Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deadlines, Schedules & Babies...Oh My!

I’m a planner. I relish planning to the extent that when I think about getting to make lists my mouth waters. (I KNOW! So weird, right?!) For example, I’m planning Ella’s first birthday, which is in SEPTEMBER.

Planning inevitably leads to having a schedule and if I’m on schedule then all is right with the world. My schedule though can, more often than not, be arbitrary and may not always be communicated to the others in my life. This leads to problems. There have been on occasion (once or twice or 14 million…) where I have blown up, seemingly out of nowhere, because we did not adhere to the “in my head” timeline.

When you said we you needed to drop off the dry cleaning I took that to mean we’d have to eat lunch first and then drop off the dry cleaning because I ate breakfast at 9:15 and you know I can’t go more than 2 hours without food and if we eat lunch then that means we have to leave the house by 10:30 or else we can’t drive to Corelli’s (b/c that is where I planned on going IN MY MIND) and be done by Noon in order to get to the dry cleaners. AND it is very clearly 10:45 and we are OFF THE FREAKIN’ SCHEDULE!

Those conversations never goes well.

So now, enter Baby. She also likes schedules (thank you, Jesus!). She enjoys sleep (again, thank you, Jesus!). But there isn’t enough time in the evening to get everything we need to get done for ourselves (for instance, pick up a few quick groceries, go workout, pick up prescriptions etc.) and feed her, bathe her and put her to bed before she blows up like a little firecracker out of sheer exhaustion.

What happens when we fail as parents!

The hubs feels that her going to bed later is not a big deal. I feel tremendous guilt – she’s not getting enough sleep, her pattern is going to be all messed up, she won’t nap properly for her caregivers tomorrow, then her eating schedule will be all messed up. The hamster wheel in my brain never stops spinning on the What Ifs.

I’m not sure if this schedule thing is just in my head or if we really need to be strict getting her to bed on time. Screw working out (which is not too hard to give up)! I know everyone with kids goes through this and everyone without kids has time management issues. So please tell me if I’m being crazy or not. And please give me some suggestions!

And you have a deadline but it’s in my head and I won’t tell you until you miss it at which point you’ll see me explode with rage.

You’re welcome.



Brenna said...

Ahhh, Kristen, I totally am with you! I am a schedule freak-a-holic. I am kind of ridiculously adherent to Ruby's needs, and Dan does balance me out on this front (another reason why it's SO nice there are two of us, and I am sure Ruby will agree someday). In the first 7-8 months, we had a very strict bedtime schedule which was mostly aimed at winding Ruby down, because she was NOT a sleeper. Now, we can blow her schedule once in a while and she is more flexible. But, I think if your child is natured to sleep anywhere, anytime, then bless you and carry on with your life in whatever way it works! I have friends that put their kids down at 8 or 9 pm and some that go down at 6 pm. Again, whatever works for you and your kid. It got a lot more complex when she started solids and baths nightly, so we moved our workout to the morning (or didn't workout mostly). But, again, I think it's whatever minimizes your stress and maximizes happiness in your life as a family. And, you can always remind Mark (sweetly, of course) that a happy mom is as important (if not more so) than a happy baby, so if the schedule is for you more than her, so be it. Good luck!

Kristen said...

Thank you, Brenna for such a thoughtful comment. Glad to know I'm not the only Momma who likes a schedule :)

Minimizing stress is the key! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

ah yes...schedules, rules, and expectations nobody knows about. I used to be very lacking in the communication of my "heads" schedule, so I empathize. Apparently Mark is much kinder than my man and doesn't ignore you for days/weeks/months (depending on how big the blowup over said confidential schedule/rules/expectations was). I'm jealous, truely, because I HATE being ignored, but alas, it has taught me to share my thoughts, think out loud and as my man says "stream of consciousness". He trades me talking too much for me not talking enough because A)when I am talking too much I am happy and B) when I am talking too much he gets all the information he needs to help me be happy. Sadly you know what's coming...talk sista! LOL. You need a schedule, it's part of who you are, no shame in that. However, big problem to keep it all in and explode later. I suggest not only do you "talk too much" but also perhaps google calender share (if you don't already). It may seem silly but if you have a smartphone like everyone else over the age of 13 it's easy peasy to speak or type in what you want to do when, all while on the go.

Ella's schedule is secondary to yours. I don't know how flex of a baby she is but I do know babies and children DO pick up on our stress, so mucho importante that you are as calm as possible for her to be cooperative as possible. Like your friend mentioned above, it's best if you can train a baby to go along with whatever rather than revolve around the baby. Yes when they are 3 days old you need to have some consistency but by now, you got this girl! Take deep breaths, do what you can and communicate what makes mamma happy to all those involved in your daily schedule. :-)


Kristen said...

I miss our conversations, J! Google calendars are a godsend and communication is priceless. Love your comment! Thanks for the advice!

Caroline Glasgow said...

First off, I know I missed the deadline in your head as it is now a whole month after you posted this... (sorry) Secondly (is that a word??) I am total opposite of you when it comes to schedules and such. I would drive you NUTS. Having three kids who are older makes it impossible to have a schedule (this is my excuse even though it's probably more likely just me). I usually just try to have SOME SORT of idea about what I'm going to do... that's about all the planning that happens at our house. We are more of a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" kind of family. I will say though, that until recently my kids ALWAYS went to bed at 8pm. Like since they slept though the night. If you have a set bedtime for Ella it's a good idea to stick with it- helps out in the long run if she's used to it. HOWEVER, 30-45 minute variances don't matter much. Especially when they are younger. Good luck with all of that... Mine can all put themselves to bed now (and lock the doors and put up the dogs) so I have to say that I pretty much have it made :) love ya!!

Kristen said...

Different strokes for different folks!! Every family runs differently I've found out. As long as it works for you that is all that matters:)

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