For all parents, especially new moms, a child's nap time is sacred. We love our little ones, but we also love the brief breaks we get in caring for them where we can get things done around the house, do something productive, or even just take some time for ourselves. Yes, everyone says we should "sleep when the baby sleeps," but us moms usually have much more than a catnap planned. In fact, there are more than a few things every mom says she'll do while her baby naps... and then there are the things she actually does.
If you are someone who is already looking at this in confusion or judgment, because you're the type of person who says they'll do a thing and then does it, or has no problem getting stuff accomplished when their little one snoozes, well, good for you. That truly is great. This is for the rest of us, though, and we're any number of the following: overwhelmed, burnt out, not knowing where to begin, and tired AF. Sometimes, after a long morning, afternoon, or day of parenting (and everything else) we lack the mental or physical bandwidth to really process what we have to do, much less actually do it.
And, guys? I think that's OK. Really, I do. Because that "inability to even" is our brain and body protecting us from completely burning out. So if our best intentions fall by the wayside, that's OK, because a higher purpose as been achieved: self-preservation.
"I'm Going To Do All The Laundry"
It's been piling up (it does that so much faster now that you have a child) and if you're not careful you're going to be wearing bikini bottoms for underwear in a few days.
What You'll Actually Do: Put in a single load of laundry and forget about it until you go to your washing machine again (no doubt because you've gotten to the point where you're wearing bikini bottoms for underwear), open the door and realize those clothes have been damp and getting mildewy to the point that you have to run the load again. Repeat until you run out of bikinis.
"Time For Some Menu Planning & Meal Prep"
Yeah! Healthy eating! Less food waste! Budgeting! Wooo! Look at you! So responsible! So on top of it!
What you'll actually do: Get distracted while on Pinterest and wind up creating boards of your dream living room, several new outfits, and maybe a new tattoo. If you do manage to plan a menu for the week, half the vegetables will go bad. Your efforts and intentions, while wasted, should nevertheless be applauded.
"I'm Going To Do Yoga"
Ah yes, yoga. Good for the body and mind. You used to love going to class once a week before you had kids, but you just haven't had the time lately. Fortunately, there are so many videos on YouTube that will allow you to get your downward dog on at home.
What you'll actually do: Fall asleep in child's pose a couple minutes in because your mat is so comfortable and you're tired AF.
"Time To Clean The Nursery"
Your child doesn't care about the clothes strewn about, the toys littering the floor, the basket of unfolded laundry, or even the Diaper Genie that probably should have been taken out yesterday, but you do. Well ma'am, no time like the present. Yes, your child is sleeping in this room, but you're stealthy. Roll up your sleeves and, quietly, get to work.
What you'll actually do: Realize that your child is one sneeze or gentle crinkle of plastic bag away from waking up and being cranky for the rest of the day and it's just not worth the risk. Let the room stay messy. It's fine. You can clean it when they go to college.
"I Think I'll Take A Nap"
Sleep when the baby sleeps, amirightladies?! You've earned it. Grab a cozy blanket, fall onto your bed or couch and enjoy a refreshing snooze.
What you'll actually do: Feel guilty that you're not being productive, think about everything you "have" to do around the house, and stress about it to the point that you're unable to fall asleep for about an hour, at which point your baby will absolutely wake up.
(To be clear, we shouldn't do this to ourselves. We deserve the nap. But I'm just holding a mirror up to nature here, people.)
"I'm Going To Clean This Living Room"
Common areas are most prone to messes because we're in there all the time. But now that the messiest family member is down for the count, and you have some time on your hands, well, you can have the place looking sparkling in no time.
What you'll actually do: Realize that this is going to take a lot longer than your child will probably be asleep. And of course you can't run the vacuum while they're sleeping, are you nuts?! Pick up the things that are on the floor, artfully throw the blanket over the back of the couch, and call it a day before sitting down to half an episode of The Great British Bake-Off. Vacuuming, dusting, and windows can wait.
"I'm Going To Clear Out My Inbox"
Whether you're someone who gets anxiety over any unread message (me) or you've let your inbox get up to tens of thousands of unread messages (a friend of mine recently who showed me a screenshot of that image on his phone and, TBH, it's been several days and I'm still not over it because how do you even function) chances are it's high time for you to actually go through everything and get your electronic mail affairs in order.
What you'll actually do: Just delete everything because it's so overwhelming. I mean, the important stuff will be resent, right? Settle down for the second half of that episode of The Great British Bake-Off. Ian's pear and raspberry frangipane tart looked delightful, but will his vol-au-vents terre et mer see him through to Victorian Week? Important stuff, you guys. Probably way more important than all those emails.
"This Is The Perfect Time To Sneak In A Quick Workout"
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't! (Oh Legally Blonde, you're so damn good.) A healthy mama is a happy mama. You bought all those cute workout clothes to motivate you to exercise and now it's time to do it!
What you'll actually do: Fall asleep as soon as you get dressed because these clothes are so comfortable and you're tired AF.
"It's High Time I Clean Out My Closet"
You don't wear half of the things in there and it's a damn mess. You just watched a couple episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and that sweet woman is so damn inspiring. Lovingly hold your skirts from college in your hands, thank them for their service, and set them free.
What you'll actually do: Rediscover all the clothes you don't wear anymore for whatever reason — lifestyle change, weight gain, weight loss, practicality, the "dry clean only" label — get extremely sentimental, and then sit in your closet and sob, clutching each and every garment to your body as you whimper in a flurry of emotions.
"I'm Going To Do The Dishes"
They're not getting any cleaner sitting in the sink! Dishes need to be washed sometime.
What you'll actually do: Get half of them done before your baby wakes up inexplicably earlier than usual, leaving the clean ones all over the counter and the other half still gathering germs and funky smells in the sink. Look into how much a new set of dishes from Ikea costs and dream up tossing everything and starting fresh.
"I Finally Have Time To Read A Book"
It's been far too long since you've been able to enjoy the written word. In fact, you've been working on the same novel for over a month. You don't want to lose this important part of yourself because, yes, you love reading. You just never seem to have the time. Well here's the time, lady!
What you'll actually do: Fall asleep a page in because this couch is so comfortable and you're exhausted AF.