Some time between the age of one (dear God) and four, our sweet children give up their daytime nap. There’s the upside: they collapse into bed at night. And then there’s the downside: you lose your one precious hour of daily downtime. So, deep breath, here’s what we all must eventually say goodbye to:
1. The Netflix binge
‘Sweet dreams’ you used to whisper as you softly closed the bedroom door. Then bam, you were skidding down the hall, remote control in hand, praying that you had enough data left to get you two full episodes of Outlander/House of Cards/OITNB. It was the perfect combination of lying down and someone telling you a really good story. And the truth is, we all really miss the life-giving powers of daytime Netflix.
2. The whip-around cleanup
Somehow, even doing housework during that peaceful daytime interlude was pleasurable. You would whip around the house, smashing out the laundry, dishes and vacuuming, and for that small space in time it felt like everything was finally in its place. Until the toddler arose of course. But that was okay, because you always knew you had tomorrow’s afternoon nap to get on top of your life again. Reality check – it’s over. Now you will gain new skills in preschooler/housework multitasking.
3. The work catchup
Even if it was officially your day off, nap time was always the perfect window to log back on, thrash out a few work emails, wave hello to your workmates, then blissfully sign off. It was the ideal drop in/drop out scenario, and you could rest easy for the remainder of the day, knowing that your job was done. Now you will join the ranks of parents logging back in after bedtime. It’s as bad as it sounds, but at least you can drink wine while you’re doing it.
4. Phone time
Since staring into your phone at playgrounds seems to be a faux pas these days, you wisely used the 1-3pm window as your dedicated phone time. It was when you did a good heavy nose dive into social media, popped things into online shopping bags, and just hung out on the couch catching up on your text messages. Come on, admit it, the nap time phone hole was fun! It’s okay though, you won’t actually lose any phone time when the naps go, you’ll just integrate it into the rest of your day now (hint: try the playground).
5. The power nap
While you often had soulful intentions of reading a book or making dinner during your nap time interlude, there was the occasional day when you just threw it all in and collapsed on the couch for your own power nap. This was especially useful when your toddler wasn’t sleeping through. The afternoons will now feel exponentially longer. Just cross your fingers that your toddler will now sleep a whole lot better at night.
6. The excuse
Admittedly, the daytime nap was sometimes inconvenient and chopped your day in half, but it was also the perfect excuse to just say no to things. Nope, can’t make it to the neighbour’s BBQ. Nope, can’t do that play date. That time was all yours, and you never had to defend it. But when the naps go, you lose the excuse and the whole shape of the day changes. C’est la vie.
7. The QUIET
When your toddler’s head hit the pillow, it was like flicking a switch. The house descended into deep, blissful silence. And you really can’t underestimate the emotional effects of this – it was a chance to hear your own thoughts, instead of high-pitched screaming and the background buzz of Peppa Pig. Now, you’ll need to recalibrate. And find a good spot in the kitchen to hide and eat a chocolate bar in peace.
What will you miss most now that the naps are gone?