An Ode To Naps
I took my son to see Captain Underpants on Saturday. I wish I could tell you if the movie was worth seeing or not, but I was fast asleep for most of the hour and 29 minutes. I admit, I often purposely take my son to the movies, just so I can nap. It’s win/win for both of us. He gets to see a movie and mommy gets to snooze on a Saturday afternoon at 1:15 p.m.
I love taking naps. They’re the ultimate luxury once you become a parent. If you ask what my hobbies are, one of my answers would most definitely be ‘napping’ that’s how much I so desperately love and need my naps.
On the rare days when both my kids are off with their grandparents or at playdates, the first thought that pops into my mind is, ‘I can nap!’ And I do. Those naps, however, can last up to three hours, so they are more like mini-sleeps. And they’re awesome.
Parenting is exhausting, so I’ll take my sleep where I can get it. A dark, cool movie theatre is a great place to nap, especially during kids’ movies. Is there a parent out there who hasn’t dozed off at least once during a kids’ movie? I simply sit my son on my lap, tilt the chair back and, as soon as the movie starts, I shut my eyes and almost instantly doze off.
We’re all sleep deprived. We’re all running around like chickens with their heads cut off, taking our kids to activities, and making sure they are fed. Keeping them alive is a 24/7 never-ending job. Parenting is exhausting! I’m freakin’ tired all the time. Seriously. All. The. Time. So, yes, I’ve also napped in other places when I’m with my children, because sometimes, I really can’t help but close my eyes for a Parenting Power Nap, that’s how tired I am.
For years now, every week I fall asleep in the studio during my daughter’s singing lessons. The studio has a couch which is ridiculously big and ugly, but also ridiculously comfortable, just begging for people to nap on it. In fact, after falling asleep on the couch during her hour-long lessons more than a handful of times, her singing teacher surprised me by bringing in a blanket, just for me to nap with during my daughter’s weekly lessons.
I’m pretty sure that no other parent her instructor has met during his many, many years teaching has napped religiously on that couch, as much as I have for years. But napping during my daughter’s lessons is also win/win. Because I always end up napping during her lessons, her singing teacher told me I am the ‘easiest parent in the world to deal with.’ Why? Unlike most of the parents who take their children to lessons, I don’t get too involved by video taping, snapping photos, and telling my kids what they should be doing or what song they should be singing. How could I not be the easiest parent to deal with? I’m always asleep during her lessons, and unless I snore, which I don’t think I do, I’m completely forgotten about for one glorious hour. It’s my favourite hour of the week, not because I like hearing my daughter sing, but because it is the perfect place to nap.
I have also recently started to fall asleep both in the car (if it’s cold) and on the grass during my son’s weekly soccer ‘games,’ because really, at age 5, they just kick the ball around and pick their noses. I bring a blanket and plop down in the shade and doze. If I thought I could get away with it, I would even bring a real pillow to his practices. So, while I could be considered a soccer mom, purely for signing my kid up to play soccer and getting him to the field, I have yet to watch an entire ‘game.’ But I do get almost one full hour to nap. I’m starting to think that I plan activities for my kids that will revolve around me getting a nap. I kid.
Non-parents wonder how I could fall asleep during a loud movie, or while my daughter may be singing off-key, or while a million kids are running around screaming or crying on a soccer field. The fact is, once you become a parent, you develop something called, ‘selective hearing.’ I can tune out loud sounds wherever I am. Of course, I also have a mothering instinct, so while I may be napping, one ear is always open and I always wake up just as the movie or my daughter’s lessons are ending. Mothers also have an inner mother alarm clock.
Two weekends ago, I think I brought my Parenting Power Nap to a whole new level. I had to take my son to a trampoline venue for a drop-off birthday party. The place is huge, but there were two massage chairs in the venue. I didn’t pay to get the massage but I managed to fall asleep in the chair for just over an hour, while 15 kid birthday parties were going on around me. I woke up just in time for the loot bags. Yup, I’ve got this nap thing down to a science.
Speaking of science, according to the sleepfoundation.org, nappers are in good company. John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were all nappers. According to The Sleep Foundation website, ‘A short nap (20 to 30 minutes) is usually recommended for short-term alertness. A short nap provides ‘significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.’ Word.
I remember when I was growing up, my mother would take a nap as often as she could – which, considering she raised four kids, makes so much sense to me now. She would turn all the home phones off, so she wouldn’t be disturbed and we all knew to not bother her, even if the house was on fire. Her naps to this day are still a must and she clearly passed the nap gene onto me.
This weekend, I plan to see Cars 3. Rather, I plan to nap during Cars 3. And, yes, in case you were wondering, I’ve already checked to see how long the movie is (An hour and 48 minutes! Woot!)
Are you a lover of naps? When and where do you catch your Parenting Power Naps. Inquiring minds want to know!