Some days, even with a mountain of things to do and a flock of children to tend to, I know that I can’t go on much longer unless I take a nap.
I start to get this feeling. It’s a mixture of irritability, despair, and the overwhelming realization that I can’t possibly keep up with the demands of homeschooling, homemaking, and life in general.
On a normal day, I fully realize that I can never truly keep up with everything the way I’d like to. I recognize the season of life that I’m living in and can chalk a lot up to having a baby and other young children in the house.
But when I’m too tired?
Oh friends, can I ever lose that calm, cool, and collected mindset of “this too shall pass”! When I hit that spot and I sense my inner toddler is about to make an appearance, I have to settle on the fact that I desperately need a nap, and I need to do all I can to make that happen.
I’ve already told you that I don’t have the ultra-impressive super mom power of consistently going on little sleep. I can only go so many days before getting a bad headache or risk losing my composure with my family.
I don’t want those things to happen. In one, I suffer terribly. In the other, my children end up suffering with a grumpy, angry mom, and then I carry mommy guilt with me in the aftermath.
It’s easy to feel tired and wish for a nap, knowing it would help tremendously. But as a busy mom, it can be a real challenge to actually manage to take a nap!
Managing a Nap for Mom
Yesterday was a prime example. Wednesdays are a very busy day for us because of our evening church service, and if ever it seems like I don’t have time to take a nap, it’s on Wednesday.
I wanted to write a follow-up post to yesterday’s post on the lessons learned through miscarriage. I have a garden full of potatoes that need dug up. Tomato plants and red beets that need pulled out. Laundry to wash and dry. Herbs to dehydrate and store. Emails to return. Food to make.
No wonder moms often neglect to take a nap when they need one!
But I had that terrible I-can’t-keep-up-and-cope-with-this-much-longer feeling yesterday, and I knew that everyone would be better off if I took a nap.
When the opportunity arose, I took it!
Here’s how I handle getting a nap with five children in the home:
- That whole sleep when the baby sleeps thing? Yeah, it’s true. When that active baby is finally quiet and still, I have to seize the chance!
- I usually sleep on the couch so that I can more easily wake up if I’m needed.
- My oldest children might work on schoolwork, play with Legos, or read books.
- Our toddler, being almost 3, still needs a lot of help. The older three know that it is their job to take care of her.
- Though we don’t do videos often, this is a time when they prove incredibly helpful. I try to have them watch something enjoyable but also educational. This set is a favorite in our house. (My Amazon affiliate link, thanks!)
- If it’s nice, outside they go!
- Sometimes I set an alarm if I have to get up, but sometimes I skip it and just wait to hear the baby wake up.
- If a chore needs done, like folding laundry, I ask the children to do it quietly while watching their video, or perhaps before watching it. It helps me rest knowing things are getting done still!
- I might change what we’re eating for dinner. If I can’t do regular meal prep, no one complains if we fall back on the faithful eggs and toast routine!
- I explain what they can eat and what I expect before laying down. They typically follow through well.
- If it gets too noisy, I snap my fingers or murmur a “Quiet, please,” and they reduce their decibel level. Usually.
Typically, those steps allow me to get a little nap, and sometimes a really decent one!
Honestly, I never feel completely guilt-free after taking a nap. A part of me is constantly nagging with thoughts of what I could have accomplished while I slept.
But rational me has to step in and bring the reminder that my family needs me to be calm, healthy, and as energetic as I can be, and nothing can aid that more than the occasional and much-needed nap.
P.S. Look for that follow-up post on miscarriage tomorrow.
If you have young children, how do you manage naps in your home?
This post is part of the 31-Day series, An Extended Stay, where I invite you into my heart and into my home through the whole month of October.
You can read more 31-Day series by other bloggers in the Family section of the challenge’s website linked up here.