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The 8 Stages of Toddler Naps

A normal day is 24 hours long. A day with a toddler is around 48. So, naptime is essential for all parties involved.

When your baby can't fight it anymore and the magic moment happens, the feelings you feel are so real. As a new parent, here are seven stages of emotion you will move through when your toddler finally goes down for a nap.

It begins with:

1. Freedom: Sing it with me now, George Michael. "Oh, freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom), freedom, YEAH, freedom!" You don't know how long it'll last, but for now you are free. Free to pee all alone, free to eat without sharing, free to watch trash TV, free to cuss without caring.

You do a jig, you jump in the air, you see all the possibilities of what you could do dancing right before your eyes like fireflies.

Then you're suddenly hit with:

2. Reality: There it is on the fridge, staring you in the face: the to-do list you created earlier. You scan this dreaded document, each task more awful than the last. Where do you even begin?

If you mop the floors first, does that leave enough time to pay bills? But if you pay the bills first, will you have enough time to do anything else?

You toil over these questions until your head hurts. Then you realize your headache is actually from hunger. This leads to:

3. Pressure to Prioritize: What's the last thing you ate? When's the last time you peed? When's the last time you took a shower. Your nails look horrendous; your legs need a shaving. The flowers need water, and you're wondering, which ones are worth saving?

These decisions are exhausting and you're feeling overwhelmed. Maybe one episode ofReal Housewives could do the trick to calm you down.

On goes the TV and your fire up the DVR. Soon you're feeling:

4. Resignation: You settle into your show, a bag of Pretzels by your side, and you're feeling really good -- for about the first five minutes. Then, the a familiar "friend" sidles up next to you:

5. Guilt: What are you doing with your life? Is this who you've become? Who's the Real Housewife now?

Remember your New Year's Resolution: Sleep when the baby sleeps? Yeah, no. That was so unrealistic. However, write while the baby rests? That one you can do.

Hence here comes:

6. Productivity... and PANIC: At last, you're getting something done, clicking and tapping away. Nothing could get in your way! Pandora's on, your worries are gone. Plus, toddler-baby's taking a really good nap! Like, a reeeaaally good one. Is this real life?

Wait. Should you be concerned? You should probably go check on him. Just to get a peek. Make sure that he's still breathing ...

7. Relief: Ahhh, there goes his chest -- rising and falling. And there goes your heart, melting into mush. You could stand there and watch him forever. But so much to do, so little time.

You creep back into the living room and put on that game face. You crack your neck and roll back your sleeves. It is time to get to wor-- "WAHHHHH! MAMAAAAA!"

Are you hearing this right? Now you're met with:

8. Disbelief: Is nap-time really over?

It can't be. It couldn't be. It shouldn't be!

You had so much to accomplish. You had such grand intentions. And what do you have to show for it?

Oh, but your sweet boy, he couldn't care less. He is ready for a wake-up kiss. Ready for his afternoon snack. Ready to play, play, play.

You take a deep breath. "Okay," you say, "Tomorrow's a new day!"

You add 50 new items to your to-do list and wonder what in the world you'll do when you have two!

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