Guilt. I’ve never felt so much in my entire life as I do since becoming a mother. Guilt about formula feeding, guilt about TV time, heck- guilt about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I never knew it was possible to feel just as badly about going to work as I do on the days I stay home.
But since you were born, I have never once felt guilty while you slept. Partly it’s due to the fact that (luckily) you’ve never really fought it, and another reason is that I know it’s good for you.
I don’t know WHAT got into me the other day though (probably the 937 articles/memes going around on social media about this), but somehow you ended up ON me instead of being transferred from your car seat to your bed.
I admit it was nice at first, snuggling my baby girl again. But after a only few minutes, I got hot and uncomfortable, and the repetitive noise of your thumb sucking began to drive me crazy. Not sure if it was my boney chest, the vertical-ish position, or you just sensing my aggravation, but your normal 90-minute-or-so nap fell an hour short. And when you climbed off me and headed over to the snack cabinet, the drool on my shirt was not the only thing I noticed…
As nice as it was taking a break from the typical “nap-grind,” the aftermath stress was just not worth it for me. Instead of playing princesses with you that afternoon, I was focused on cutting corners on my to-do list. Instead of reading “The Berenstain Bears” to you that evening, I was answering work e-mails on my phone. Instead of hanging out with your dad and getting a decent amount of sleep that night, I was playing catch-up, which only negatively affected the next day, too.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to block all of this out, but I seriously just can’t do it. I have learned over the years that I simply function better when my house is clean and organized, and I’ve at least made a dent into my work rather than let it pile up for bedtime.
I know that naps won’t last forever, but while they are a thing, my ability to “mom” depends on them. I’d much rather be calm and present when you’re awake, and I don’t think I should feel any guilt about that.
Unless you’re sick or scared, go rest. Let Mama take care of the rest.