"Sleep when the baby sleeps," they said. Should I also fold clothes when the baby folds clothes, clean when the baby cleans, shower when the baby showers?
It’s that time of day. You’ve just laid your sleeping beauty down for a nap and the house is blissfully quiet, albeit a disaster zone. After a morning or afternoon of feeding, playing, diaper changes (oh, so many diapers!), and giving 110 percent, what you really need is a break. But you don’t take one because, even though you’re running on 2 hours of sleep, the household duties are calling: Laundry! Dishes! Bills!
Instead of using baby’s naptime for a cleaning spree or productivity hour, think about what you really need during this time: Sleep, a shower, Netflix, fifteen minutes of stretching, a glass of wine! As often as possible, take advantage of the alone time so you can actually recharge your batteries. It’s totally acceptable to lie on the floor staring into oblivion. You can also grab the baby monitor and step outside for some fresh air. Whatever you find relaxing and restful – do that!
To make sure you’re using naptime wisely (aka for things that will bring you joy), think about chores and simple tasks you can accomplish while the baby’s awake. There’s no guilt in setting your little crawler on the ground so you can fold clothes on the couch, put the dishes away, or start a load of laundry. And while they’re secure in the high chair (smearing food all over themselves, no doubt), sneak in some sweeping or a wipe down of the counters. Your wee one may follow you around trying to sabotage your tidying efforts at every turn, but they might also surprise you by learning to play more independently over time while you do your thing.
Naptime can be a sacred event for a parent – use it to the utmost before your baby grows into a big kid who flat-out refuses to sleep during the day!
PRO HACK – Use naptime to treat yourself!
SUPER PRO HACK – While they’re awake, occupy your sweet pea so you can fit in a couple mini tasks throughout the day. Some babies are content just hanging out in their bouncer while others stay entertained by drumming on pots and pans. Find what works!