Mamas are tired. I see it every week at moms group, every week with ABC Doula clients. (Daddies are tired too, but not usually as tired as mamas.) And that old adage about 'sleep when the baby sleeps"? Doesn't happen. We all say it, but few do it. Here's my theory on why.
When you sleep, there is no little magic elf that comes by and does all your chores (unless you have a postpartum doula!). So often moms are choosing chores over naps, which ends up as a bum trade off.
You see the chores never end. You only master laundry and dishes for a short period of time. Then they are back. And it doesn't take long.
But nighttimes are hard with newborns. Frequent waking, eating, playtime or fussing throws us into utter exhaustion, and getting through the day can be difficult (although somehow we manage to give the baby the best of us and leave very little left over for our partner or ourself).
So here is my solution. Try not to think about resting for the day, skipping chores, or other excuses not to sleep when you can. Rest proactively. Take the nap now, because you don't know what is coming later.
Yes, this might be the night they sleep through the night (but really, fat chance with a newborn before 3 or 4 months). But it also might be the night you have heard other moms talk about where you are up 7 times breastfeeding and soothing a crying baby. Or, like one mama shared today, your baby wakes at midnight and 'hangs out' until 3 am wanting to 'play' with you!
So think in terms of prepping for what is to come. Don't feel like you had to have a 'bad night' before you take your nap. Nap with the plans that tonight might really suck, and you need all the rest you can get to manage how hard it might be. And if it isn't, just be thankful that you got a little bonus of sleep in the sleep deprived world of new motherhood.
And don't worry about the chores. Other people can help you with chores. No one can help you rest.
There you have it. Proactive napping. Now go take one...