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Mama Needs a Nap: How to Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

February 6, 2017

Mama Needs a Nap: How to Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

It’s not uncommon for me to get 2-4 hours of sleep on a particularly bad night with the one year old. He’s learning to walk right now, and as always seems to be the case, sleep has gone out the window while he works on this new milestone. Obviously I can get some sleep during the day though, he takes naps, and I stay home with him. Like they always say, sleep when the baby sleeps. Here’s my 17 point plan for doing just that.

  1. Actually get the baby/toddler down for a nap.
  2. Extract yourself from the room without waking said sleeping child. If you fail at step 2, return to step 1.
  3. Go pee, but do not forget not to flush the toilet, if you forget, return to step 1 because your toilet flushing has woken your kid.
  4. Get in bed.
  5. Realize that it is way too bright in your room to nap, get up and draw the curtains.
  6. Get distracted by laundry on your floor, spend 15 minutes tidying and throwing a load in the washer, but do not slam the washer door, or you will need to return to step 1.
  7. On the way back from the laundry, notice your 3/4 of a cup of cold coffee you didn’t get around to drinking this morning. Reheat and decide to spend a little time reading the news and enjoying your coffee. Return to step 1 if you forget to stop the microwave before it beeps at the end.
  8. Sit down with coffee, open laptop, and immediately get back up to bring your dog outside, whose whines threaten to wake your sleeping child.
  9. Realize you forgot to bring the recycling out, scour the house for random cardboard and mailers, bring the recycling bin to the curb in your slippers, and spend an embarrassed moment feeling like a cliché.
  10. Get in back bed.
  11. Realize you haven’t looked up showtimes for your movie date next weekend, and you need to plan for your babysitter. Look up showtimes on your phone. Return to step 1 if you accidentally click on a site that automatically plays ads at full blast even though your phone is on silent.
  12. Get distracted by articles describing fan theories about your favorite series when trying to look up movie times. Completely forget to check showtimes.
  13. Decide you are definitely going to get some rest this time, pull the covers over your head, and try to go to sleep.
  14. Think about what chores you need to accomplish later and start wondering which you could do without waking up your kid.
  15. Get up to do some quick food prep for later; it will be worth it not to have to do it when your child is up.
  16. Lay back down with a sense of accomplishment, snuggle in to your nice covers, and fall asleep.
  17. Five to ten minutes later, get up to get your child who is done napping, and reheat your 3/4 cup of coffee again.

Repeat with some variations for afternoon naps. In all seriousness, I have completely lost the ability to nap since having a kid. I’m better off listening to a relaxing guided meditation, doing some writing, or getting some things down around the house then going through the frustration of trying to nap.


0 comments
  1. I'm physically incapable of napping (I took my last successful nap 20 years ago), so I hear ya. I definitely salute you for managing to be so productive and still have a sense of humor on so little sleep!

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