The Naps Aren’t Long Enough

You may remember some of my past laments about Babykins’s terrible sleeping skills. After a year of sleep angst, I’ve concluded that she a) is a terrible self-soother and b) isn’t a high sleep need kid. The combination of the two left me convinced that she would never, ever sleep through the night.

However, a few weeks after her first birthday, she started to do just that. Not every night, but often enough that I could always hope for a full night’s sleep. For those of you wondering, we didn’t do any sort of intense sleep training. We had a few nights that my husband sat with her for awhile as she cried because I was so exhausted. Other than that, she started to use the pacifier to sooth herself and that was that. Of course, between her learning how to walk and possibly teething (the kid still doesn’t have any teeth, so I never know if she’s actually teething or just being a baby) there are still plenty of nights with wakings. But an occasional full night’s rest is a marvelous thing.

Naps are a different story. We transitioned Babykins to 1 nap around her birthday. There were several indicators that she was ready to make the transition: Short naps and battling (and sometimes skipping) the second nap were the two big ones. I was hoping that the transition to 1 nap would lead to more sleep-time during the day. That hope has proven futile thus far.

Babykins typically naps about 1 hour and 20 minutes (She is just starting to coo to herself as I write this. Her nap was 1 hour and 10 minutes. Wait. . . now she’s crying. Great.). Since she goes down about 12 p.m., that makes for a really long afternoon. It also means that I struggle to figure out what to do during naps. Do I do the chores that are next to impossible to complete while Babykins is awake? Or do I enjoy some of the only downtime I get during the day and do things like read, write, and peruse Facebook correspond with friends and family?

(Hold that thought, Babykins is now screaming)

(And now she’s up)

The obvious answer is to split the time, but it never seems to work. On the days I try to do some housework before fun, Babykins seems to wake even earlier from her nap. When I do fun before housework, I get sucked into whatever project or brainless activity I’m working on and never start the housework.

I suppose it comes down to having more discipline and cutting myself off from my fun activities to get actual work done. Either way, it’s time to wrap up this post because Babykins is crabbing around the living room. Perhaps she’s hungry.

What do you do during your children’s naptime? 


9 Comments on “The Naps Aren’t Long Enough”

  1. Rebekah says:

    This is a tough thing to figure out. The first thing, I think, is to accept the way it is. The way it is will change, but right now, she sleeps for an hour and twenty minutes.

    So how will you use those minutes?

    Every day might vary. But I think the most important to ask yourself is “How might I use this time to foster joy?” If that particular day you are feeling crazy over the clutter or dishes, then use the time to tend to that and let the results of a clean counter bring you joy. (And then be satisfied) If you’re feeling like it would be great to catch up with a friend/relative, then use the time for that (Facebook/phone call/email/etc) Or maybe you want to do something creative, read, write, etc. This is definitely a time that, if at all possible, needs to be spent taking care of heart/soul/mind.

    I don’t know your husband, but I would imagine, that a happier, more peaceful wife, is infinitely better than a clean counter (although if a clean counter is his “thing” then perhaps that is not the thing to leave for later but you know what I mean). Again, do what brings you joy!

    And then when nap time is cut short or gets thrown off, and you don’t get to do anything you hoped or needed to do, sing a hymn that brings you joy.

    • Katrina says:

      You’re right that my husband generally prefers me to have time to recharge than a clean house. I’m the one who gets more twitchy about the stack of dirty dishes. 🙂

  2. Rebekah says:

    Also, you mentioned having more discipline. Just wanted to say that fostering joy is a discipline in the spiritual sense and spills over into all areas of life.

    • Katrina says:

      I’ll admit that “fostering joy” is a hard phrase for me to embrace. I think it stems from so many Christians confusing “joy” and “happiness”. I have been trying not to be so grumpy and find something fun to do with Babykins when naptime is cut short.

      • Rebekah says:

        I know what you mean about it being a hard phrase to embrace. I guess this is where tend to think that (sometimes) Lutherans overdo it in the attempt to be so theologically correct all the time. “It’s not about us being happy”. Well of course it is’t. And maybe it is the idea of ‘fostering’ or creating our own happiness that they don’t like. What I’m getting at is taking time to receive rather than reject, to enJOY the gifts God has placed right in front of us for our good. Rest, fun, work, creativity, loved ones, etc. One of the ways we ‘take care of ourselves’ is by embracing all the ways God takes care of us.

      • Katrina says:

        Yes, I see what you mean. The good in our lives are gifts from God. It isn’t wrong to enjoy them, nor is it wrong to enjoy rest. 🙂

  3. This book saved us. It might be up your alley. Sounds like your baby is already following some of the patterns she describes. Might be worth a look!

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