Why We Skip Naptime for Parade Time

I like naps. Like, a LOT. For me, for the kids, whoever. I totally squandered my nap time in kindergarten and I regret it to this day. I live for their weekend naps: I’m super productive … or I’m napping too. 

But you know what I love more than naps? Mardi Gras Parades.

We make it to every Uptown parade, thanks to a few kind friends with open house policies and VERY gracious family members who live on the route and host us. If we didn’t have these two things, I’m sure I’d be singing a different tune. 

I do not live and die by a schedule, nor am I particularly organized and strict about my children’s schedule. Call me selfish, but if I have to miss out on life because my kid HAS to have his nap at 1:30? That makes for a miserable me. Women are always encouraging each other to find what makes them a better mom and do it. Being with my village helps me be a better mom, so I’m going to make that happen, even if it means our schedules are off kilter.

For two weeks, I let my kids party like it’s 1999, skip naps, rely on 20-minute car naps, pass out in a wagon, sleep in a carrier, AND stay up hours past their bedtime. Really, it’s a total of six days. When you break it down like that, I don’t seem so horrible, right? 

I know, I know. They need their sleep. They’re growing little beings that require X amount of hours per day and they’ll turn into gremlins if they don’t get it. Maybe they will. If they do, I’ll deal with the consequences of my choices.

I know my kids can go without naps just as other moms know their kids can NOT go without. Two of the three cannot miss out on anything. They will stay up longer than I ever imagined in order to be social. Number three asks to go to bed, but she will crash when she’s had enough and leave the other two to their own party animal devices. I probably expect my kids to be more flexible than many. So far, ergo napthey’ve impressed me with being more flexible than a very emotional preschooler and twin toddlers would reasonably be expected to be. High five, kids. I owe you. Actually, let’s call it even for some of the unreasonable things you expect of me.

It’s not about the stuff that gets thrown. It’s the music, the social experiences, the life lessons, and the time with people we love. It really is the second most wonderful time of the year. For many here, it’s arguably the first, beating out Christmas.

You know how they say Christmas is fun as a kid, and then it becomes fun again when you’re a parent? In our house, Mardi Gras is fun from birth on up. It’s about letting loose, being with family and friends, and celebrating this crazy place we live. Six days a year of skipping naps is totally worth that, and it always will be.

Lindsay is a native New Orleanian, displaced only by her years at Mississippi State, where she earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries and a minor in English. She came home shortly after Katrina, to work as a zookeeper and be a part of the rebuilding of her beloved city. She dragged her husband Drake, a Tennessee native, along with her. Their son Bennett joined the family in 2010, and in 2014 they welcomed identical twin girls, Genevieve and Kellen Clair. She now works full-time as an Environmental Scientist while working on her Master's and serving part-time as NOM’s resident Jill of All Trades. Powered by espresso, cake, and craft beer, her happy place is on a beach or in the woods. Need to identify a plant, tree, or animal? Lindsay’s a wealth of random knowledge. She loves to cook and sprinkle a little glitter on everything.


  1. My girls are 8 and 10, but when they were little, I used to bring our playpen. We covered it up so the beads wouldn’t hit them if they wanted to take a nap. We still bring our red wagon and put blankets on it if one of them wants to take a nap. and also use it to bring haul the catch of the day.

  2. Oh my gosh, yes! We live in Texas now and come home for Mardi Gras every year. My twins have been since they were months old, and my 8 year old has been 6 of her 8 years. We don’t miss it.


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