Every day when I return home from work I am faced with the same dilemma. Every day I go through the pros and the cons of this conundrum considering what is best for myself and my dear husband. It is with great difficulty that I make the daily decision to nap or not to nap.
I take this decision very seriously for a number of reasons. I know that naps can often waste time that would otherwise be used more effectively for household duties and such.
However, the benefit of resting after a long day of dealing with students and lots of noise sometimes outweighs my desire to get things done. I’d rather have a little rest than become a terror of a wife for the evening who cries at the drop of a fork or knife on the floor whilst preparing dinner.
Now, I also know that naps for me can become a black hole of sleep. I simply do not take short naps. An hour and a half is pretty average for me. Often my naps will turn into 3 hour sleeps. I remember taking a nap once in high school and falling asleep around 4 pm only to wake at 7 pm-ish. When I fell asleep it was dark and rainy outside. When I woke up it was bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky. I looked at the clock, which read 7:04 or so and I assumed it was the morning. I rushed out of bed convinced that I had slept in. I ran downstairs to see dinner on the table and sorted things out in my head. Now that was disorienting. Needless to say my napping skills are sometimes lacking.
Then I think of all my friends and family members who are mothers. I think of where my life is now and where it is inevitably heading. Robbie and I have had a lot of exposure to those who are parents and one thing I know I will miss when we are parents is the ability to nap when I feel like it, or even to sleep when we need it.
We could easily be pegged as chronic nappers. Robbie is the expert, while I am simply in training. Robbie has the ability to sleep anywhere in any situation. He can power nap for 20 minutes and be ready to go go go for a good 6-8 more hours of the day if need be. I do not have this ability.
However, it is a skill I hope to acquire. If anything I hope Robbie can pass it on to our little ones.
I can just see Robbie coming home after work one day and running around with our little de Fleuriots until they’re all tuckered out. Then he’ll gather them in and make them have a little rest on the couch together. He’ll hold them close and be calm until they follow their leader and become tranquil too. I imagine earlier in the day I will have tried to sleep, but will have failed since my brain will not turn off. I imagine these thoughts to be similar to the ones that can currently distract me from sleep such as, “What shall I make for dinner?” or “Where did I put that [insert random item]?” or most importantly of all “How can I be a more patient mother and wife?” I’m sure I’ll be as impressed then as I am now of Robbie’s champion napping skills.
So when I walk through the door each day and feel the urge to get comfy and fade away into my blessed duvet I imagine looking into the eyes of my own self several years down the road with 3 or 4 children. I want to look that Laura in the eyes and say ‘Aren’t you glad I took every reasonable opportunity to nap in our childless days? No regrets here.’ And the Laura with 3-4 children will reply ‘Well done good and faithful napper.’
You see, I know I am no Robbie de Fleuriot who can nap at the drop of a hat.
So to those of you who are reading this and are mothers with young children, please know that I do not mean to flaunt my ability to sleep when I want to. It is more accurate to say that you have inspired me to take this period in my life and live it with the freedom of embracing on demand napping. I thank you for this insight.
Mostly, I look forward to joining you in the endeavor of raising sweet little souls and holding my little ones close and kissing their chubby cheeks whenever I want.
I wouldn’t want to trade that period in my life for any amount of sleep in the world.