New motherhood is perhaps one of the few times when napping is considered more than just a luxury. Seasoned parents, in-laws, even pediatricians give the new mother such explicit instructions to nap, it is labeled as almost as much of a necessity as clipping baby fingernails and administering baby vitamins. Then, suddenly, it seems, the baby is no longer a baby, and the parental nap returns to its luxury status. The problem is, when a person's life schedule involves working at night, the nap is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity. And there's no seasoned parent or pediatrician there to provide the instruction manual. It is suddenly up to you to carve out the nap time, to give the nap back its "not just a luxury, but a necessity" status. It's up to you alone to add it to the rule book. And adding to the rule book is hard.
The reality, however, is that the rule book changes in some way almost every day of our lives, in ways far more significant than the status of naps. And most of the time, we won't have someone holding our hand through the rule changes. We just have to manage them ourselves, so that we can manage the changes in life for ourselves. Some days, I feel as though I am still learning the rule book, and figuring out how I can change it to suit the "here and now," rather than the "what used to be." But sometimes, we need to carve out what is necessary and make the
world, or at least our own small part of the it, follow our new set of
Even in a post-infant world, it's important to stick up for what we need, even if it's not in the rule book. I guess that's just what you have to do sometimes when you're not washed up yet...