THE BLOG
10/21/2014 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Different Kind of Power Nap

My friend posted this picture on Facebook and I am totally jealous of it.

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Ten minutes. That's about the total amount I remember my two older girls (who were two and a half years apart) sleeping during nap time at the same time. Sure, they would sleep in the afternoons, kind of... in reality, I hardly remember them sleeping at night or during the day, but both of them napping at the same time in the afternoon was an incredibly rare occasion. They were allergic to sleep.

Now that they are older, it's not so much of an issue. Our youngest, who is 2 ½ now, goes down for good two-hour naps.

When I am home with the girls, those two-hour stretches when the baby is sleeping are like my golden minutes to be used extremely wisely. It's the period when I can usually work uninterrupted, help the older kids or just sit. I guess we could call it the "sanity hour." The baby sleeps and wakes up happy and the rest of the family recharges for the next round in the game called life.

When I think back to what it was like when I had a toddler and a newborn, the memories are a little hazy. That period was a combination of happiness and overwhelm. A toddler and a newborn are like a red-eye flight that is going to take about four years until the pilot finally alerts you to the fact that you have reached your destination. It's not all bad -- your flight companions give you lots of snuggles and joy along the way, and you kind of sleep a little -- but when you finally land and de-plane from the toddler years, life settles out a bit.

Our youngest is not so much a red-eye, but she's definitely a cross-country journey and the gas station of parenthood happens when she sleeps.

A friend of mine recently had her second child. Her oldest is 3. I have been enjoying seeing her posts on social media about the transition from one to two children and what it's been like for her, because I've so been there.

She had a moment the other day when both her kids were asleep at the same time. She had gotten her older daughter down to sleep and decided to film what happened during that very special moment when both kids were out. It was about 30 minutes, and this is how she used her "power nap."

How do you use those golden minutes when your kids sleep in the afternoon? Do you try to get things done or simply find a few moments to sit and catch your breath?

A version of this post originally appeared on Our Urban Playground

Photo by Laura Jane Millan

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