Naps are the gold standard for parents everywhere. We wait, bide our time, and plan for when our kids finally give up and give in to sleep. It's like a gift they give us; the gift of "taking a break." So, it should honestly be anything but surprising to know there are things every mom does when her kid is napping; things that probably seem pretty weird to people who don't deal with sleep-defying children. However, for a mother they're rare treats, like scoring free diapers from the pediatrician or finding a mom-friend who hates playdates just as much as you do.
When my first son was a baby, he never slept. He would fight off that sweet, sweet unconsciousness for as long as he possibly could. In fact, I think he would've propped his eyelids open with toothpicks if he could've. As a result of this constant, seemingly never-ending battle, my son was always tired and always cranky, so I was always tired and cranky. So, when he finally couldn't fight sleep any longer and inevitably passed out, I had a few things I always did. In other words, my post-baby sleep routine was set in damn stone, my friends.
I am pretty confident that all parents do much of the same when their little cherubs have successfully drifted into dream land. We all crave our own time, our own space, our own food, and our own little mini-break that reminds us that while we're parents, we're also human beings. So, with that in mind, here's a list of the (sometimes weird) things I'm convinced every mom does once her little one has finally decided to nap:
First things first, my friends. You immediately pull out your phone and post a photo of your sleeping angel. You message with other moms who have just posted photos of their sleeping angels, too. You laugh at memes about moms who check social media as soon as their kids are asleep. You check yourself and remember not to laugh too loudly, lest you wake up your sleeping angel and have to relinquish your connection to the outside world.
Chocolate hidden in a box of protein bars and Nutella inside an empty raisins box and cookies in the oatmeal canister. Every mom has her stash and we all hit it when the kids are asleep. It's usually in the "mom food" box or bag in the pantry, so you know your family won't open it. I tend to cram a mouthful of snacks and quickly wipe away the crumbs from my shirt, so by far-too-perceptive children don't call me out. So far, so good.
While you've got your phone out, rabidly ingesting all the social media interaction you can, you also duck into your bank app and pay bills that were due last week that you didn't pay. It's not because you couldn't, of course, but because your children aren't reliable nappers and as soon as you pulled out your phone, they took it and threw it and you just forgot what the hell you were planning to do.
Sitting down. Man, what a simple thing that moms just don't get to enjoy as frequently as they did in their pre-baby days.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy sitting down with no one on my lap, pulling on my arm or calling me to come wipe their butt. So, yeah, sitting down (by myself) is a rare treat, and if I can kick my feet up and place them on my ottoman, even better.
Sleep when the baby sleeps, right? You're just following the advice of all those people who felt compelled to give it to you (unsolicited, of course).
And, sure, you might be rolling the proverbial dice when you decide to sleep when your toddler sleeps (because toddlers can wake up all stealth like and go about their business undetected), but moms have this built-in sixth sense that alerts them to any and all movements their children may or may not make. So, I say nap whenever you can (and definitely when your kid is sleeping).
Yeah, that's right. I poop. Alone. By myself. I poop alone, by myself, with the bathroom door closes and it's a damn treat, my friends. It's bliss.
Because when was the last time that happened, right? Of course, this particular shower is usually quick, because you know your kid will wake up as soon as you put shampoo in your hair.
I don't know about you, but when my kid naps I dive into all the non-animated, non-Caillou, non-Disney related shows and/or movies I can find. No animation (unless you want). When my kid's sleeping, you can find me watching Gilmore Girls or Orange Is The New Black or whatever the hell I want that isn't "kid-approved," because just no.
Just sitting on the sofa, staring blankly into the middle distance is, honestly, my personal favorite. Sure, it's essentially a cross between waiting for my kid to wake up and trying to decide what I should do, but I can tell myself it's actually a meditation period and feel so much better about the entire situation. #Winning
You carefully open the closed door and make like a ninja across the room and just stare at the sweet face you were actively trying to have a break from. You spent the morning waiting for this glorious nap to actually happen, and now you just want those eyes to open. Motherhood is weird, man.