Friday, May 17, 2013

Going Down Fighting

I was all set to write about naps, and how I don't get it when kids don't want to take one - how I'd kill to have someone say, "You must lay down and go to sleep now - you have no other responsibilities. Right now, it is imperative that you nap; everything will still be here when you awake." How I don't understand the fighting and the drama that surrounds napping - but then I realized, that would be completely hypocritical.

I totally get it. Even now, as my lids are heavy and my eyeballs are dry, I'm still fighting sleep. I could put off this post until tomorrow, close my eyes and that would be it - mission accomplished. But I won't, and I know it. I've been this way as long as I can remember.

When I was a wee bairn, my mom says, I would fight sleep. Growing up, I was always the last one awake in the house - I didn't want to miss anything. In college, I would routinely pull all-nighters (I worked for the college paper and the radio station, both notorious for fostering such behavior), once going nearly 72 hours without so much as a catnap. As an adult, I would frequently wait until everyone else I lived with was in bed, and work on projects til stupid o'clock in the morning, getting my best work done in those magic creative hours after midnight sans annoying interruptions from other people.

Even this blog is aptly monikered; I can only work on it when the Munchkin is asleep, of course, so do I do that during his daytime naps? No, of course not. That's for FB and Doctor Who. I write it at night, staying up much later than I should, even though I know sleep should be my priority.

There's something about those witching hours, however, when the rest of the world (or, at least, your time zone) is sawing logs - it feels as if you're the only person on Earth. I've come to crave that solitude; it's the only time when I feel like I can shut out all other distractions and truly focus. It's not good. I want to learn how to find that focus in the sunrise-to-sunset hours. I suppose I have a focus, of sorts, but it's on the wrong enterprises - I'm afraid I would suck at working from home.

Even when the Munchkin was first born, everyone told me to, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." (Everyone tells all new mothers this. even tell new mothers this. Do as I say, not as I do...) But I was so amped up, and anxious, and worried that whomever was helping watch the baby at that point would not know how to keep the Munchkin entertained, or know what he liked, or be able to soothe him the way I could, that it was rare I actually fell asleep. I would lay there in panic mode, or catch up on FB while I should have been recharging my batteries. 

And now, when the Munchkin has a good nap routine in place, and I know that I'm guaranteed a good couple of hours snooze time while he's out, I still don't do it. Sigh. I've got permission, and encouragement; every person I know basically making those statements above: "You must lay down and go to sleep now - right now, it is imperative that you nap." And I don't.

So kids, I get it. It's a big, exciting world filled with lots of shiny new objects (and Facebook, and Doctor Who), and I don't want to miss any of it, either. Maybe we can work together - you push me, and I'll push you. Because everything really still will be here when we wake up. And if we get some sleep (shocker!), maybe, just maybe, we'll have the energy, and yes, focus, to be able to enjoy it all that much more.


  1. I am much the same way. I was never a napper and my record in college was 82 hours (I'll try not to think about me driving. ..aack!) It's true about the sleep but it is also true about taking care of you as a woman, separate and distinct from being a mom.

    1. Aack is right! So true, Traci. xoxo!