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NAP. The 3-letter word every mom loves. But you know when I love that word even more? When I get to take one. 

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I’m floating on cloud nine. I get giddy, talk fast and rush around to get Jackson down for his nap. Jackson has serious sleep issues that leave me wondering if he will nap for an hour or 3. Since I only need 40 minutes to recharge I can usually squeak in a few extra chores before Jacks is up and running. I turn on the sound machine, curl up on my bed with our huge elephant blanket from Saudi Arabia and close my eyes…this is heavenly.

Ding. Good grief, I forgot to turn off my phone. Quickly I unwrap, put my phone on silent and head back to bed. Focus. Think about nothing.  So much easier said than done, right? One trick I have learned to help myself fall asleep quickly is to focus on my breathing. So, breathe in expanding those abs to get a full diaphragm of air, breathe out letting my stomach fall concave and wishing it were that way all the time. Breathe in, breathe out. I think I have to pee. Do I really need to or can it wait 40 minutes? I think I can wait. Breathe in, breathe out. Well, maybe I’d better get up and go. This back and forth conversation goes on for another 3 minutes. Finally I get up and take care of business. “HURRY!”  I tell myself. “You only have 35 minutes left! Who knows when the baby will wake?”

Hands washed, sufficiently wrapped back up, phone is on silent, sound machine on, and I am ready to snooze. Breathe in, breathe out. My eyes pop open. “Where’s the baby monitor?”  Of course, it’s not in its normal spots. Somehow it has walked itself into the extra bathroom and is on the edge of the tub. I grab it and speed walk back to bed. As I turn on the monitor I remember I forgot to start the dishwasher. Back to the kitchen to start the dishes so I can unload them when I get up. I’m running back to bed. I’m now down to 30 minutes of precious naptime left.

Lying down, all tucked in and ready to sleep, I tell myself, “NO MORE! Just close your eyes and sleep!”  Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. I can feel myself starting to doze. This is great. Great. Grate. I need to grate cheese for enchiladas tonight. Focus! Breathe in, breathe out. That was a super cute pink hoodie Hillary had on at coffee this morning. Pink. How did Joy get pink eye? They were just over playing yesterday. If Jackson gets it I’m going to scream. Breathe in, breathe out. Speaking of screaming, I’ve got to figure out how to get Jackson to stop screaming like a stuck little piglet, my ears feel like they are going to bleed when he does that. But he’s so stinkin’ cute…which reminds me I need to schedule his 18 month pictures. And his 18 month well check. And deposit that check into our account. And submit our tax paperwork to the accountant. On and on this goes until…

…BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ! There it is. The dreaded alarm I set so I don’t sleep away the afternoon. Did I really sleep? No. But as my Dad used to tell me, “Even if you’re not sleeping, your body is resting.”  Ummmmm, not so much.

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Jenn Meyer

Jenn Meyer is a former medical marketing executive turned mom of 4 who lives in Missouri. In her spare time she enjoys coffee, reading, running, and dreaming of future vacation spots. She’s been married to Rob for 17 years and they are a foster family who adopted their youngest in October 2014. You can follow her blog at http://www.jenn-meyer.blogspot.com/

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