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I want a nap for Mother’s Day

Just let me sleep

Not a short nap, one that is interrupted as soon as I hit REM. Not the kind where I fall asleep and then someone comes and stands next to my bed asking for a drink then five minutes later cries to me that their brother stole their drink and then ten minutes later wakes me up from the other room with high pitched giggles and the sound of running water and then 8 minutes later climbs into my bed moaning that they need a dry shirt and lays on me for 30 seconds before I realize that they are soaking wet and now, so am I. Nap over.

Not that kind of nap.

I want the kind of nap that happened so frequently in my twenties. Where I would look at the clock and realize I had nothing to do for another four hours and slip off my shoes and slide into my covers. Those naps were so under-appreciated. I flagrantly seized them with no thought of all those poor tired people, the legitimately exhausted out there, who desperately needed a nap more than I did.

That was when I imagined that motherhood was full of picking flowers and singing songs. I didn’t know yet that such tiny humans could reach out and take hold of a proverbial string connected to my deepest marrow with their adorable pudgy little fingers and pull and pull the energy right out of me. I didn’t yet know what the relentless weariness that is motherhood felt like. It is not just physical. It is mental, emotional and spiritual depletion.

I don’t actually want to be in my twenties again, where naps were free. Right now I am sitting on my back porch, eating a package of sandwich meat with my one and two-year-old for lunch. They are spinning on the grass until they fall over and two-year-old Teddy yells, “Mama, I’m so bizzy!” Their little faces shine up at me everyday, reminding me how beautiful life can be. They also drool and drip snot and yell and poop and scream and refuse to sleep during the time that God himself appointed for sleeping.

I would never trade them for the freedom I disregarded a decade ago. I yearned for them, prayed for them and am consumed by their giant souls. I spend every moment experiencing simultaneous joy and horror, whimsy and disaster – and I’m just kind of tired.

By kind of tired, I mean sinking into the floor, taping my eyelids open tired.
I want a nap while the sun shines in through the window and the birds chirpily sing me a lullaby. With a hundred pillows all to myself, softly wrapping around me, caressing my heavy limbs and pushing back against my tired muscles. I want lavender scented candles burning. I want to feel clean, crisp sheets wrap me up, winding and moving with me whispering, “Just let go Betsy…”

Now, I see how that could be read differently than I intended, and I’m not sorry about it.

I just need a recharge. A moment, read—a solid afternoon—to love my kids from afar. I need the distance to help my heart grow fonder.

So, in another week, when my wonderful partner asks me how I would most like to celebrate Mother’s Day, I will tell him that I would love to enjoy my day at the Marriott. Alone. Lovingly dreaming of my beautiful family as I doze off into unbridled, effortless sleep.

Written by Betsy Ryan

Betsy Ryan

Betsy Ryan resides in Watford City and is a recent transplant to Western North Dakota. She is learning to navigate her new landscape along with her husband and their two boys. Betsy writes for the McKenzie County Farmer and also shares her experiences in North Dakota on her blog,

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