I salute Joe Nichols for normalizing the dad nap, because I’m so damn tired.
Nichols appeared on the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast last week. And when asked about his pre-show routine, Joe leaned hard into his status as both country star and tired dad.
“… I found that sleep can kind of act as a good calmer, whereas booze used to do that… whiskey used to do that for me quite a lot. Ya’know, kinda calm my anxiety. I sleep, I nap until really close to showtime so I’m kinda in that little bit of a calm fog before I go on stage.”
Country star and dude with great hair, Joe Nichols, at 45 years young, takes naps before his shows.
And he just gave me permission to take my weekend afternoon siestas guilt-free. I could use a little of that “calm fog” while I drag my kids through bath time.
At a certain age, booze just doesn’t give you the jolt of pleasure and invincibility that used to rally you to hit the bars no earlier than 11pm. For dads like Joe and me, that happy hour shot-and-a-beer slows us down. There’s a more natural, healthier remedy for exhaustion that works whether you’re on tour playing sold-out shows or you’re on duty playing endless Legos: the ancient practice of sleeping when you get tired.
Or as dads everywhere like to call it, “Resting my eyes.”
Joe Nichols, father of two, performer of “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and Dad Nap Influencer, rests his eyes backstage before shows. And he’s an inspiration to all dads like me who worry that we’re being “lazy” when all we’re looking for is some well-deserved rest after we mow our lawns and chase our kids and crush a few garage beers as a reward for our sacrifice and service to our families.
Last Sunday, I backed my minivan into my garage and unloaded the baseballs and bats from my son’s tee-ball game. I wiped the sweat from my brow while I washed the car and downed a couple cold ones for hydration. After lunch, while my young kids napped in their room, my wife turned to me and said, “You look tired… are you gonna take a nap?”
I looked at her with bloodshot eyes, and I quoted my Dad Nap Hero, Joe Nichols.
“Yeah… yeah. Girl, how could I say no?”
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