“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
The not-so-helpful mantra that manages to make parents feel guilty for actually accomplishing something while their baby takes a nap! Like how (!?!) is it we can feel guilty for doing the dishes instead of lying in bed?
Sleep when the baby sleeps works fine for the first few days…
but eventually, they make you leave the hospital.
And if this isn’t your first child, when you arrive home, you have to feed and clothe and clean up after and engage with your other children.
When are you supposed to get anything done if you take a nap during the only part of the day the kids aren't messing faster than you can clean?
Let’s be real: if you don't have the world's most fantastic mother-in-law or a postpartum doula, you are not going to be able to nap every time your baby naps. And you should definitely not feel guilty about that.
Sometimes you're going to handle household tasks, and sometimes you're going to sneak in some self-care and sometimes you're just going scroll Facebook and Instagram and pause to read fabulous blog posts like this one!
You know what you should do when your kids are taking naps? It’s not (necessarily) sleeping or cleaning.
Wait for it.
When your kids are napping, you should do whatever the heck you want. That’s what.
While your baby naps, you should watch something on Netflix that you want to watch (if you want to).
Let’s face it, we are all sick of Paw Patrol. Turn on something you can’t watch with the littles in the room and binge watch that show until nap time is over. Swoon over an episode of Outlander or Vikings, catch up on GOT and bust out the good snacks. It’s show time!
While your baby takes a nap, you should read a book that doesn’t have any pictures in it (but only if you feel like it).
Seriously, you deserve to read something that takes you away and is written in complete sentences (unless you’re into poetry and graphic novels, which is totally cool, too!). Don't ever feel guilty for picking up a good book, whether it's a self-help book, some non-fiction, or a dirty romance novel! Reading is good for the soul.
You should definitely have sex if (you’re in the mood and) your kids are taking a nap.
Didn’t you know that “nap” is parent code for nookie? Saturday afternoon nap time is the perfect opportunity to sneak a secret rendezvous. Between trying to find alone time and being utterly exhausted at the end of every day, a little afternoon delight might be just what you need!
You don’t need to sleep when the baby sleeps or make Pinterest-worthy crafts while your kids take a nap to be a good mom! When the kids go down for a nap, do what you need to survive the rest of the day. If that’s cleaning up, go for it. If you need to take a nap so you can be the patient, loving mommy you want to be, get your beauty sleep, Momma! Nap time is your time. Parenting is hard enough without unnecessary ‘shoulds.'