Nap time is valuable. It’s time to get everything done that can’t possibly be done with a little human demanding your attention. Here are five ways that I channel my inner nap time warrior and make the most of the time I have to care for myself and my home.
(Probably the most important part)
I try to do one small (or big – shower!) thing for myself while my kiddo naps. Maybe it’s catch up on The Bachelor while I’m doing something actually productive like folding laundry. Maybe it’s letting a face mask dry while cleaning or sipping my HOT coffee between going room to room and picking up the house. This is MY time during the day that I have the energy (unlike at nighttime) to be productive. I also use it as a way to regain my breath before evening craziness and the second half of our day. I need a moment to unwind. I’m usually trying to be productive in the valuable time I do have, but I also need to take the few moments of silence and non-toddler tornado time to be present and care for myself. Even if it just means sitting down among the hum of the baby monitor and sound machine.
The biggest thing that I’ve found to maximizing the most time I have while baby is sleeping is asking myself “What can be done while she is awake vs what should I save for while she’s sleeping?” Dishes and the dishwasher are loud, so I usually save them for while she’s awake. Putting away laundry is near impossible to do with her grabbing at everything and putting it in and out of the laundry basket a million times, save that for nap time AND I can catch up on a show while doing it! Double whammy. These have changed as our routine and her age has changed. Sometimes I can accomplish a part of laundry (changing clothes from the washer to the dryer) while she’s awake because A. it’s something I can do quickly, or B. it’s something she can “help” me with.
I still use nap time for me-time, so if I can watch Netflix while doing it, sold. If I can listen to a podcast while mopping the kitchen tile, awesome. If I can load then run the dishwasher and the dryer at the same time while I’m cleaning the bathrooms, score. This literally applies to anything. Because let’s be serious, if there’s anything moms know how to do best, it’s multitask. Bonus when I can do something to care for myself while simultaneously making a to-do a to-done. Are there some days where I just need to sit or work out and turn my brain off and (at least try to) think of one thousand other things? Of course!
- Working out?
Working out is one of my personal forms of self care. No matter how the day has already gone or been going, I can sweat it off and get new energy through a simple or difficult workout. Change into your workout clothes before you put your babe down for a nap. Have your water and even post workout snack set to grab. This way, you have zero excuses. You’re ready to go as soon as their little eyes are closed or they’re safe in their crib. Have a plan of what you’re going to be doing (and make it while they’re awake so you don’t sit for 10 minutes of nap time browsing through Pinterest or Youtube trying to find a workout you’re happy with). If you spend 10 minutes planning instead of starting your workout, those are minutes wasted!
- Be prepared.
I usually try to think of a manageable amount of things I’d like to accomplish during nap and either physically write down a list of 2-5 things or at least have them in my head. This cuts down on my time puttering around my house or getting fixated on little things I could likely do while she’s awake. Time management people– it’s crazy valuable when you’re trying to do things and a ticking little time bomb is sleeping in the next room. Most days I don’t know if my child will nap for 40 minutes or 3 hours, so anything that I can do to prepare ahead of time definitely helps!