Naptime And Motherhood
Oh, this topic is not one which readers may suspect.
The subject of naptime and motherhood may prompt many to think I’m speaking of a newborn, toddler or young one. Truth be told, I’m speaking of myself and the new reality I’m finally learning to embrace.
It’s been close to 12 years since I became a mother. Twelve wonderful, trying, challenging and joy-filled years. There’s just one thing I didn’t fully accept or understand until most recently. I no longer sleep, I nap.
Yes, that’s right, I’m a napper.
I share this because as I listen and discuss life with mommy friends I’ve come to realize there’s a small army of us nappers wondering why we don’t sleep.
There are a number of articles and expert opinions written for us nappers. I suspect many like myself have read them in the wee hours thanks to Google search as they try and fall back asleep.
Yes, I know seven to nine hours is the recommended amount of nightly sleep. I also know I have yet to meet a mom who sleeps that amount of time, unless of course on vacation.
That’s some of the crazy truth, some of the best sleep I have had is in a bed other than my own. It’s not my bed’s fault; that I know for sure. It’s amazingly comfortable. What I’ve come to learn and realize the past few years is that my mind doesn’t truly shut off. Well, it does, just not for seven to nine hours at a time.
I once actually asked a friend if I could move in, while visiting them before a scheduled race. I reassured them the kids wouldn’t miss me. I could return and see them on occasion, but this ‘recommended’ sleep thing was actually kind of cool.
Typically speaking I do good for four to five hours and then I’m awake. Some nights I return to sleep within 15 minutes and then other times it takes an hour or so. If being literal that might be considered a long nap, but by the seven to nine standard it’s certainly not sleeping.
So what’s the point of all this really? This is not a piece to help readers find the remedy to better sleep. Quite the contrary, it’s simply a piece to reassure you, you are not alone. There’s a small army of us, lying awake at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. wondering, ‘why can’t I sleep?’
The answer, in my opinion, is pretty simple and special; we have kids. We love our families. We provide for them and do all we can to make sure they make it out the door with all they need to make it through each day. Vacation offers reprieve.
Some nights we sleep better than others. Mine tend to come once a month, I’m refreshed and good to go. We don’t sit around complaining about our lack of slumber. We grab coffee, tea, hit the gym or turn to our friends, but we continue.
Because at the end of the day, before our heads hit the pillow for our nap, we remember. The memory is not of lack of sleep, the memory is of the faces we still get to watch sleep and that in a handful of hours we get to do ‘life’ all over again.
It is the present, the gift and it is all ours to bask in. Happy napping.