Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Free" Time

I love having "free" time. I do not usually do much that is interesting with it, but I like the thought of having it. It is like "bonus" time, time to do whatever I want, eat whatever I want, and talk to whoever I want. That does sound nice, doesn't it? But that's all it is; a thought! When I have that time, what do I chose to do with it? Nothing! Mostly, I lie down; generally, I sleep.

"Sleep when your baby sleeps." I heard those words in what seems a lifetime away. "Sleep when you can." "Catch up on your sleep." I did not need to be told more than once; although at times I did need to be reminded of them. It feels like all I have been doing since early 2009 is sleeping, and yet it seems that I am still not caught up on it.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with Jannah-Rae I have been trying to "get ahead" of sleep. I napped when I could, I slept early, woke up late, lounged and relaxed. I slept in late, napped on the weekends, and went to bed early when I could. I was planning on relaxing even more during my maternity leave, which I decided to take a couple of weeks before JR was due, but alas, she came next day after I started my leave.

So, when Jannah-Rae arrived I was hard hit with not having "banked" more sleep hours. And, like all new moms I tried to be a mom and continue with my "normal" life. So the phrase, "sleep when your baby sleep," had to be etched in my mind for me to heed its words. But when I did, a whole new world opened up; the world of sleep!

Now, more than two and a half years later I still sleep when Jannah-Rae sleeps. Yes! I nap with her every single day. When she used to take two naps, I used to take two naps. Now, she takes one nap, so I nap and then I hang out in the quiet and relax. I do not talk on the phone, I do not run errands. I may cook, clean at times, catch up on email and maybe fold laundry but mostly I try to be still. I may be behind on housework, but this makes me a happier Mama to a rested JR.

I also go to bed at night when she does; on many days if not all. Jeff tucks us both in and we snuggle together before we drift off to la-la land. Yes! She still sleeps in our bed; at least part of the night. Thankfully I have a husband who supports this practice. On other nights I stay up with Jeff, but that is still after I start out resting next to JR and making sure she is asleep.

So, when do I get "free" time? Some days not at all. Some days when I have help in the afternoon or early evening. But when I do get this "free" time, I still find myself wanting to rest. It seems that sleep is something you cannot bank. I wish I knew that when I was little and fought sleep tooth and nail!

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