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For roughly the first 18 months of my son’s life, I utilized naptime as a means to put the house back together. It was two times per day that I had 30 to 45 minutes to play catch up.

My husband joked once that he would record me so he could see how absolutely frazzled and crazy I was being during the nap stints. I was moving at high speeds frantic to get the dishwasher emptied, bottles washed, laundry done, floors swept, toilets scrubbed, bills paid, and house tidied up.

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And wouldn’t you know it, the second I sat down after these tasks were completed, the baby monitor went red. (Always the case.) He’s up! Agh! I haven’t eaten! I’m still in pajamas with spit-up, I haven’t brushed my teeth or washed my hair. I even forgot to tend to the dog. Yikes.

There’s just not enough time.

The day would carry on (drag) and come 8 p.m. when my son was put to bed, I was far too tired to self-care. I was even too tired to lounge around and relax. I was a zombie.

Enter: Resentment.

For a while, I wrote it off as parenting my hardest. But I grew resentful that my only time to myself was not spent for myself. It was on the house or others. So you know what I started doing during naptime?


That’s right. Absolutely nothing.

You know why?

Because it makes me happy.

It makes me a better mom.

It makes me less anxious, less bitter, and less strung out.

The human body cannot go, go, go before it eventually shuts down. And I was shutting down at roughly 3 p.m. every night. I didn’t have the stamina to cook, to handle the dreaded challenging hours before my husband was done working, or do bathtime routine without eye rolls and sighs and pure defeat taking over every inch of my body.

So now at naptime, I let the dishes remain in the sink, the laundry beep at me, and the toys stay scattered across the living room floor. What’s the use? It’ll get messy again later today. Why drag myself into hysteria over it?

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I’d rather sit down on the couch, enjoy my hot food, take a nice shower, and gasp! sometimes, I just play on my phone for 45 minutes and zone out. I’ll play mindless games or refresh my Facebook newsfeed till it populates posts I’ve already seen. And when my son wakes up and I’ve got nothing done? I’m feeling better because for those 45 minutes I shut my brain and body down and just let the world around me continue to turn.

I don’t get anything done during my kid’s naptime anymore, and I’m not sorry for it. Frankly, I’m happy about it.

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Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.

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