.
I have read many blogs and articles talking about the importance of mothers embracing the notion of self-care. For some that is working out, for others it’s a trip to the spa, shopping, or reading a book. Self-care for me is settling into my well-worn couch cushions for a good, old fashioned nap. A solo trip to Target with a treat for Starbucks in hand is a close second.
So, I let the dishes sit in the sink, the dust accumulate on the mantle, and the laundry go unfolded. I do what’s best for me some days. Nap. Self-care is where’s it at, Moms. Don’t you forget it, or regret it.