1. Nap: That ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ is clearly (sadly) codswallop. But some sweet days, when there’s no one home and nothing urgent to do…I curl up for a quick half hour. Which is never long enough but you take what you can in this game.
2. Clean up: Fold, wipe, scrub, empty, wash, dry, iron (ha only kidding), brush, scrub some more. Combining two or more of these activities is what I do for the majority of naptimes.
3. Tea: I *always* make a cup of tea for myself during naptime (unless there’s no milk in the house – the less said about that the better). I judge the ‘goodness’ of the nap on this. Any nap that finishes before I’ve even finished making the tea comes pretty low on the scale. Sometimes, however, I’ve actually finished drinking the tea before naptime ends (very rare – think I’m only mentioning it here to remind myself that it can happen *welp*).
4. Stop: Just stop. Maybe drink the tea. Scroll endlessly through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, eBay, Pinterest. Listlessly click through to a few interesting looking web pages – then immediately forget them. Consider unreplied messages. Deem answering them too much. Back to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, eBay, Pinterest. Loop around again. Baby wakes up. (Usually at least one nap a day if I’m honest…).
5. Create: Write a sneaky blog post (NB baby literally woke up at this point, one fifth into semi-cool tea = midway on the nap goodness scale). I started this blog to have a little bit of a creative outlet. My (that awful term) me time. So snatched during naps and sleeps it is then.
6. Stay: Not something I do half as often any more, I stay stuck under the sleeping baby, watching his little face snoozing, cradling his warm little body. Not very time effective but so worth it while I still can.
7. Cook: Max has been on real food for almost 2 months now. I’m trying to keep cooking everything from scratch for as long as I can. Which means his meals aren’t yet very complex (but he throws most of it on the floor anyway so don’t think he minds), but they do take up a lot of time in prep. Nap times and stolen ‘playing on his own’ times usually mean there’s broccoli steaming or apricots stewing. Our house smells great as you can imagine.
8. Self care: Not an option I use often enough. Although I often have a podcast (Sofie Hagen’s Made of Human is my current fave) or audiobook playing (ahem Bridget Jones’ Baby right now – I know, I know but don’t worry there’s no judgement here) or catch the occasional Homes Under the Hammer. There’s little of the day that I use for self care right alone. And although I often use naptime for floptime I rarely actively do something for myself in the bites of 45 minutes twice a day that we’re getting at the mo. I’d definitely like to hear any tips on using this time for *you*.
9. Work: I’ve had a little freelance work since popping out the sprog. Some fun projects that have meant I’ve had the chance to use a different part of my brain, but as I work in PR there are often urgent requests that need to be dealt with stat. Naptimes are perfect for this. But I’ve definitely found myself praying that this nap will be one of the long good ones leaving me to get my emails done. And drink my tea obviously.
10. Play with the cat: She gets hissy pretty quickly so a five minute chase round the house usually suffices.
11. Get ready for the next round: And it starts again – I get joy from ‘designing’ the little lad’s play area before we wakes. Arranging toys by theme, colour or softness, building things, stacking them, general faffing. All to be destroyed indiscriminately obviously.
And just like that naptime is over.
An addition: I forgot Eat! Mustn’t forget to do that – cannot parent on tea alone.