The Nap Barometer

by Megan on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 No Comments

Today I realized something interesting.  When my husband walks in the door after work, he doesn’t have to ask me if I had a good day.  Instead, he could just ask if our baby and toddler napped in the afternoon or not.  That would be his answer.  To translate:

Neither kid napped: bad, bad day (and probably a good idea to steer clear of me for the rest of the evening)

One kid napped: good day (but I could still be frazzled by reason second kid didn’t nap)

Both kids napped: great day

Kids napped at the same time: cloud nine

My ‘nap barometer’ is all the more true on days I’m not working and am home all day with the kids.  It seems odd to me that a break of 45 minutes–not even enough time to clean the kitchen if I’ve let the dishes pile up–is so crucial to my psyche.  It makes me think about full-time SAHM moms who have three or more kids.  They must never, ever get a break.

A sleeping baby

Baby Bingo sleeping = blissful break for me

I’ll spare you the details of our family’s nap challenges, including my current (usually failing) attempts to make sure I don’t repeat my Toddler-nap mistakes with Baby Bingo. I just think it’s interesting how profound the impact of naps are on a parent, and not just the minutes the children are sleeping or are supposed to be asleep.  It’s the implications for the rest of the evening: will it be smooth sailing with happy, well-rested children, or kids who collapse to the floor sobbing with every puzzle piece not easily clicked into place, with every Duplo tower that topples over?

A nap time of nap alternatives like quiet play time or read-in-your-room-with-the-door-shut could never compare to the peace of knowing your little one is deeply slumbering, especially when we’re talking about a feisty, adventurous toddler like ours.  It’s the same thing when we’re driving.  Two quiet kids in the backseat is nice, but two fast-asleep kids is bliss.

I suppose all this is yet another example how important sleep is for mental and physical health…even if it’s someone else’s sleep we’re talking about.  And with that, I’m hearing some snuffles on Baby Bingo’s monitor and Toddler’s making it clear that she’s at her limit with quiet reading time.  My partial break this afternoon has come to a close.   🙂

Posted in Parenting.

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