What if we saw children sleeping on us as a positive? What if we viewed the babies who refuse to go down to nap as a sign that we need to slow down?
What if we changed our perception of contact naps, and instead viewed them as an opportunity to relax?
Say, for example, that my baby has just fallen asleep on me. I spend a few minutes browsing Facebook, and then my mind wanders…toward the dishes piling up in the sink. The laundry stacked up in the bathroom. The dust that has settled on the TV. I start to feel guilty. I start thinking about work that could be done, or food that needs to be cooked. I try to put my baby down, but no way: He is having none of it.
But what if this is how it is supposed to be? Yes, we know that evolution has designed babies to want to be close to their mothers. But what if that is also meant to ensure that the mother has time to rest, too? This need to be close has developed for both our benefits. To let us sit back for just a moment and forget about everything else going on in life. To take in the beauty of our children, and rest.
Rest our minds, and rest our bodies.
Childbirth has put our bodies under some serious stress, and there are always a million things to get done before the day is over. But perhaps our babies and children needing us to be still with them is nature’s way of telling us to slow down for just a moment.
Take the opportunity.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #61.
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