Prioritize for Productivity
Whether Baby's nap is long or short, you'll get more out of these precious moments if you have a plan.
"When I put Lucy down for a nap, I feel like the gunshot just went off at the beginning of a horse race. It's like, how much can I accomplish in this brief time span of unknown duration?" says Clare, mother of eight-month-old Lucy, from Illinois. "I map out my strategy of what I want to accomplish before I put her down, and then it's off to the races."
Start by doing easy tasks that will set the tone for a productive day, says Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician, mom, and co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn. "Make a list and prioritize. Take a shower, fold clothes, empty the dishwasher, answer emails—small things that will clear the way for the rest of the day."
It can help to prioritize things that help create more time and energy, too. "If you're sleep-deprived, put your own feet up," says Dr. Shu. "If a shower would give you more energy for the rest of the day, take a shower."
And don't beat yourself up if you don't get to everything. Adds Dr. Shu, "What doesn't get done during one nap can be the first thing for next time."