The Guilt of Napping

The other day I dropped my kid off at a birthday party and another mom asked what I had planned for the duration of the 2-hour party without my child. I said, “I am going to take a nap.” We both laughed.

When I got into my car I realized how ridiculously judgmental I was being on myself for saying that. I immediately began rehearsing the conversation over in my head. How lazy did I sound? Did I really say I was going to nap on a Sunday at noon? What did the other moms think about me saying that? The critical self-talk wouldn’t stop.

As soon as I got home, since my husband was also home, I ran upstairs to my room and I did exactly what I said I would do; I napped.

I got in about a solid hour before I had to wake up, nurse my son, and go pick my daughter back up from the party.

As I reflect back on this example, I ask myself, why am I ashamed of taking a nap?

This isn’t the first time that I have felt like this when I tell my other mom friends that I needed to nap, that I did nap, or that I wish I could nap every day. The other moms get it- so why am I so ashamed of napping?! While this doesn’t happen every time I take a nap, I have noticed the feelings do come up sometimes, even when I share my nap wishes with my husband.

As a mom of three, I can’t remember the last time I have slept a solid 8 hours uninterrupted by middle of the night feedings, or a foot in my face by a toddler who can’t seem to sleep the same direction as me. Life as a mom is not easy. We are expected to not sleep and then function on overdrive all day. Then when we get burnt out and lose our cool, we are looked at as “too stressed out” or diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. No wonder! Sleep is important, but yet most of us seem to put very little boundaries and priorities on our sleep. Other cultures take siestas (rest time) in the middle of the day and that’s normal, but I feel that there is this lazy mentality surrounding naps in the U.S. – or is this just me?

I can’t say that I am helping the situation because clearly I am still judging myself for napping. I suppose I need to do some healing work around that so I can take a nap unapologetically, every time I need one. After I do nap, I usually feel renewed, re-energized, and able to be more patient and focused with my children- so why should I feel guilty about this?

What are your thoughts on naps? If you ever get the opportunity to take them, do you take them without feeling guilty?

Regina lived most of her adult life in California while pursuing her dream of being a working actress. When life blessed her with being a mother, her and her husband, Will, decided it was time to return to the Midwest, where both of them grew up. Regina returned to her home state of Wisconsin and has since added a second daughter, and a son, to her family. She is extremely passionate about living a balanced lifestyle, which includes nutritious eating, meditation, fitness, and wine. A recovering perfectionist, Regina now focuses on progress over perfection and is working on being more compassionate to herself, and vows to have self-care be a part of her daily life. She also loves to read, listen to music & podcasts, and experiment with baking. Regina lives in Verona with her husband and three children. You can follow her further on her journey at (@moveyourroots on Instagram).


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