*climbs onto soapbox”
I’ve noticed something over the last few years. Every Mother’s Day I see moms posting messages on Facebook or Instagram sharing messages of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for the fact that they….
Wait for it…
Got to take a nap.
Now, let me back up and tell you that each Mother’s Day since my children were born, I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the fact that I get to parent two wonderful kiddos. Before I became a mother, I enjoyed the opportunity to high-five my own mom for being literally the most amazing person that I know. (Sorry. I got the best one.)
Let me also clarify that I’m not looking for a substantial cash investment. I’ll take a handprint on a piece of paper or a pasta necklace any day. Or a big dog pile of hugs and a chorus of “Mother’s Day!”
But DO NOT gift me a nap.
Sleep is a necessity like food. Let’s not consider it a luxury or a treat. Let’s commit to taking care of ourselves and our sleep ON THE DAILY. Not just Mother’s Day.
You aren’t doing anyone any good running around ragged and sleep deprived. So do me a favor and don’t sit around dreaming of your annual Mother’s Day nap. GET SOME REST. Here’s why:
Sleep plays a critical role in your physical, mental, and emotional health.
“If you don’t get it, your body operates under stress. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increases in depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, as well as memory and cognitive problems.” (Via Psychology Today)
Um. I’m no doctor, but even I can grasp that correlation.
How about this: NAPS MAY IMPROVE FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE. (Via The New York Times)
If ever there was a thing that literally ANY parent could use, it sure as hell is “improved frustration tolerance”
Oh and if that wasn’t enough, it turns out that we reach for less healthy food when we are sleep deprived.
“The research showed that when the subjects were bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, they strongly preferred the food choices that were highest in calories, like desserts, chocolate and potato chips.” (Via The New York Times)
I don’t need a study to tell me that. I could set my watch to my 3 PM potato chip craving.
The irony here is that ANY parent will tell you that sleep is important. What’s the question we all ask first-time parents?
“Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?”
Because we remember those foggy days in newborn land when we wondered how on earth we were going to make it through a day on such little sleep.
So when I hear people say “I got to take a nap!” what I hear is something along the lines of “I was permitted to eat!”
Setting the bar a bit low, aren’t we?
Because the barrier to that afternoon nap? It’s you.
You are entitled to take care of your needs.
Let me say it again:
YOU ARE ENTITLED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEEDS.
The people in your life that love you? They want you to be happy and healthy. They want the best version of you. They would probably leap at the chance to give you what you most desire. And if taking a nap has become an annual luxury then you’re doing it wrong.
As mothers we need to do a better job of raising our hand and asking for the help we need. We need to be thoughtful and honest about what makes us tick, and be willing to prioritize that for ourselves.
I would wager that most moms have heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
That’s a completely true statement. You can’t.
So let’s agree that we’re going to do a better job of asking for what we need to feel rested and restored—WEEKLY NOT ANNUALLY.
*climbs off soapbox”