Dear Crissy

How not to squander nap time

nap time

So, it’s nap time (cue the confetti!). Your baby has just drifted off into dreamland, and you have an indefinite period of free time on your hands, but what should you do? Should you take a nap too, hop in the shower, grab a quick lunch? What about the laundry that needs to be folded, the dishes that are begging to be done, or the bills you need to sort through? Sometimes it can be hard to decide how to spend that precious nap time, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. Following are a few time management tips that might help you accomplish more while your kiddo naps.

1. Turn The Ringer Down!

Moms, you know what I’m talking about. Make sure that the ringer on your phone is turned down, and I mean WAY down. It never fails that as soon as your little one falls asleep, the phone is going to ring. I also advise going to the farthest reach of your home if you plan to open a can of pop. Of course, my son can hear a can of soda being opened across the street.

2. Prioritize

Take a quick physical and mental inventory, and then decide which few tasks need to be tackled first. Be sure to rank your goals in order of importance; if you desperately need a shower, by all means undress, then RUN & DO NOT WALK. I can’t count the number of times I addressed my own needs last, only to realize too late that nap time was over, and that I would have to go another few hours starving, stinking, or both. (I am probably far from ever actually starving, or stinking, but I’m sure you can commiserate)

3. Make A List

After you have prioritized your goals, put them on paper. Yes, this is a simple step, but I really believe that making your tasks more concrete is helpful. Since we’re talking about a short time frame, I recommend putting no more than a few tasks on your list. If you are able to accomplish more, that’s great, but you don’t want to waste too much of that precious time composing a ginormous to-do list. Just jot down your main points and hit the ground running! If you keep a running list, or day-planner, just focus on a few items to avoid feeling rushed.

4. Relax & Enjoy

If you are a work-at-home-mom, or have chosen to do something less than leisure during your child’s nap, you can still find a lot of benefit in this time. Practice some deep-breathing to relax your body and mind, and enjoy the solitude, even if it’s only for a short time.

Of course, I’ve managed to ignore my own good advice today. My sweet sugar muffin is calling my name from the other room, after just waking from what must have been the shortest nap in the history of short naps!

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12 Comments

  1. Suzanne — April 7, 2010 @ 12:33 pm (#)

    I still nap (if I really need to) and my youngest is five! It does me a world of good (even the 15 mins. I got today) and helps prepare me for when I have to deal with the rest of the crew at 3pm.

    New mommies and mommies of little ones especially need naps. Everything else in the house can wait!

    Reply

    • Crissy — April 7th, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

      I agree, I often nap when my little guy does! :)

  2. Jess — April 8, 2010 @ 12:55 am (#)

    I love naptime! My youngest (20 months) will not take one if she even takes a ten minute power nap in the morning, and I have to go to great lengths to preserve it (look at this! play with this! eat this cracker! let's sing a song! look at me making an idiot of myself in public!) because she falls asleep in the stroller every time! Great tips!

    Reply

  3. adriana — April 8, 2010 @ 1:16 am (#)

    ohh this is so good. I swear number 1 is so true. it never EVER fails to ring as soon as he dozes of.
    Love the blog..i read a bit back and im a new follower!

    Reply

  4. rachel — April 8, 2010 @ 3:34 am (#)

    Naptime is wonderful! Great tips! I found you on MBC, and am your newest follower. =)

    Reply

  5. sarah — April 9, 2010 @ 12:56 am (#)

    I should have took the "sleep when they sleep" advice. Instead, I cleaned lol. It took me 14 months to realize that I was wasting my naptime on cleaning! So I try not to worry about the mess as much and get some me time. I work so it really only applies to me on the weekends or if we are home together, but I remember the 3 months of maternity leave and boy I wish I would have banked some sleep then!

    Reply

  6. Tina — April 9, 2010 @ 7:22 pm (#)

    Nap time is heaven! It is a necessity in my house! I am following you now, from MBC. Thanks for the advice! http://iwritechildrensbooks.blogspot.com

    Reply

  7. Jamie Coombs — February 4, 2011 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    I always get sucked into blogging during naps…then before I know it, it’s over. Thanks for posting this…mush…take…shower NOW!

    Reply

    • Jamie Coombs — February 4th, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

      Ooops…I meant must (not mush)…haha:)

  8. Kristy — February 8, 2011 @ 3:35 pm (#)

    There have been so many days since Mia was born that I have had this happen. I will start making a list. Thanks for sharing your tip!

    Reply

  9. Whitney Trujillo — February 8, 2011 @ 10:04 pm (#)

    Isn’t that so true! I am constantly thinking of how productive I will be during naps and then next thing I know, it is over and I haven’t managed to get a thing done! I’ve also been known to lock myself in a closet when I need to do something that might make the slightest noise!

    Reply

  10. SusanV — April 13, 2011 @ 10:04 am (#)

    I still nap, most of the time. I have really light sleepers who wake at the slightest noise. (That’s a whole ‘nother story…) I also have 3 children ages 4, 2 1/2, and 8 months. The baby wakes several times a night and I find myself exhausted by naptime after being up a lot in the night then chasing after two crazy boys during the day.

    I know most ladies feel like naptime is the time to get caught up on things at home, but not me! I sleep when the babies sleep. I have to. Tired mommy=mean & boring mommy!

    Reply

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