The good things in life never last.
Sometimes it seems like the more amazing they are, the more fleeting they are. You do your best to enjoy them, but (to bring in another cliché), you never truly know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
That’s why, with a heavy heart, I’m taking a moment to bid a fond farewell to my toddler’s naps. RIP nap time.
Nope. Because my adorable little hellion is pretty much killing me at the moment, and I miss those dang things.
Well, if I’m being completely honest, I’m still holding onto them for dear life on some days, so I can only imagine how bad it’s going to be when we go cold turkey. We’re in that weird transition period where she desperately needs the nap, but when she gets it, she wants to party like a belligerent, acrobatic, klutzy drunk person until the wee hours of the morning.
Early last week, it seemed to be OK if I limited the naps to 40 minutes and then woke her up; she was cranky, but she still went to bed at a normal hour. But by the end of the week, ugh. Even that short nap tanked bedtime. But when I took the naps away fully, she couldn’t keep her eyes open by the late afternoon, and then I was totally and completely screwed.
And have I mentioned that she’s only 26 months old? It’s too soon!
So here we are…and I am losing my freaking mind.
As some of you already know, I work after the kiddos go to bed, and right now, that time has been cut ridiculously short and I’m so bleary-eyed by the time it rolls around, I’m pretty useless. I also use nap time as work time. In the early days, I got to mix work and pleasure in the loveliest way possible. Here we were just a few weeks after she was born, when I started writing my book for new moms, 107 Things I Wish I Had Known with My First Baby.
It was snuggly and wonderful, and I got shit done, which was miraculous and made me feel like a total badass in those challenging postpartum weeks. And then afterward, she obviously slept on her own while I worked…though lately it’s been in the car while I’ve sat in the driveway on a picnic blanket with my laptop. (Ah, the things we do for nap time!)
So, yes, I’m mourning the loss of the nap because it makes my life as a work-at-home mom harder. But it’s not just that. For me and for every other parent on the planet banking on their kid’s nap, regardless of their work status, that nap isn’t just a nap. And it’s not just for work, even when you’re actually working or having lunch or making doctor appointments.
It’s a break—and a much-needed one, at that. Because as much as we all love our amazing little munchkins, we need a little time away from them every day to hold onto our sanity. We need time to think clearly, without having them literally climbing up our bodies or demanding something or even just speaking in the sweetest way. Because every mom needs to be herself away from motherhood for a little while and feel like a person again, even if it’s just for 30 brief minutes.
That’s what naps did for me. They helped me achieve some semblance of balance, take a breather, put things in perspective and go back into the whole parenting thing for the rest of the day with renewed gusto.
I’ve been through this once before with my older child, but it feels different this time around. Maybe I’m looking at it with those rosy glasses we tend to put on when we think of the past, but I don’t think that’s the full story. My son was calmer, easier to reason with and more of a mommy pleaser. My daughter? I love her to pieces, but man, she tests my sanity with every fiber of her bouncing, kicking, sassy, opinionated being on a daily basis, especially when she hasn’t slept properly.
And yeah, before someone mentions that I should institute “quiet time” with her, see the above description.
I know that it will even out over time because she’s growing up and she won’t need as much sleep soon, but until we get there, God help me and wish me luck!