The Death of the Nap

As reported last week, when we took away the side of E's crib (because she catapulted herself over it and appeared, weepy and naked, at the bottom of the stairs much to my ever-lasting horror), we also discovered that her last pacifier, the one we were still allowing her to sleep with because the dentist said to wait until she's potty trained to take it away and OH YEAH NOT POTTY TRAINED AT ALL OVER HERE, well that last pacifier had a big rip in it and wasn't safe to use. She told us herself it was time to throw it away.

I mean, when your own kid tells you that it's time for them to throw away their last remaining, much beloved pacifier, it's kind of time, yes? This is, even to those of us who tend toward intuition deafness, what they call a CLEAR SIGN. So we threw it away, even though we thought it was horrible timing.

And LO it was!

Last week was Spring Break and my parents came to visit and I had a week's worth of fun activities planned including going to DC to see art! And animals! And possibly several longish hikes! Which all were now shot to hell since I would be dragging a deranged, sleep-deprived child with me. The absence of the pacifier combined with the thrill of FREEDOM means her nap has rapidly transformed into a pretty unsuccessful "quiet time".

Oh but this wasn't the hardest part for me. Yes, she's been negatively effected by her lack of sleep, vacillating, even more than a normal almost-three year old, between spazzy and weepy and irrational. But even if she wasn't clearly missing the sleep, I'd still be missing her nap.

Because, I'm embarrassed to say, it was often MY NAP.

I've gotten used to having a definite respite in the middle of the day. I could count on a reliable window of at least an hour - often TWO - to clean up, email, blog, read or, yes, SLEEP. Most days, I could chose to do whatever would be most stress relieving to me, and several times a week, my choice was to curl up in bed with a book to read and snooze. This time of rest and restoration was often like pushing a reset button on my mood:  after nap time I felt recharged and ready to start again in my best motherhood self.

That I used to nap feels like a dirty little secret, because the stereotype of a SAHM is one of a lazybones with unbrushed hair, clad in pajamas in the middle of the day, popping chocolate and napping at whim.

I'll have you know that I'm often dressed BEFORE noon AND I cannot nap at WHIM. Just at naptime! Which is no longer!


(Ironically, I was able to write this because E decided to take a nap today. On the ONE DAY I finally planned for her NOT TO NAP. Jezuz. This is why we moms think our kids plot to make our lives more difficult. BECAUSE THEY DO.)


Sarah said...

See, I never think of napping as being lazy or slovenly or any of that. I think of it as being European or Southern-belle like. Something refined women do. Beauty sleep. A luxury that only a crazy person would decline if it was handed to them. Also, the Chinese (I think them!) have this saying: "Men need food. Women need sleep." I mean, obviously we all need both, but I think in terms of general feelings of well being, that's pretty correct. Rested-ness is ESSENTIAL for looking and behaving like your best self, imo.
Which is to say, I'm very sorry your naps may be gone, and I don't think you were a bit lazy to have been taking them.

Sas said...

This has been my life since Christmas. I FEEL YOU. Oh, and did I mention I was in my 3rd trimester around then? "Quiet time" was UGLY. Eve better, when he does nap, he's awake til like 9:30 or 10. VICIOUS CYCLE.

d e v a n said...

OH dear! That does not sound pleasant at all. ((hug))

Pamela Hunt Cloyd said...

Oh I hear you!!! Gus naps once or twice a week but that is it (and he isn't potty trained either!! Yesterday he told me he's use the toilet when he's 7. ARRRHH.)

If it makes you feel better, I fell asleep for half an hour today while the boys did some "quiet time" in their rooms. You NEED a good 45 minutes a day to "nap" in some capacity. It will get better!!! xoxo

momof3 said...

I totally get it. When my last daughter gave up her nap not too long ago, I had a hard time getting used to not napping. BTW, were you at the zoo in DC during spring break-I think I saw you.

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