When I was a young mother (back in the Dark Ages), I used to hear other young mothers go on and on about all the things they accomplished while their babies were napping. Sewing, crafting, housework, sex…everything under the sun was possible while their children napped. My baby boy only napped while he was nursing, and I was certainly unavailable for any other projects during that time. The rest of the time, even when sleepy, he would lie awake, curiously aware of anything I might be doing. I came to treasure those napping/nursing times as opportunities to recline with my feet up and snuggle with my son. Forty-plus years later I still remember how delightful it was.
Husband #2 was a teacher. He gave 110% to his sixth grade class, and when he got home from work he headed straight to bed for an afternoon nap. My day at the office didn’t end until 5:00 p.m. (or later, depending on our meeting schedules), so I rather resented his afternoon naps. How could he sleep so blissfully while his wife was slaving away, anyhow?
After a very brief maternity leave I returned to the office when our daughter was not quite six weeks old. I walked to work pushing her in her stroller, dropped her off at daycare halfway to the office, spent my breaks back at the daycare nursing her, then picked her up on my way home after 5:00. Usually our arrival interrupted her dad’s nap. Resentful? Me? Just tired. Over the next several years of caregivers, preschool, and then after-school care, her dad’s naps continued, as did my crazy after-work child-collecting. By the time she was in 5th grade, he realized that the daycare bill could be cut in half if he would skip his naps and pick her up after school. Duh!
Over the years I have enjoyed an occasional nap, usually falling asleep right at the end of a televised Fresno State basketball or football game that I have been watching with great pleasure. Sometimes Georgia wanders through the living room in the evening and wakes me up so that I can watch the end of House Hunters International or Property Brothers. But for the most part, naps have taken too much time away from my busy day.
Since going back to work, I have re-discovered the fine art of napping. There is nothing more wonderful after a 5-hour host shift standing on my feet than coming home, getting thoroughly hugged and cuddled by my granddaughters, and then stretching out on the couch for a nap. Delightful! And waking up refreshed and ready to enjoy the rest of the evening is even better. I have always said I thought I was a cat in a previous life…and I think my rediscovered ability to cat nap must be a vestige of that life.
Long live naps, and cozy homes to nap in.