It's one chunk of the day when you can generally expect to be able to plug away without interruption (at least not from your child). Whether your kid sleeps for one hour or three, use this time to finish assignments that require your complete focus and concentration, says Erin O'Donnell, a mom of two and freelance writer and editor in Milwaukee, who often schedules work-related phone calls during her 20-month-old Jonas's naps. If for some reason he isn't tired, they have quiet time instead: O'Donnell puts him in his crib with books and closes the door. "I can usually get in 20 minutes of work before he grows restless," she says. If Jonas wakes up while she's on a work call and begins crying, O'Donnell has trained herself to resist hanging up and rushing right in to check on him. "It hurts a little bit to listen to him," she says. "But it won't kill me -- or him." Plus, she believes it's important for him to learn how to soothe himself.


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