Nap Time. Finally a little bit of time for yourself, to get a few things done. Or not. I can’t be the only one who sometimes gets to the end of nap time to feel like I didn’t get anything productive done right? Or how about those naps that we are hoping are going to be an hour that turn into catnaps that only last 20 minutes.

Well first of all I’m here to tell you that if all you do is sit and rest for a bit during nap time that definitely counts as being productive so if that’s what you need, then take advantage! But if you’re feeling like your to-do list is getting so long you don’t even know how to tackle it during the intermittent chunks of time you have throughout the day, take a look at this list for some manageable things to get done during a nap- even if it’s a catnap!

You’ll notice that I tried to choose tasks that wouldn’t take too long and my advice would be to try and get to one thing at a time during each nap. It can be so hard to feel like you have this huge to-do list and that there just isn’t enough time to do it all.

But guess what…you don’t have to! Just pick one thing- the thing that seems the most important or the thing that feels the least overwhelming and go from there. You don’t have to get to everything in one day or at one time. By doing small things throughout the day you can accomplish several tasks while also leaving yourself time to rest or do something for yourself.

1. Rest

I said it already but I think it bears repeating. Rest is productive. An overtired mom isn’t good for anyone so like the saying goes…rest when the baby rests. I know that’s easier said than done and can’t be true all of the time, but finding time to rest is important! That might be a nap on the couch or maybe it’s just sitting and relaxing for a little bit, or scrolling instagram- whatever you need to help you feel a bit more refreshed when that precious little one wakes up again.

2. Shower

This is my personal preference for how to utilize the first nap of the day and it always helps me feel much more put together, ready to tackle the rest of the day and a bit more energized if we’ve had a night with less sleep.

3. Laundry

Now hear me out- I do not mean getting it washed, dried and folded all during one nap. If you’re able to do this you must have a champion sleeper and should share all of your tips with us. But what I do mean is tackle one part of the laundry. So maybe during one nap you throw things in the wash, during another you may transfer to the drier and then finally during another nap you might get to fold it.

4. Load/unload the dishwasher

You could use naptime to either put dirty dishes into the dishwasher and turn it on or you could use it to unload a dishwasher that’s been run. This task isn’t super time consuming (still leaving you time for rest) but we all feel better with a clean sink and dishes put away right?

5. Wipe kitchen counters

This is a quick task that can be done during even the briefest of naps but will make your kitchen space feel so much better!

6. Exercise

This can be great for relieving stress! Do a short yoga video on youtube or walk on a treadmill if you have one, even doing some simple stretches can get those endorphins flowing.  Looking for exercise ideas? Check out Christine Sperdute’s article on exercise ideas for new moms!

7. Meal prep

We all know getting dinner ready with a little one can be a challenge. If there is any part of your dinner that can be made ahead of time go ahead and knock it out during nap time. Cut the veggies or make the casserole to cook later etc.

8. One miscellaneous household chore

Pick one bathroom to wipe down, one floor to swiffer, one room to dust. Please notice I said ONE. You don’t have to be superwoman but you can tick off one at a time. If you get on a roll and want to keep going, great! But just do what feels manageable to you.

9. Groceries

Put your order in for grocery pickup or delivery. The best invention for moms everywhere! You can use naptime to look through what you have, plan out meals for the week and get your groceries ordered to be picked up later when the baby is awake or have them delivered!

10. A hobby

Every free minute when the baby is sleeping does not have to be taken up with household chores or other work items. It’s also a time for you. So use it to do something you enjoy!

So just remember, try to keep it simple and small, find time to rest and do one thing at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. And most importantly mama, remember that you are doing a great job! 

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