A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...
I close the door behind me and tiptoe down the carpeted stairs, my ears listening for my daughter’s efforts to delay sleep. Today there are no cries for a sip of water or another kiss. Once my bare feet hit the wooden landing at the bottom of the stairs, I exhale. The silence of our empty house greets me.
After stumbling over scattered toys in the living room, I open the french doors to my office and step in. The room is tiny, and my dark wooden desk is small and cluttered, but the sun shines through the windows, filling the space with light.
I sink into the chair and glance at the baby monitor to see the outline of my daughter under her pink princess blanket, asleep. My fingertips tingle with anticipation.
My computer chimes when I open it and the blank document on the screen invites me to begin.
For the next two hours, the only sound in the house is my fingers tapping rapidly on the keyboard.
My daughter’s naptime is the only time I write.
Sometimes I try at night, but the evening hours become consumed with making dinner, picking up toys, talking to my husband or calling friends. By the time I sit down at my computer under the harsh light of my reading lamp, I don’t have the energy to write.
During naptime, the house is quiet as my daughter falls into her deep slumber, dreaming of princesses and ponies. My mind is calm; I am not preoccupied with when I must pick her up from school or leave for dance class. During those hours, I give myself permission to ignore the mess in the playroom and piles of laundry, and focus on the words itching to get out.
My daughter is almost three; this means naptime is coming to an end, soon. It is happening already; I am writing less as her naps become shorter each week.
Part of me can’t wait to have her for those extra hours of the day, but I wonder how I will carve out the time to write when her nap ends. Will I ever have this again: several hours of uninterrupted quiet in the house, while my daughter rests in a deep sleep upstairs?
After a decade-long break, I returned to writing in the months after my daughter’s birth. Every essay and blog post was an outlet for me to express the emotions of motherhood: joy, frustration, deep love, loneliness and overwhelm. Three years later, I still crave that outlet daily, sometimes hourly, and naptime has always offered me uninterrupted time to write.
When the day comes that naps are no longer part of my daughter’s routine, I will have to shift my own schedule. I contemplate early mornings in my office or stealing an hour while my daughter is at a playdate. Somehow, I know she will give me the time I need to write, just as she has for the last three years.
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