If you follow the blog, then you know that I’ve confessed before that I drive my daughter around town every day to get her to nap. Yep, every day. This is one of my biggest judgement free parenting points – I realize that this doesn’t work for so many parents; I’ve been told before that I’m ridiculous, that I coddle my daughter too much, that I let her call the shots. I get that I have the “luxury” of being around in the afternoon on weekdays to even have the option of driving her around for a nap. But despite recognizing that, my daughter still very much needs a daily nap to function well, and knowing that it’s developmentally appropriate for toddlers her age to still nap every day, I’ve come to realize one of the biggest reasons that I continue to hop into my car every day for nap time is because I need the break in the day as much as she does.
I can count on one hand the number of times my daughter napped in her crib. She went through a short phase when she was taking two half-hour naps a day that she actually let me put her down. Still, I never experienced the put-a-load-in-the-wash-unload-the-dishwasher-grab-nap-yourself nap time…because when your child naps only a half hour at a time, and you need to make a decision between a shower and the dishes to accomplish in your tiny window of time…well, my family probably was grateful I chose showers over dishes. Still, that period was short-lived and I often simply nursed my daughter to sleep and then held her for the remainder of her nap. Now that she no longer nurses to sleep and doesn’t want to be cuddled and rocked at nap time, a car ride does the trick to lull her to sleep.
So yes, I need this break in the day as much as she does. I’m home with her every day; and if I didn’t have nap time, I’d have no break from my little coworker throughout the day. Those of you who work outside of the home know how nice it is to be able to shut an office door/take a lunch break/fake a conference call (am I the only one who’s done that?) to avoid an annoying coworker situation. Well, my daughter can sometimes be that co-irker you need to escape.
One other thing I hear all the time from parents who don’t understand is, you’ll burn out from driving her around every day. Is it the most convenient thing in the world? Definitely not. But you know what will have me burnt out even faster? Not getting any sort of break during the day and having to endure a toddler who doesn’t nap that needs one. When I weigh the alternatives, this imperfect option is right for us.