I feel like I’ve been holding a dirty little mom secret inside me for the past year. Last August we brought home our second child from the hospital and being a self-employed, work from home mama, I took a very quick two-week “maternity leave” and then jumped right back into writing and blogging. Balancing two kids is challenging, as I’m sure many of you know, and with my older child having long outgrown from nap time, I live for nap time with my youngest, whose separation anxiety can at times, be out of control.
Yes, I said it. I’ll sing it from the rooftops and admit the one thing that many moms might feel ashamed to say out loud: I live for nap time.
During these moments of downtime, which at one-year-old, happens twice a day with my daughter (yup, a dark cloud will cast its shadow whenever those naps get condensed into just one), I’m able to get shit done. Perhaps if I didn’t work, I wouldn’t feel as much pressure to race to the computer as soon as I lay her little head down in her crib, but I, unfortunately, have a list a mile long to complete and desperately need these uninterrupted moments to accomplish them.
And I will also admit that those naps go by way too quick. I feel like I blink my eyes and I can hear her start to babble in her crib and I feel my heart racing because I wish that I had just a few more moments to get a handful of extra things crossed off my daily to-do list. And this then triggers the mom guilt.
You know what I’m talking about.
I feel bad that I look forward to moments of quiet where I’m able to work at epic speed and just get things done with zero distractions. I would love to be able to sit and play with her all morning and all afternoon and use nap time to clean up the messes we made while we explored hands-on activities, crafted and played tea party. But that’s not my life.
Those kinds of moments during the workweek aren’t mine, and it’s sometimes hard to accept.
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As moms, we’re the ultimate jugglers, the balancers of activities and the kissers of boo-boos of all kinds, and being a mom also comes with knowing what areas we wish that we could change or do better in. As much as I try to tell myself “this is my life, my family needs my income to survive,” it comes with some sacrifice.
And then there are those days whenever naptime is magical for me, which bares mom guilt of a whole different kind. I know that I should never feel bad about having some self-care moments, but it’s almost like motherhood engrains in you that others must always come first. Nap time can also bring on moments where I feel like myself - separate from being a mom. There are days when the workload is low, and I’ll reserve nap time for an uninterrupted shower, a catching up of the latest show on BRAVO - or even a quick glass of wine. Because I need those moments for my sanity, these little freedoms make me whole.
It all truly is a juggling act, and my feelings can swing like a hormonal teenager. But one thing that I have learned over this past year is to embrace these moments of downtime, just as much as the beautiful, chaotic, messy moments because they are all a part of this balancing act that makes being the super moms that every single one of us are, possible.