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23 Projects I Start and Never Finish During Nap Time

Photograph by Getty Images

For moms of babies and toddlers, the holiest time of the day is nap time. Without naps, we would never get to wash our hair, pay a bill, eat a meal sitting down or respond to a text using both hands.

Unfortunately, naps—while amazing—are often unpredictable. Some days, when I put my 22-month-old down, she follows the Baby 101 Manual and sleeps peacefully for three hours, which is the SAHM version of a spa day. Other times, that kid babbles for 45 minutes, eventually stripping off all her clothes and diaper, which forces me to collect her, because changing crib sheets by yourself is pure torture.

So given their all-too-short and uneven nature, naps are probably not the ideal time to pick up a new hobby or start some sprawling project. But I have tried. Oh, how I’ve tried. My house is littered with evidence of my failed attempts at self-improvement, all begun during nap time and dropped like a hot potato once Sleeping Beauty’s squawks light up the monitor.

RELATED: 10 Chores to Save For Nap Time

Here are 23 projects I have tried and failed to complete during nap time:

1. Make photo albums. Or photo books. Something with all the damn photos.

2. Bust out my label maker and organize the toys into clear containers with pictures on the outside so the kids know precisely where to put everything back, which I'm sure they will do flawlessly, just like on Pinterest.

3. Finally use that slow cooker everyone else is raving about but I can’t seem to remember I own until it’s 15 minutes before dinner time.

4. Test all the markers to see which ones still write. (Hint: almost none of them)

5. Learn how to mosaic, so I can feel better about having accidentally broken so many of our wedding dishes. And the $40 I spent at Michaels on grout and sealer.

6. Do my own nails. All 10 of them.

7. Finish knitting that scarf I started six years ago on pregnancy bed rest. If only I could remember the pattern. Or how to actually knit.

8. Download all my CD’s into iTunes and make playlists so my kids can learn to love proper music from the 80s and 90s instead of Kidz Bop.

9. Marie Kondo my closet and donate everything that does not “spark joy.”

Do yoga. Or meditate. Or anything that will help my mind and body more than Facebook.

10. Write handwritten thank you notes instead of the email kind.

11. Actually track my food consumption on the Weight Watchers app instead of paying every month to do nothing.

12. Make one of those fancy wall charts listing all the steps of the morning routine so we can get out the door in less than two hours.

13. Alphabetize my spice rack. Weirdly, I would need an entire row just for the letter “C.”

14. Try on all my shoes. I know my feet grew during pregnancy, I’m just not sure I can face the reality that now I'll have to purge some favorites.

15. Create a disaster preparedness kit with water, food rations, first aid, cash, etc. in case of the zombie apocalypse or whatever you want to call what is happening in the news.

16. Read a book. LOL.

RELATED: 9 Things I Can't Lie About Now That My Kid Can Read

17. Do that thing people do where they stop all the mail order catalogs from coming and unsubscribe to email lists and generally get things under control.

18. Review four years of children’s artwork and make the hard choices.

19. Cook up a huge vat of homemade chicken stock to store in ice cubes trays like a mom boss. (Because that project’s not at all dangerous to abandon mid-stream, which I inevitably will.)

20. Do yoga. Or meditate. Or anything that will help my mind and body more than Facebook.

21. Fix myself via shaving, plucking, exfoliating and other things I used to do frequently before having children.

22. Go through my contacts and weed out the people I can’t remember meeting and merge all the duplicates and…oh who am I kidding, this sounds like it will give me a huge headache.

23. Learn Spanish. I could watch those free videos. Or take an online class. Or Skype with a live instructor. Let me look online. And... holy crap, that was a fast 45 minutes. Plus she's nude again.

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