6 Ways To Pass The Time In Your Car If Your Kid Can't Nap Anywhere Else
To my fellow mamas who are driving around aimlessly because their kids are car-napping, I see you. I see you looking endlessly frustrated because your kid just won't nap at home.
I see you eating your kid's snacks from out of the bottom of the diaper bag because you're freakin' hungry. I see you taking a ride through the Starbucks drive-through for the third time today because you don't want to wake your sleeping child up.
I can almost feel your bladder bursting as you contemplate how much longer you can hold it in, and whether or not it's worth risking a calm afternoon with a rested kid later on, just so you can relieve yourself now. You're also considering buying adult diapers. (Hey, whatever floats your boat.)
I can feel your agony of defeat as you remind yourself that your kid has won, yet again. You have succumbed to the power of a running engine for your child to just take a freakin' nap. I know the boredom you feel as you wonder how your life has come down to your child dominating all aspects of it.
I love being a mom. I love my daughter so deeply, I can't put it into words. I love my time spent with her, and the way she hugs me in the middle of her playtime as a way to thank me for giving all my time to her. But in the interest of keeping things real, I feel compelled to be completely honest here.
When it comes to nap time (and well, everything else) my 1-year-old daughter owns my ass. I easily made the transition to my new role as a mama. Because of my hard work and strategizing, my daughter sleeps like a champ (13 hours on average). She's independent, happy and incredibly social. She's everything I'd hoped for in a child. The only thing is, she's made it her mission to avoid napping in the same way I avoid pushing her to nap.
I'm a busy working mom. On any given day, I am writing for three to four publications, and it's very important to me. So, excuse me while I use that excuse to avoid having to commit a few weeks' time to nap-training my kid.
Call it lazy. Call it whatever you want. I don't care. This car nap thing has been working for me because I've decided to utilize these two hours of quiet time to the best of my ability.
Here is my list of ways to keep your sanity as you engage in the thing so many moms are doing but not talking about: turning your car into an all out snooze-fest for your kid.
1. Stock snacks.
I am not too proud to announce that if you open the center console of my brand new jeep, you'll find an opened bag of popcorn, an empty box of crackers and a few loose Cheerios. Sit in your car for hours on end each day and tell me if you too don't need some f*cking carbs.
2. Establish allies.
You have friends doing the exact same thing you're doing. Start talking to your friends about their kids' nap routines, and you'll likely hear the same story.
Identify who these people are. Let them know how much less guilty you feel now that you know they're in this war with you.
3. Group Text
Use the list you've now compiled and start entertaining yourself and your exhausted mommy friends. This process is much more entertaining when you hear about what your mom squad is doing to pass the time (or what your friends do when they too are about to have a bladder emergency).
It also serves as a great place to vent about the baby daddies who have no clue what it takes to be a mother.
If you're a working mom like me, you know how painful it feels to lose a few hours of productive work time to the dreaded car-nap. Lately, I've been parking my butt outside Starbucks to take advantage of the free WiFi. I work my ass off during that time.
Frankly, some of my best pieces have been written from the front seat of my car. Whenever I complete another project or blog post from my vehicle, I feel strangely accomplished. It's as if I can do anything because I've completed some work during my child's nap.
Stalking is one of my favorite hobbies. I mean this in a technologically-appropriate way.
There is nothing more gratifying than having the time to fall down the rabbit hole of Instagram, where you end up on your ex best friend's boyfriend's cousin's account and start wondering where you can buy her cute boots.
Take the time to engage in all acts of social media stalking now, and you'll have less of a need to scroll the feeds once your kid is actually awake and needs your attention.
One of my most treasured hobbies has really taken a backseat to motherhood. I often wonder which woman actually has the time or energy to read a book (or anything else) once she's brought children into the world.
So, while your kid is happily snoozing up a storm in your backseat, recline your chair, put on some good beats and catch up on your favorite tabloids, fashion magazines, novels or blogs. You'll feel much better after engaging your brain with some much-needed entertainment time. Just please leave the wine at home.
The theme here is to find the tools and tricks to survive the next few years of car naps. Because if you're anything like me, you're not about to rock the car-nap boat. You're not going to fix what isn't broken (if you catch my drift). Oh, and don't forget to use the restroom before you buckle up.