Yawn…sigh…big stretch…repeat. This mama is tired. Down to the bones. Eyes wide open, yet swimming in a fog. I crave sleep. Deep sleep. It’s my favorite. These days, it is a pastime. Truth be told, I am not nice without a full night of rest. I’m edgy, sluggish, and feel off balance. Sleep should be a world championship. No question that I would take the trophy! All snuggled up with my favorite blankets, my favorite candle, and a fan blowing at the perfect speed. Just enough air to block the sounds around me, even for just a bit. I’ll take it. A taste of heaven as far as I’m concerned. I never knew the meaning of tired until I became a mama. In my younger days, a nap was something old folks enjoyed after a game of golf or bridge. My grandma and grandpa would get irritable if plans interrupted their rest. It was a sacred time. As a child, well, that seemed like a waste of time. Full circle, I am that old fogie finding a gap in my daily schedule to sneak away to paradise. Mamas, it takes planning, strategy, and at times some serious negotiations with your husband. Let’s make this happen for you. You won’t regret it…promise!
Let’s be clear; naps are a reality on weekends only. Maybe I savor them even more because they are a special treat. You see, I am a mama of two kids and teach full time. My energy is given to my students, and then I reboot to be present with my own children. My mind and body are all in both at home and at work. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Loving hard in all aspects of this life…the hardest work. The very best tired. Change of events as I get older. Free time used to be spent on the go and just always “doing.” Now I rest and savor it without guilt. I crave the quiet, and if I am lucky, I will have a dream that takes me to another place.
Let’s be honest. My naps don’t require the perfect conditions. Not picky by any stretch. For real…you could snap your fingers, and I would be out like a light. Give me a place to lay my head, and that’s all I need. Low maintenance is key here. A special talent I possess. I am not a supporter of power naps. I am in it for the long haul. I am dedicated and consistent. My eyes close, and I am out for at least an hour. Anything less is not worth it. Life as a dog would be my jam. Lazy days, all my needs met, and no place to be. Dogs are happy beings. We can learn a lot from them. Love fiercely, forgive, rest, and greet every human with kindness. Better yet, I might consider switching roles with my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Black-out curtains, the finest blankets, sound machine playing, and a dark room with the finest stuffed animals. Could you imagine being told it’s time to rest? Not a choice. Sign me up, please! I’m your girl. Those were the days. One day my daughter will understand, but for now, naps are not her jam. A mama can only dream.
It’s funny how we carry guilt. My mama hat feels bad for taking time away from my family to rest. This is all internal. I am good at creating reasons to be critical of myself. So easy to do. My self-care hat trumps all and reminds me that I give my best self when I am well-rested. Mamas, it gets easier. My husband now knows that when I say I’m taking a power nap, that’s bogus. Past practice says I will see him in two hours. The best news…he is just like me. You see, we are both high-energy, busy, emotional feelers, and try to be all in with our kids. It’s all so exhausting, yet I would not change a thing. So in sync and a united front. He gets me and knows what I need to be the best me. We need rest—a lot of it. So, we trade off on weekends, and it works for us.
Sleep is different these days. Mamas, you feel me. The slightest sound can wake you. A cough, cry, movement. Mom mode kicks in, and I am on, ready to handle anything my kids need. Before kids, I could sleep through a tornado. My mind wakes me up with “to do” items in my classroom…at 2 AM. Ugh. My mind is so active when it should be craving rest. I miss that deep sleep and the dreams that you never want to end. You know, the ones that you wake and wonder/wish they were your reality. My dreams were vivid and so cool. I miss them. Currently, I hear every breath my husband takes. Not sure I am really fully asleep…ever. My watch tells me that my sleep patterns are unpredictable. The bottom line, my body is rarely in REM sleep. The best sleep. More reason to nap without guilt.
Mamas, I challenge you to take that nap. No guilt. Rest should be encouraged and cherished. You deserve it. Your heart, body, soul, and mind will thank you. Our bodies are always in motion. Our hearts are changing gears minute by minute. Our minds deserve peace. Stepping away balances us and allows the regrouping process to happen. Mamas, you carry the weight of many. Napping reduces the weight we carry and reminds us to be still. Take that nap and be well. You are worthy of rest.