Thursday, February 16

ode to the morning nap

I am lucky. Most mornings, I can count on Silas taking a sizeable nap, anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. After my husband leaves for work, we'll often have an hour or so to putter, play, and have breakfast before it's time for him to go back down. I have a strict pajamas-only policy for our mornings--we don't get dressed until after morning nap. And sometimes, when Silas gets up really early (as often happens to toddlers who like to go to bed at 6:30pm), by the time I get up, he's ready to take a nap already.

I love spending time with my son. I do. But I LOVE my quiet morning time while he naps. I have time to sip on coffee, do a little reading (currently this), write in my 5 year journal. Then I head for the cushion, where I spend ten minutes with the steady rhythm of my breath and the spaciousness of my own mind. I reheat my coffee (I dream of one day drinking an entire cup of coffee, hot from start to last drop) and write in my trusty Moleskine journal. (Excellent posts on journaling here, here, and here.) After my mind and heart are fed and set in order for the day, I'll get dressed, and make the bed. I believe firmly that, as Maezen says, "the state of your bed is the state of your head". I'm pretty obsessed with making the bed. Even when it's time to wash the sheets I'll lay the stripped duvet neatly across the bare mattress. But I digress.

Of course there is so much that I could get done during that time: measurable, quantifiable things like dishes done, laundry folded, muffins baked. But I gleefully ignore all of that during the blissful hour of the morning nap. Because I have found that no amount of cleaning or sorting or prep work will create a smoother, happier, more harmonious flow to the day than if I take care of these soul needs first thing. Moving slowly, luxuriating in the expanse of quiet, spending time checking in with my mind and heart allow me to greet my little man with a wide smile and open arms when he starts to chirp and chatter in his crib. Just as my now busy toddler will happily wander away from me and play once I have given him the attention he needs and craves, so, too, I can meet him fully when I have met my own needs first. (And I would say that I probably have need for more quiet alone time than most people do. Which can make being a mama tricky business.)

I feel very, very fortunate that our lives right now conspire to give me this time most days. I cherish it. It doesn't happen like this everyday, and one day I know our morning nap will vanish, and on that day there will be bitter tears, and I will need to work at easing into a new phase of life. But for now, these are the days of the morning naps. And how I do love them.

What is your favorite time of day? How do you choose to spend your naptime downtime? Do share in the comments!


  1. What a beautiful way to begin the day! I can't think of a more perfect way to enjoy those quiet moments. My own little Silas is also a reliable nap taker, but I must admit I usually nap right along with him. On the rare occasion that I sneak away while he still snoozes I do many of the same things that you do and for the same reasons.

  2. Ah, morning nap! My 5 1/2-month-old son usually takes a 30-40 minute morning nap...sometimes, if he didn't have a great night, he'll take a seriously long nap (2-3 hours). When he takes one of those long ones, I almost don't know what to do with myself. (Oh, the time I wasted before I had a child!!) When he goes down, I often scramble to get things done like laundry and starting dinner for much later in the day. But I also read or work on my novel sometimes. I like your idea of saving that morning nap for yourself. I think I'm going to steal it. :-)


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