As a parent, I relish my daughter’s nap time. We both get a break from the day: rest for her and “me time” for me. “Me time” is anything from getting my nails done to reading the latest issue of House Beautiful or to preparing some aspect of dinner. Ever since Ilse was an infant, I have always used her nap time to do something, anything but take a nap myself. For me, adult nap time always seemed like wasted time: time I could have spent detail-cleaning the stove, time I could have spent having lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in months, or even (worse) time I could have spent catching up on a little work. That is, until I rediscovered how rejuvenated I felt after I took a nap this past weekend. I was relaxed and mellow, and a lot less frazzled. For good measure, I took one today, before a long drive home. And I am here to reaffirm that like children, adults need naps too!
On weekdays, my life is like every San Francisco parent’s life: the daily grind of the long day coupled with childcare drop-offs, work appointments, and copious amounts of caffeine. By the end of the day, the three of us all but collapse into bed, only to wake up seven or eight hours later and do it all over again. Wouldn’t it be great to replace at least one of those cups of coffee with a fifteen-minute nap? During my lunch, I try to incorporate a fifteen-minute walk outside for fresh air. It’s pleasant, but not as refreshing as a nap would be. Unfortunately, the logistics of taking a nap at work are somewhat complicated. Where does one nap? In one’s vehicle? On the other hand, if one does not own a vehicle, where would one nap? The break-room? Can a person truly relax in an employee break-room without getting asked if he or she are feeling well. If other working parents have ideas on where to take a weekday snooze, please share. I am all ears. I could use one or two in the middle of my workweek.
This brings us to the weekend. At the end of the week, my little family of three is pooped from the workweek. My husband and I schedule our weekend activities around Ilse’s nap schedule, so that she can get in her daily two naps. Ilse is a much more pleasant child when she is well-rested than when she isn’t. I think the same logic would apply to me (and to other adults) as well. I think it’s time for this mommy to fit a nap in too. In previous posts, I have written about cooking and baking while my child naps and having the earlier mentioned “me time” during nap time. Why shouldn’t a nap for me be one of those “me activities?” Just like cooking and baking, napping is just as relaxing, and doesn’t require any more effort. The effort lies in giving in to the desire to nap. It’s challenging for me to slow down on any given day, but I’ve realized that I need naps too. Not every day, like my daughter. But, I’ll start with at least one on the weekends!