Thursday, May 6, 2010

In praise of the midday nap


Lately, I have fallen into a routine of taking a nap around midday, right when my little one is having her nap as well. This comes very naturally for someone who goes to bed late and rises early – by the time Shira is in bed for her nap, I feel more than ready to place my head on the pillow as well, sometimes after doing some odds and ends around the house. And when one is tired, there's nothing so natural and healthy as to simply rest when possible.

So, I suppose this is an answer to those of you who have been concerned about me not getting enough sleep. :o) When nights are short, I make up for it with an afternoon nap, which is very refreshing, especially during pregnancy - which does tend to leave me a bit more tired as usual. Resting in the middle of the day is far from being a waste of time – on the contrary, it prevents me from dragging my feet by evening, and in fact I'm able to accomplish so much more when I'm energized.

The thing is also that housework will always be there. I'm not saying this as an excuse to be lazy; to keep a home running smoothly, a good many things must be accomplished every day. There are always dishes to wash, laundry to hang out, meals to cook, seeds to plant, floors to sweep and various tasks, errands and projects to accomplish. Homemaking itself is an ongoing project, not something we are supposed to storm at and get done with. Around here, I don't think I ever say "my work is all done". It just isn't, and that's alright – and it's fine and good to sit back, rest and even daydream sometime in between. To enjoy the journey.

If you don't have time to actually sleep in the middle of the day, or if your little ones don't take regular naps, or if they nap during different times, even some down time without sleep at midday can be wonderful. A couple of days ago, we were out to do some errands until Shira was past her usual nap time, and by the time we got home she didn't feel remotely sleepy. So I just put her in her bed for some quiet play with her toys, while I recharged by curling up in bed with a book for a little while. 

Photo credit: allposters.com. I have always loved how cats can curl up and nap whenever and wherever! 

14 comments:

taighbeag said...

God has blessed me with a really good night's sleep lately and no need for a midday nap as my pregnancy winds down. However, earlier in this pregnancy a midday nap was absolutely needed. Unfortunately, my son no longer naps. This was remedied by either sleeping on the sofa while he played in the living room, or inviting him to the "big bed" with me. He'd bring a handful of his little toy trucks and tractors and if I was lucky, he'd run them up and down my back. Sometimes, he'd just lay down and nap with me.

Eileen said...

I praise the midday nap; I take one almost daily! LOL!

Suze said...

I have always been able to drop off to sleep easily in the middle of the day. It doesn't do well in the work a day world but if I can I nap. I sleep better at night on the days I have a rest. We are different and I feel it is wrong of our society to downgrade the importance of sleep.

mom-e-mae said...

I love the saying, "An hour in the afternoon is better than 2 at night." I only get a 20 minute catnap nowadays but when pregnant, I would snooze for an hour or more each day, and it was divine!

The Hillbilly Housewife said...

I too take a daily nap. I have a '20 minute rule'. We all climb in bed together, and for 20 min everyone has to lie down quietly with their eyes closed. If they speak, it starts all over again. I even make the 20 yr old when she is at home. The 4 month old hasn't quite learned the rule yet, and gets us all to giggling when we settle for nap(we homeschool) and he sits up on his arms, looks around at all of us, and babbles because he thinks we are all there to give him attention. He's not a nap taker, he's a cat napper, but I am trying to teach him that in our house...afternoon naps are very important!

Jenny said...

Each afternoon after I drop my little one off for preschool, I lie down for fifteen or twenty minutes. My afternoon tasks are finished much faster afterward, and I actually have time for a "creative break" before heading back to preschool.

Marianne said...

I love that picture too! :)

Oh Anna --- I don't know if I'll communicate this well, but I have this sense of peace swell over me when I come to your blog. It's so lovely.

I'm glad you're getting rest and feeling well.

Anonymous said...

Yes, DO make sure you rest when you can. It's so very important.

Brenda

Leah Burks said...

How amazing! I just posted on Facebook how merciful a nap can be! I am 39 weeks pregnant, and can no longer keep going without lying down when my son is napping, for at least 45 minutes. I do like you; finish up some odds and ends, then spend the rest of his naptime napping as well!

Lady Anne said...

Oh, heavens! I'm sixty-something, and not even remotely pregnant, and I still enjoy a nap whenever I can. When I was a youngster (4 or 5)it was hard to get me to go to sleep, and my grandmother used to tell me to close my eyes and see if I could fool everybody into thinking I was asleep. Well, once I "fooled" my parents by sleeping for 18 hours! Tired? Me? Nah. But I was probably the only one in the house who DID get any rest that day. All the grownups kept coming in to see if I was still breathing.

Mrs. Lady Sofia said...

I totally agree. Midday naps are great because they help to energize your body.

I take one on a regular basis, and it helps after doing the housework to rest, read, and close my eyes for awhile and re-energize before my husband gets home, where I will be busy once more, preparing dinner and other household tasks.

At any rate, I hope that your pregnancy is going well. Take care dear one. :)

~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

Mrs. A. said...

I saw this post title while reading Adventures in Teething and had to jump over here and comment about a sweet memory.

My grandmother (1906-1996)would describe in great detail the lives of her family (she had 9 siblings). One of her sisters helped her husband run a little country store about 100 yards from their home in a rural area. Everyone knew she went home at lunchtime and took a one hour nap. I was told she didn't lock the store, oh, the sweetness of such simpler times.

Karen said...

Oh I could NOT get thru early pregnancy without a nap! I was always sooo sleepy!

BTW I just saw your pregnancy ticker. CONGRATULATIONS!! I was wondering when you would be expecting again, and it turns out you're farther along than I am!

Katy~The Country Blossom said...

Sometimes, after a long and busy day....around mid afternoon, before the bustle of preparing supper...the kids and I will all lay down in peace and quiet...each reading to his or herself quietly until eventually, one by one, we each drift off to sleep for a nice rest! :)