Like many other babies his age, O is in the midst of a period where he only sleeps 30 minutes for every nap he takes. He started this off and on a good month or so ago, and now has solely taken naps like this for the past two and a half weeks. Additionally, in between his every thirty minute nap, he has the tolerance for being up around two hours before cranky town hits. Naturally, our daily schedule has adjusted to accommodate this, though not by choice. If I didn’t have to constantly feel as if I was living life by the clock and always chasing the next nap, I wouldn’t. The needs of my child say otherwise, however, no matter how much of a schedule whore it may make me seem.
For me and I imagine millions of other moms, nap time is a time of reprieve. A time when, after giving every piece of you to your LO, you can give something back to yourself.
But in those thirty minutes do you…
Read (a choice I have made more so lately)?
Peruse other hobbies (a choice I have not made enough lately)?
Clean (a choice I made far too frequently last week as it had been neglected and we were expecting company)?
Play SimCity on my phone (a choice I wish I would make less of)?
Sleep (a choice that is a joke within a thirty minute time frame)?
Eat (a choice that should always take precedence, but often doesn’t)?
Write a post on Soundly Sarah (a choice I have neglected lately, oops!)?
Just be thankful you have that time?
Do you choose one of those?
Some of those?
All of those as you frantically try to jumble it into 1800 seconds and end up not satisfied at all as a result?
Evidenced by the fact that I’ve only been able to just now write this while on bed rest from a hurt foot, I don’t know how to answer those questions. Is this how it’ll always be?
In terms of better prioritizing, scheduling and letting go of the reins at times for things to happen as they will, I could have the answers I seek. But I did not expect this aspect of motherhood. I did not expect for my needs to be sequestered into 30 minutes time chunks. I (obliviously) imagined dreamy, two hour naps of bliss and relaxation. Eventually, those may come, but nap time in general will happen less if they do.
This obliviousness, or delusion, rather, it went so far as to tell multiple people before giving birth that I was worried I would get bored or stir crazy while on mat leave. I didn’t realize it would be nothing like that. I didn’t realize the second I’d have some time, it would be gone. Nap after nap, I find myself just getting started on ‘me’ when it’s nearly ended. So often, I hear O on the baby monitor at a point when things have just gotten ‘good’. Is that horrible of me to admit? Or merely human?
I write this for it leaves me in a spot of motherhood that I still find myself flailing, unsure and a bit ruffled. No matter the changes I could make, I am stuck at these questions. How do I redefine and pair down what I truly need while I am immersed in all that is motherhood? How do I make space for my desires and interests in a way that now accommodates times as a resource precious as gold? How do I refuse to loose myself among the demands that this new life entails? And, in this so often mother eats mother world, makes you feel like an selfish jerk for wanting it that way?