Tips for the Tired Mom
What happens when you think about naps? Does a smile cross your face and do you get a far-away look in your eyes? Most of us entertain visions of fluffy pillows and a soft throw to ward off chills. Some of my favorite napping places are:
- In an anchored boat on a quiet sunny lake.
- On the floor in front of a warm fireplace.
- A lawn swing on the back deck with birds singing.
- My big fat recliner.
When I was pregnant, any place was a good place to nap. I napped during family gatherings, on public transport and in movies. One thing my naps had in common is my eyes were always closed. That changed when I became a Mom.
To be a considered a good Mom, you must appear vigilant. Even when you go to bed at night, one eye and ear is open vigilantly to the baby monitor. During daytime hours of course, eyes must be on the child always. I wanted to be a good Mom but I could not sustain daytime wakefulness indefinitely, especially when nighttime sleep was like a series of three naps. I stumbled on a trick that helped me to survive without alerting DCFS. The important part is no lying down. Kids hate that. Lie down and those kids will be all over you in seconds. They cannot help it.
Certain television shows capture a child’s attention so thoroughly they are unaware of their own location, never mind yours. For 30 minutes while one of those shows are on, as long as you sit upright you can nap without alerting the child. If a child is involved in play you can nap, even at a park, as long as your posture gives the impression you are watching his every move. You have to be able to murmur fitting sounds during Mom naps. The child expects feedback while you are totally focused on him. You can get away with this almost anywhere. You see, with a Mommy nap, only your brain goes to sleep for a few minutes. It seems to be enough to get through the day and you get better at it with practice. Dads do not have to learn this trick. They mastered it years ago in high school literature class.
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