Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unintentional Routine

New moms can stress about everything, and to some extent I am no exception. I try diligently to dumb this down - not make it so complicated - but Mike says sometimes it's like I always have my foot on the gas pedal and can't slow up. I'm trying desperately to keep up with everything I used to do before Avery came along, and I'm slowly but surely realizing that's not really an option.

One of my big stresses was ROUTINE. Everybody and everything I read stressed routine, routine, ROUTINE!!! BABIES LIKE ROUTINE. They thrive on it. They have to have it. If you don't put your baby on a routine from day 1, you're screwed for life and your baby will grow up listless and unsuccessful and eventually live in a van down by the river.


But how can I establish a routine when I'm not even sure what we're going to be doing from one day to the next? From visitors to visiting, to the grocery store, to church, Monday is never like Tuesday or any other day for that matter. So after a few days of attempting to force it, I stopped beating myself up and decided to go with the flow. Live on the edge, one day at a time, sometimes one hour - one minute - at a time, and make sure the kiddo is pink and breathing every morning.
Lazy bums. This was taken about a month ago. Mike and I were both up and moving, but Avery and Dante had other plans.
She's usually happiest in the mornings, which is kind of a downer because during the week, her daddy only sees her when she's a cranky little kid. But Saturday and Sunday mornings are the best.
I decided to slow down and enjoy this little person while she's still this young and little. Once up, she eats and plays for a while, then goes down for a nap. Then she wakes up, eats again, plays, and down for a nap again. Once more around the bend, and it's usually bedtime. Repetitive, I know, but .... wait.... what's that? I think it is... We managed to fall into a routine!

Holy cow.

It's like the story of the little girl who desperately wanted to catch a butterfly. She spent all morning out in the fields stalking and chasing butterflies, but couldn't catch one. Frustrated and tired, she laid down in a meadow and dozed off to sleep. Once she woke up, she was covered in butterflies. That's what happened here: Avery and I relaxed with each other and naturally fell into our own rhythm.

If I want to run errands, I usually time them around her nap and just let her sleep in her carseat. Or if we have to be somewhere at a specific time, I'll try to feed her right before we leave.

Now thanks to the wave sound app on my phone, baby girl can sleep anywhere.
As for bedtime, we don't do the elaborate bathtime, swaddle, story book, song, rock, rigmarole that we were told to follow. Mike usually gives her a bottle for her last feeding - anywhere from 7-9 - and she conks out for the night. Sometimes it takes some rocking and shhhing or the wave noise machine and patting, but she's usually out until 1 AM. Then I feed her, and she's sometimes good again until Mike wakes up around 4:30. We're a work in progress, and it's an awful lot of fun.


rachel newman said...

I'm glad to know we're not the only one's who don't really force a schedule. I've found it to be impossible anyway, so why bother?


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