Imagine a sleep deprived mother who has just managed to put an upset baby to sleep. A moment later, her husband comes home, bringing some rowdy friends. The careful soothing was for all-for-not, the baby is woken up.
I can’t say if I’ve done this before. But certainly every new parent, father or mother, has experienced the frustration of someone waking their baby too early. Sometimes you may accidentally wake the baby yourself. It is a guilty feeling, soon followed by regret and self-loathing.
Before having my own kids it would never register with me to be aware of other people’s kids that are sleeping. Empathy works in strange ways. I personally have a hard time relating to someone else’s situation until I’ve experienced the same thing myself. Only after waking them up several times myself did I learn my lesson – once bitten, twice shy.
Now when my kids are sleeping during the day, I am ninja quiet. I want them to get some good rest, meaning 1½ to 3 hours of sleep. But more importantly, this time is reserved for parents to maintain their sanity. What you choose to do during this time is up to you. Some suggestions include:
- Sleep (for yourself)
- Work (if you work at home)
- Adult Conversation
- Any other activity that you’d like to participate in without childus interruptus
I know by simply writing about this, empathy is not guaranteed, but it can at least serve as a “what to expect” for expecting mothers and fathers.