Nappers in the house: dropping like flies, but the lupus nap lives on

My lovely baby Bernadette turned three yesterday. Boy, did those years fly by!

In anticipation of her third birthday, sweet little Bernie has been toying with the idea of giving up her afternoon nap. Over the past few weeks, she's eased out of sleeping, and instead, sits quietly in her bed, reading books, singing, and telling stories to her stuffed animals. Not a bad alternative, really.

I've continued to put her down around the two to three o'clock hour, mostly because she's still willing, but also because she and I both need a little down time. She can go about 45 minutes without calling out or asking to get up. And every once in awhile, she'll fall asleep, but I've stopped hoping and have started accepting. She seems to still enjoy having a scheduled "nap" time each day, and I certainly benefit from it - particularly because it coincides with my nap time. 

Of course, now that the official nappers in the family are down to a count of two (Darwin and I are still holding steady), we've revamped our schedule a bit. We've been able to adjust our babysitter's schedule to accommodate the new routine for the most part, or when needed, Johnny pitches in. So far, I've been able to still get my rest, despite the fact that Bernie no longer feels she needs hers.

But as we make this transition, it somehow becomes a little more obvious to me that napping in the middle of the day really isn't a standard thing. I know, I know - the majority of adults have never needed mid-day naps. But when everyone in my household was napping except Johnny, it seemed a little more mainstream. Last year, Deirdre dropped off the napping wagon, and now Bernie's slowly moving in that direction. Which leaves me and Dar, now in the minority.

The fact that the girls have outgrown their naps has given me pause. They now have the ability to go through the day without a nap...and, well...I don't. This doesn't discouraged me from taking my nap, and it certainly doesn't make me feel less capable or inferior in any way. But it does serve as a reminder. Napping mid-day isn't a requirement for most people. And hiring a babysitter so mom can sleep doesn't come into play in a lot of households. But it does in ours. And that's what's important.

Managing this lupus thing undoubtedly requires energy. It takes planning and self-awareness, along with a little discipline. I'm thankful that I have the ability to manage it the way I do, but I'm also proud that I've learned to embrace the effort it demands. Years ago, I would have gauged my sleep requirements by what "most" people needed, rather than what I needed. I would have taken cues from my kids or others as to what "normal" people do every afternoon, rather than what I do every afternoon. Today, I welcome the opportunity to explain to people why I take a nap everyday. I know why I nap, and I'm confident in the reasons I need one.

So my sweet, sweet Bernie - sing all the songs you like. Momma's still going to get her ZZZ's.


Eileen said…
You could emigrate - to southern Italy or Spain ;-) and then you'd be normal!!

A couple of years ago we spent 3 weeks with a colleague and his family right down in Apulia, almost falling off the Italian boot. We live in the mountains in the north so the culture change to lunch at 2.30 followed by a "siesta" before he returned to work in his medical practice until about 7pm was a big one!
I think I'd rather have lunch just a bit earlier - and dinner at 9.30pm was NOT my thing, but the "little zizz" was something I could get used to eventually with a bit of practice! I have polymyalgia rheumatica and several people with it that I know DO lie down in the afternoon. I have never felt I needed it - I'm in bed at 10pm and sleep until 7am and that does me fine. Resting doesn't help the fatigue I had (mercifully it's gone now) but the quiet time in the afternoon gets used for reading if I haven't got any translating. Certainly doesn't get filled by housework!
Nikki said…
I totally understand. I'm 32 with systemic lupus and I nap midday. I am thankful that my job as a real estate agent allows me to schedule my day accordingly, but it's hard emotionally knowing it's not the norm.
p.s. love your blog! and your pill cases! :)


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