Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Naptime Challenge

Choice is a powerful thing.

And for someone who has too many interests, lots of responsibilities and to-do lists posted on every floor of her home, choice can be paralyzing.

Parents of little people will understand that moment of elation and freedom and possibility when you leave the room of a napping toddler. Most likely, if your child is like mine, you haven't sat down properly since you woke up 6 hours before. You've put out fires, quelled tantrums, chased little people back into time-outs for pinching you in the boom boom as you try to make them lunch, read the same books over and over to curious little minds, kept them from flinging themselves off playground precipices and, hopefully, giggled a lot in the midst of it all. And now he or she or they are asleep. And you have somewhere between 1 and 3 hours to get EVERY. SINGLE. OTHER. THING done. To press the reset button on patience and sanity and hope. To maybe even quietly rejoice in the victories of the morning.

Seriously, though. Dinner prep, laundry, shower, clean up the train wreck that occurred the first half of the day, get ready for the older to arrive home from school and head to soccer or drums or whatever. The list goes on. And it's rarely fully checked off in this season. I often don't know where to even start.

And you know what? Some days the sheer magnitude of what I could accomplish in those short minutes prevents me from accomplishing anything at all.

So, I had an idea.

What if I did ONE thing every afternoon that had nothing to do with my lists. Nothing to do with keeping the house going or survival or keeping my personal hygiene to at least a mildly socially acceptable level?

What if I did one thing during his nap that was either just for fun or for the good of someone else?

Maybe the tyranny of the rest of it would seem less chaotic if I started the afternoon differently. Rather than coming straight down to the lists, taking even 10 minutes to do something totally different.

So I'm going to try a week-long experiment. Every afternoon starting tomorrow (except the weekends), when I walk down from his room to a quiet house and a few hours of possibility, I am going to post one challenge. Just one thing that I am going to attempt to engage with that is not on my to-do lists.

If anyone wants to try it with me, consider this your invitation. I'm hoping that changing up my routine in just one small, quantifiable way will open me up to tackling all the things that really do need to get done with just a bit more focus, joy and satisfaction.


  1. I LOVE this idea! I'd totally jump in with you, but the little guy ends up needing to be fed in the middle of "rest time" for the older ones! I'm all for not feeling like you have to be "productive" during nap times. Consider it your late lunch break. :-)

  2. That was one of my mom's best pieces of advice when I was staying home. Try to do one thing that day that's just for you. Paint your nails (yeah, right!), read a book you like for 10 minutes, sit on the porch and enjoy the sun, listen to music, anything. But something for you. It's harder to do in this season that you'd ever think.