I remember in college having close friends who often took naps and thinking that napping was a really lame use of their time - there were things to do: work things, fun things . . . things! How could they give up time to napping? I'm a little softer on naps these days - I still don't like them and still rarely take them - but I'm less judgmental of those who do. No, the naps I'm talking about are the naps of my little boy. Not a big fan of going to sleep during the day, my guy. Like his mom, he seems keenly aware of everything that's going on and wanting not to miss a moment. So we've been working on naps and, hopefully, we're making a little bit of progress. Today, he took an epic nap. It was so long I got worried. But I also got a LOT done.
These days, my baby's sleep time - during the day and in the evenings - is my time to work on art. Days that he takes a good long nap let me get a ton of work done towards my arts/career goals which, in turn, lets me be significantly happier and more present with him when he's awake because I don't have the nagging sense that there's so much else I *ought* to be doing. It's kind of satisfying to be able to switch roles so clearly: awake baby = mom; asleep baby = actor/writer. And knowing how precious my work time is (most days) helps me not waste it.
This is not the first, nor, I'm sure, will it be the last surprising and life-improving lesson of parenthood. Thanks, kid. Sweet dreams.