Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who could sleep 6 hours at night and then work and function fine the next day, but I’m not. I need 9 hours of sleep. Ever since college I really knew what it meant to be tired. To think we once hated naps and our parents made us, those were the days. As an adult, I’ve always been a big napper, not the I’ll-feel-guilty-if-i-take-a-nap type. Not at all. I would have about 1 hour between classes in college and I’d come back and sleep. Chapel would start and, sad to say, I’d sleep. I guess the 11 o’clock lights out wasn’t enough for me. I don’t know what I’d do if I were in college now, they don’t even have a “lights out” anymore.
The fatigue I had in college felt like nothing to the exhaustion I felt as a new mom. Up almost all night the first night and many of the nights into the months ahead. In the middle of the day, I can remember nursing the baby and holding him while we’d fall asleep for 2 hours or so at a time. When he slept 5 hours straight during the day, I thought that’s what newborns did, but when he was up a lot at night, I didn’t know why. Later, I figured he must’ve gotten his days and nights mixed up. Poor baby had to cry himself back to sleep most nights after being fed. By the time he was 3 1/2 months, he was sleeping through the night. I still took naps every day.
I don’t think it was until Lacey or Ryan were born that I didn’t take a nap every day. It just got harder, but somehow I still found a way. We had “rest time” and insisting on it wasn’t always easy with toddlers who had more energy than I’ve ever had. But as best as we could, the older ones who weren’t napping would have quiet time in their rooms while the baby (& I) slept. Seems silly and even lazy at times, but I’m leery of saying that because motherhood can wear you out even if you are sleeping through the night. Rest time in our house has always been “sacred” and it would not be unusual for me to be saying “shhhhh” ALOT during the afternoon hours. Admittedly, I’ve been “jealous” of the moms who don’t need naps. I could get so much more done and never feel lazy. I have wished that I used that time to organize or get work done around the house or perhaps some neat craft project, just not me.
To my surprise, I am being stretched however, no longer do I fall apart or feel “depressed” if I miss a nap. I’ve gone without one several times lately. I say that with each kid, I got stretched a little more, not just physically as in “stretch marks”, but He’s made me capable to handle more, “He giveth more grace”. I’m so thankful that God is changing me, weak, lazy me. With His grace, I can handle more of what He gives. I’m still up at least once most nights but the need to nap has not been much of a priority anymore. And thanks to Facebook, Pinterest, blogs and blogging there isn’t time anymore! I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t stay up and read or write until midnight, I’ve tried. That has been part of my problem lately. I’ve been staying up later and napping less, making for an “uhappier”self. I feel so much better when I’m well-rested and have had my 9. How about you? If you don’t need a lot of sleep, be thankful and if you do and you’re a mom with little kids especially, don’t feel bad, take the nap! One day you won’t need as much sleep.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26