When I was pregnant, a dear friend of mine was in the trenches of new motherhood — elbow deep in dirty diapers and foggy with sleep deprivation.
I remember going to her house one afternoon to find her in tears. Her daughter’s refusal to nap was causing her some serious anguish.
“Why won’t she nap!? I’ve done everything. Everything!”
I felt bad for her, I really did. But I was a little confused. The baby seemed completely content. She wasn’t crying, or even fussing, and I just couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. So she doesn’t want to nap. Why does she have to?
Now I’m a year into this mothering gig, and I get it.
Because now I know that if my son doesn’t nap, the very small amount of “me time” (if you call using the washroom uninterrupted ‘me time’) that I have in the day will be gone. I know that my baby’s mood (and mine) will quickly deteriorate as the day progresses. That bedtime will be pushed up and he will wake more often throughout the evening and night. I know that
a good nap can make the difference between a good day and a bad one.
I didn’t get it then, but I get it now.
When you haven’t slept more than three hours in a row for months, you have stretch marks in places you didn’t know you could get them and, let’s face it, you pee your pants a little when you laugh, there is no one who understands your plight quite like another mom.
Mamas desperately need support from other moms. Because you can explain to your childless friends that motherhood is challenging and exhausting, butthere’s no way to communicate what it’s actually like. Most people just can’t relate to the identity crisis that comes with new motherhood.
The only people that do? Other moms.
Mom friends just understand things that other people don’t. Like the importance of getting out of the house, or the excitement of finally finding a pair of jeans that fit, or why you haven’t showered in three days.
Or why it’s such a big deal that your baby won’t just NAP already.