It has become clear to me that I keep making the same mistake. My daughter finally nods off in the pushchair and I race home like a lunatic to run around the house like a headless chicken, trying to get all the things on my to do list done before she wakes up.
As a result I don’t manage to achieve anything I set out to do properly before she suddenly wakes up and we both slump on the floor bleary eyed and grumpy.
So I want to help others to learn from my folly and save them from themselves.
If your child nods off – here are the things you shouldn’t bother to waste the time on.
Why break your back trying to hoover the bits of carpet you can see around the toys and risk waking them up? Any cleaning you attempt is only going to be a half-hearted, half-finished attempt before your child regains consciousness. You can guarantee they will wake up just as you have thrust your arm down the loo to scrub it, or started emptying the vacuum cleaner. And you end up leaving a trail of filth and dust across the house as you fling all the hazardous materials back into a cupboard and rush to answer their beck and call.
You think you’ll just reply to that one friend who emailed days ago and you keep meaning to get back. Before you know it naptime is over and you are still trawling through tedious messages from the council about when your new bin collection will be. Those emails have been building up for years, they can wait one more day. Just stay out of the inbox.
Tidying Up Toys
A pointless task if ever there was one. They are just going to wake up and tip them straight back over the floor. Don’t bother.
Now is not the time to call your energy company about the error on your bill. Why waste the whole of naptime listening to muzak and getting steadily more wound up? You can do it on speaker phone when your child is awake and shouting in the background, making sure the call centre worker deals with you in double quick time just to get you off the line.
Just like housework, it won’t get done properly, will burn up all your free time, and leave your hands covered in gloop just when your little one stirs. You are going to have to eat something eventually, so just stick some pasta on when the time comes.
Making A Cup Of Tea
Children have a sixth sense when it comes to boiling kettles. They hear it and they know you are planning to sit down and attempt to enjoy a cup of something hot before it goes cold. They will wake up instantly and naptime will be over before it has begun.
Answering the phone
The sound of your voice is another death toll for naptime. No matter how much you try to whisper and close the door, it will rouse them from their slumber. Set your phone to silent.
Trying to make them more comfortable
Don’t feel sorry for the little demon because they’ve fallen asleep with their head flopped forwards and the buggy strap leaving an imprint on their cheek. They could sleep in a lovely, comfy cot if they just accepted naptime for what it was. If you try and tilt that seat back one notch their eyes will snap open in an instant and you’ll wonder why you thought you cared.
So what should you be doing when your little one is asleep in the day?
First of all go to the loo. Then eat something you’ve really been craving for ages, but do not want to have to share with the circling vulture.
Then put your feet up (as far out of earshot from your little darling as you dare) read a book, watch some trash TV, have a nap of your own.
Naptime is precious. Don’t use it. Snooze it!