Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Motherhood Confessions: I've Got Nap Greediness

Nap Greediness: a term used when a parent or caregiver becomes dependant on the predictable afternoon nap of a child and will do anything and everything to protect the hours of sweet daytime sleep of the child because they revel in the subsequent quiet time associated with the nap.


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Nap greediness completely sums me up as I have recently become quite dependant on Ben's afternoon nap time. The other week I gushed to my husband that I loved Ben's afternoon sleep and described in great detail how it was my favourite time of the day! *gush gush* I may have even been dancing in celebration while I said this. Which explains why I didn't see him staring at me in confusion before he said, 'what do you mean it's your favorite time of day? Don't you enjoy spending time with him?'. I realized I worded my feelings wrongly because I truly do love spending time with my boy, he is a great joy in my life.

A girlfriend helped me to reword my expression of thought into something more along the lines of what I was really feeling; I love Ben's afternoon nap because it is the most relaxing time of the day for me. Having just one child means that his afternoon nap leaves me time to do whatever I please. Sometimes it is boring household types of things but a lot of the time it is something that I want to do, including errands that are easier without a toddler and a stroller in tow.

When I'm working at the hospital it is go-go-go for the whole shift and on my days off I spend time being busy with Ben and catching up on errands. Our days are full of energy with lots of movement, giggles and playtime in and out of the apartment. We do errands together and go on play dates and always seem to have something to do or get up to. So, when the 13th hour of the day approaches I get a sense of excitement knowing that I have a bit of downtime coming my way. I use Ben's afternoon nap to recover from shift work and often take a nap myself and just having the time available for myself to do something without feeling a drop of guilt.

The problem is, I do not want anything to rock the nap boat in fear of missing out on that relaxation time for me (and that sleep for dear Benjamin too!). I will not venture too far from home after lunchtime in case we miss the opportunity for the 3+ hours of sleep and the subsequent time off for me! Greedy I know but I can't help it, I love love love his afternoon nap! I used to be that person who would hiss at another mother complaining about this kind of thing and now I have become that person. I used to just ask for 3 hours of sleep in a row at night time and now I have become full on nap greedy!

I have a group of friends that live outside of the city in the burbs, about a good 1+ hour of driving, and I haven't seen them in ages due to my nap greediness. I don't want to risk the chance of Ben falling asleep in the car on the ride back to the city and not being able to soothe him back to sleep at home. This would mean that I would miss out on my quiet time, you see how this works now right?

I can be flexible with Ben's nap time when visiting with family on Vancouver island but this is my only exception. It is not even a true exception but just one that came about by default, as I feel a little like I'm on a little vacation away while we are there. Apparently if I want to have a social life while at home it has to happen between the hours of 9 AM and 12:30 PM. I am sure this will one day change as I know that children's sleep changes as they grow, but for right now I will continue to be nap greedy and enjoy this calm part of my days 'off'.

6 comments:

I have nap dependency too. Unfortunately naps don't last forever and kids start giving them up. My oldest now naps 1/2 of the time. I love that 1/2 that he does nap.

June 23, 2010 at 7:20 PM  
Jenna said...

I love this entry..
Its hilarious...I love nap time. Luca still has many, but I have a feeling she is moving into the 2 nap a day thing. I LOVEEEE napping with her.
Keep up the blogging this is part of my "unwinding" routine!!

June 23, 2010 at 7:41 PM  
Lisa said...

I completely understand. When I had my second, my goal was to have both kids napping at the same time, in the afternoon, as soon as possible. I managed to make it happen, but then my daughter stopped napping. Oh how I miss the 3 hour nap.

June 24, 2010 at 5:53 AM  
Ashley said...

I loved nap time too with my oldest. Selfishly it was the only time I got to catch up on Days of Our Lives and feel like I could have a snack I didn't have to share. When she was about 2 she started out growing naps so we transitioned into "quiet time" she has to stay in her bed for a set period of time, I put on a lullaby she listens to each night, give her books and tell her to rest. It makes for a happier afternoon for all of us, sometimes she stays awake but often she dozes off.

That rest period isn't just for them either, just think about how miserable they'd be if they were exhausted? As parents I believe our love of naptime is also fueled by our love of happy kids. Or so I tell my husband.

June 24, 2010 at 7:31 AM  

Nap time is the most precious thing for a mother. I've trained both my kids to be on the same sleep schedule, and I really think it's necessary for my sanity. My older son will turn four soon, and still naps nearly EVERY day! He's gone on nap strikes several times over the last couple of years, but rather than saying, "I guess he's outgrown naps," I kept insisting that he at least have rest time every afternoon. It's great!

June 24, 2010 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous said...

It is interesting how short these sweet phases really are. so go ahead and indulge in the afternoon while you can and don't feel one drop bad. working mothers need and deserve these moments and so do stay at home mothers! Hope you have a great afternoon today!

June 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

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