I feel compelled to throw this question out there because my answer is completely contrary to the advice I have received many times over, which is, ”You should sleep whenever the baby sleeps.”
Now I know that advice is intended for very new parents who are completely sleep deprived, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that I highly doubt any parent, regardless of the age of the child, manages to sleep when their child is asleep.
Instead, I find myself putting my 10-month-old daughter down in her crib, turning on the white-noise machine, quietly tip-toeing out of the room, slowly closing the door and then multi-tasking like I have never multi-tasked before.
Here is an example of a recent Saturday morning:
While I am emptying the dishwasher (a task nearly impossible when she is awake), I turn the shower on, so the water can heat up and I can hop right into to it right after the dishes are loaded. Before I hit the shower, but after the dishwasher is emptied and refilled with dirty dishes, I grab the eco-friendly tub and tile cleaner and a sponge so that I can scrub away while the conditioner is in my hair.
When I get out of the shower, I break down cardboard boxes that a case of diapers came in, one that also served as a playhouse for a few hours. Then as I begin brushing my teeth, I walk into the living room to pick up the Cheerios that are smashed into the rug.
While I continue brushing my teeth, I hold the tooth brush in my mouth with my lips and fold the two blankets that Ellie used to play Peekaboo with. Then I walk back into the bathroom, rinse my mouth out, throw some clothes on and sit down for about 30 seconds.
Ah, a moment of peace.
Then I jump up and remember I have a stack of bills to pay online, and while I am just finishing up the last bill, Ellie lets out a cry telling me it is time to play again.
As I walk into the bedroom to pick her up, I run through the list of all of things I need to do when she takes her afternoon nap.