Dear Friends, I have a confession to make that may make me sound a heck of a lot older (is that even possible?) than my 50 years (I really hate the sound of that number, FYI ...not yet adjusted, ladies) or perhaps, just maybe a little more honest about some of the simple things that seem to bring me joy these days...
I have become a world-class napper. I mean world class. Olympic gold, million-dollar endorsement, face on the Cheerios box, kind of napper.
Actually, my husband and I have become nappers. And it's not a result of middle age (now as for my fashionable leopard-print readers, well, that's another story), nor is our propensity for a Sunday afternoon nap the result of too many late night Homeland binges (although if it were, who would blame me?).
Rather, the two of us believe our naps have become a much-anticipated, bi-weekly staple of our busy lives for a couple of reasons. First, since our children spend every other weekend with their other parents, we run ourselves ragged, cramming in as much as we can when we are all together.
As parents of divorce, there is a bitter irony to picking up and dropping off children at other homes. Other married, "intact" (for a horrible lack of a better word, and truly, there really needs to be a much better one, because our family is as intact, and I would say, more intact, than many others) friends often joke that they "envy" us for having two weekends "off" a month when we don't have kids in the house.
From a tongue-in-cheek perspective, I can see how this makes sense - after all - all parents are exhausted and who among us hasn't had one of those Calgon-take-me-away moments when we wished we were on a tropical island where nary a carpool, dentist appointment, school project or runny nose could find us?
Show me a parent who never wished for a few such days and I'll show you a parent who is full of (fill in the blank). The truth of the matter is that not having your children with you is a dull pain that never leaves you. Every moment without my son, is a moment spent counting the minutes until he returns, with a silent clock at the back of my mind. It does not get easier, the more time goes on, it just becomes something you learn to live with. Period.
During our first no-kids weekends as a married couple, my husband and I started to take naps. Wiped out from the experience of having three kids to care for (previously, I had one!, falling into a deep sleep in the span of about four minutes was surprisingly easy. Waking up three hours later came as a complete and utter shock.
"Where had the time gone, I shrieked? Seriously? Do you know what I should have done in that time?", I flipped out, half-flailing about while my husband was still smushed (technical term) into the couch?
"Laundry, grocery shopping, a blog, more laundry!" I rambled on.
Over the months, and now years, the terror of "losing" productivity hours and replacing this time with some blissful R&R has become a welcome, wonderful, connecting time for my husband and me to cuddle up, sink into our beloved sofa, and regroup. We have a favorite blanket, some throw pillows, and the knowledge that for a few precious hours, it's just going to be us, us, and only us, once we stretch out and remove the stray toys and (gross) occasional pretzels that manage to wedge into our backs as we get comfortable and find our way back to baseline.
Are you getting sleepy? Don't blame me if you find yourself giving up some of your own "'go" time for a little siesta. It's addicting, delicious, and absolutely invigorating. The best part? You don't have to be 50 to start doing it.
Until Next Time,