Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps…Not! How To Win at Nap Time.


I think perhaps my biggest conundrum as a stay at home or work from home parent is what to do when the kids nap.  Now, both my boys, one and four, go to daycare (or school as we call it) 3 times a week, so I do have some respite.  But when they are home I have to consider what to accomplish during that 1-2 hrs when they are asleep.

People who say to sleep when your baby sleeps either haven’t raised a baby in ten years, or they are only repeating what they’ve heard a thousand times.  This advice is the crappiest advice you can give someone with young children.  Here’s what I think about when my kids sleep.

Should I spend this time cleaning the kitchen since the baby won’t be around to pull everything out of the dishwasher as soon as I put it in there?

I could vacuum while the baby isn’t around to try to sit on top of the thing, rather than being afraid of it like a normal child.  No, too loud.

Toddler On Board

I could get some writing done without cartoons blaring in the background and the baby pounding on the keyboard so I have to backspace more than I actually type.

I could workout, bahahahahaha

Ok, I could fold some laundry while the baby isn’t here to unfold it as quickly as I fold it, and my preschooler isn’t here insisting I laugh as hard the hundredth time he puts his underwear on his head.


I could just sit here and stare at the wall and do absolutely nothing other than beat myself up for doing absolutely nothing.

Ooh, I could take a bath and maybe even have time to shave my legs!  What’s the point?

By the time I consider all of my options, the kids are halfway through their naps, or at least the baby is.  The four year old doesn’t nap anymore, but he’s at least semi self-sufficient, so I can get some stuff done.

The problem is, any one of the tasks I choose to do leave me feeling guilty for not accomplishing the other ones.  I know I laughed at it above, but I usually end up working out.  Hey, it gives me some tension relief to fold clothes while they are unfolded, load the dishwasher as it’s being unloaded, vacuum with toddling jockey on board, and though the stink has compounded due to the workout and no time to bathe, the day somehow feels more manageable.

Kitty litter and dog snacks

I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m a stay at home mom, though I should make an aside here- I am not a housewife. Housewives clean and contribute to the household in some significant manner. I figure I paid my dues by gestating and delivering an entire human being from my body, the least Doug can do is earn a living for our family and clean up after us. I occasionally try to do something around the house, even if that’s just taking a shower so I don’t stink when Doug gets home. I really try to delegate household chores and since Gray is your typical toddler that is too self absorbed to consider taking on a few responsibilities, I have to find others to whom I must assign certain household tasks. I have found a way to accomplish an undesirable household chore through delegation and since I haven’t figured out how to present it on Pinterest yet, I will explain it here.

 Our pets are free loaders that have done nothing to earn free room and board except to comfort and entertain us and we ask very little of them outside of requiring they don’t poop on the floor-and let’s be honest, we really even tolerate that. Cats at least go in a litter box, but really we’re just storing up their pee and poop for safe keeping until such a time that one of the family members outlasts the other in being affected by the smell. Here’s where I always win and thereby delegate the task of cleaning the cat box. Jane the Super Dog often caves before I do. Now, don’t act all disgusted, because you know it’s a load off when your dog eats the cat poop. It’s not the way I would have chosen to dispose of the cat litter, but I try not to micromanage when delegating unwanted chores. I act all put out when I catch her doing it, but quickly realize what a service she has done for the family. Jane is pulling her weight and why should I be so ungrateful as to chastise her for doing so? When she throws it up on the carpet later, Atticus gets to pitch in and clean up that mess. Again, avoiding hovering over my employees, I allow it. The modern stay at home mom cannot be expected to be all things to all people. She must delegate and insist that those around contribute to the household as well.
 Next week we will discuss letting the dog take out the bathroom trash. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.