Sleep when the baby sleeps, they say.
The baby will nap, they say.
The famed advice everyone (seriously, everyone) feels compelled to tell a new mom is, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” Sounds wonderful. Sensible. Convenient.
If by some miracle my daughter does nap, I can neither: A) instantly fall asleep after weeks of caffeine-induced mania, or B) forget the piles of laundry, neglected pets, unread emails and hundreds of other things I’d like to attend to.
What do I actually do when graced with these mythical naps I hear so much about?
1. Lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling and marvel at the wonder of silence.
2. Consider showering…try to remember the last time I showered…get distracted by the appalling amount of dog hair on the carpet and then revert to # 1.
3. Frantically use my phone to pay bills, check social media sites, news apps and text messages in an attempt to reconnect with reality.
4. Debate making dinner, cleaning, getting the mail or otherwise being productive but decide instead to re-fluff the clothes that have been in the dryer all week and pick my nail polish off.
5. Spend several minutes staring in wonder at the baby and making sure her breaths are perfectly rhythmic. Tear up at the wonder of the life I created. Panic when she stirs and exhale deeply when I realize she just had to fart and is still asleep.
6. Explore feelings of guilt for not doing anything but lying on the floor. Mentally sweep these feelings under the rug (*real* sweeping is out of the question) and attempt to crack my back. Still on the floor.
7. Wander to the fridge. Sigh deeply upon realizing a chocolate cake has not magically appeared since I last checked. Pick up a string cheese…toss it back. Close fridge. Sigh again. Trudge back to nursery to stare lovingly at the baby again.
8. Call my husband to brag that the baby is napping and to prove that I am not.
9. Think about doing some yoga. Execute one or two poses. Feel wildly confident and fit.
10. Go through the 2,000 or so baby photos on my phone and silently vow to be a better, more productive mom tomorrow than I was today.
This article was originally published on