Don’t open the silverware drawer.
Don’t turn on the sink.
Don’t let the dogs inside.
Don’t even think about walking within 20 feet of that bedroom door. Not even a tiptoe.
Unwritten rules of nap time. And just because they weren’t written before now doesn’t mean they aren’t of extreme importance.
If you’ve ever been at my house from 5 AM-9 PM, you understand the mental and physical energy that is needed to
get through survive the day. I trust that you fully appreciate and respect these rules. Besides, they are simple. Just don’t move or breathe. Got it?
Now that the rules have been established, you want to know what you can do during nap time. If you feel the need to ask that, then you haven’t been here for that entire length of time listed above. Because I promise, you will not want to break any of the rules. You will want to do one of the following during nap time:
- Read a book
- Watch a movie (but not one that could potentially involve any sudden noises, and certainly no TV unless it is pre-recorded because we all know what commercial makers do to get our attention)
- Read a book
- Some silent stretches and/or goofy-looking yoga moves
I just boiled water for my hot tea (tea makes me feel more sophisticated while I write). I boiled it. As in, in a pot on the stove. My husband just said, “That’s how everybody does it.” And by that he means, “That’s how my mom does it.” Or maybe I am the only one who usually heats it in the microwave. Regardless, I cannot afford to let the microwave sounds ruin my “me” time.
You tell me I am a control freak. Why stress myself over controlling every minute detail in this (hopefully) 2-3 hour window each day when something totally out of my hands could happen, i.e. the toilet could start gurgling like it does when it rains too much, and it could wake Clint up, who would then scream and wake Mason up.)
At least I find peace in knowing that I did everything I could.
Side note: God must have a sense of humor. I couldn’t have made this up: The loudest alarm just went off in my house. I had let Clint play with this antique alarm clock that used to belong to my grandfather this morning, and apparently it still works. Clint must be in a deep sleep right now because it didn’t wake him up. Mason opened his eyes, but I somehow convinced him to lay his head back down. Darn clock. If it wasn’t a valuable heirloom, I would have thrown it out into the gravel road. I can laugh at the irony now that I realize nap time wasn’t ruined.
Sigh of relief.
The power of rest is something that many people can appreciate. If you spend a big chunk of your time giving, sacrificing, pouring yourself out for others, you get it. You cling to those 15 minute breaks, the 1 hour (if you’re lucky) lunch break, the 9 minute trip (because you drove 10 mph under the speed limit) to the post office and back by yourself.
The role of caretaker of someone who needs 24/7 supervision usually lacks a built-in “chill out” or “getaway” time. Even if you are the most structured person in the world, there is no guarantee that the person you are taking care of is going to stick with the routine. For example, if your 2 year old develops the stomach virus, you will likely be needed 100% of the day (or 3 days) that it takes for the symptoms to go away. Or maybe the 95 year old lady with dementia is convinced that there is a man in her closet trying to get her. There probably won’t be much downtime today.
If you give and give and give, your tank will eventually be depleted of all energy, all motivation, and all kindness. The quality and end result of your giving will look about as good as the floor after my 2 year old tries to sweep up the dog hair. Your thoughts and actions will be as good as mine in a previous post.
You have to fill your cup. You have to break from the giving and instead receive. I’m not talking about the yearly vacation where you isolate yourself on the beach and breathe a sigh of relief because you escaped life (although you are still tempted to get on Facebook while you’re there). This is not a bad thing, and I enjoy it too, but it’s not the kind of break I’m talking about. I’m talking about the one you need the day after you return from vacation and you realize that the noses still need wiping and the floors still need sweeping just like they did before the trip.
If I’m not intentional about carving out the time, it just won’t happen. If I don’t make myself sit down and find renewal, I will certainly fill the time with dishes and bills that could wait until later.
So what do I do with the time? I try to fill it with something that is nourishing. Besides Dove dark chocolates, this includes: reading scriptures, reading books, listening to music, writing, etc. Sometimes I do something completely pointless that doesn’t benefit myself or anyone else, but then later regret it because I didn’t satisfy my craving for something with substance.
Maybe it truly is sleep that you need. If so, I hope that you get the most rejuvenating nap today. Whatever it is, I encourage you to carve out a little time to renew YOU. A few minutes of renewal goes a long way in a whole day of giving. I hope you can enjoy giving. I hope I can do the same as I get ready for today’s round 2 of giving my time, attention and love to these little boys who are looking at my every move and listening to my every word. Lord knows I need all the strength I can get.
Please share your thoughts:
How can you carve out a little time today to reflect and refuel?
What do you do during those times? How do you find rest and energy to get back up and do it all over again?