When you’re a stay-at-home parent, the day is divided into the pre-nap and post-nap units of time. Nap time is the (usually) blessedly peaceful interlude between those busy, noisy units, a hour or two in which you get some time to yourself and maybe even get a few things done. Maybe. Sometimes. Below, the seven stages of nap time for the stay at home mom.
1. Relief. The kid is finally in his crib and the lights are off. You remembered to give him a water bottle—the biggest sippy cup on the market, it holds five gallons of water—so he shouldn’t be asking for “wa-wa” anytime soon. He also has 61 pacifiers, so, you know, that should hold him for an hour or two.
2. Collapse. You need to lie down and look at your phone for just a minute and then you’ll clean up the kitchen, fold the laundry, and prep dinner.
3. Hanger (45 minutes post-collapse). Mid-Facebook rant, you realize, oh yeah, you didn’t eat lunch.
4. Pain. That was too big a lunch. You need to lie down for 20 minutes or so before cleaning up the kitchen, folding laundry, prepping dinner.
5. Internet Black Hole. Somehow an hour passes while you read about the latest Internet outrage, say, a kid arrested for making a clock and bringing it to school, and then inexplicably you find yourself on the West Elm page for “entryway solutions” and then you think “I need to order some diapers,” and then—
6. Thar She Blows. The first cry from the kid’s room, a single peal that makes you sit up like a jack rabbit scenting a fox. You sit motionless, hoping against hope the kid will go back to sleep so you can clean up the kitchen, fold the laundry, and prep dinner.
7. Frenzy. You wash half the dishes at record speed and toss the clothes in the drawers unfolded. Dinner? Uh—okay. The kid’s full-on screaming now. You can get take-out burgers for dinner.
And just like that, another nap time has passed. The kitchen is still a mess; the toes of socks are sticking out of the dresser. Tomorrow, you will be more organized. You swear.