the schedule. to have or not to have. (a huggies sponsored post)
This week's topic is a hot one among parents: the schedule!
It seems to me that you either care about it a lot or it's no big deal to you. For me, I had two kids that required strict schedules--Moses especially so. If it was naptime or bedtime, Moses's head needed to be hitting the pillow, to the minute. Aaron was nice enough to give us a 15-minute window, but to this day he still needs us to stick to that window for naps. From the time they were tiny babies they NEEDED the structure of a schedule.
Also, because of my nature, I need a schedule to feel "not crazy." I'm so blessed that I was able to stay home with both boys, so our schedule was up to me for the most part. I could organize my entire life around my firstborn's needs for sleeping, feeding and pooping. Even when Aaron came along, we still did our best to keep to a regular schedule. As soon as we could, both boys were napping at the same time. This created a nice little bonus for my husband and me to catch up and have some alone time in the middle of the day (even with a NEWBORN!).
Having kids that need this kind of schedule DID require some sacrifice on our part. We missed a few events, were home by 6pm EVERY night of our lives and were homebodies for the most part for a few years. Honestly, though, I believe that this is the best possible formula for recovering from the traumatic event of adding another person to your life. We found that when we made OUR family the priority over everything else, life was better, calmer, less frantic and altogether much more peaceful and happy. Those first couple of months we definitely benefited from being able to determine our OWN schedule and follow it with limited disturbances from outside. We could follow the flow of our newborns and not have to "train" them to follow ours.
I realize that being homebound isn't for everyone, but for us, those years of tending to our own little nest above all other things provided a bounty of blessings we would have missed had we tried to continue on at a frantic pace. Sure, we made a few people mad because we wouldn't drop everything to be somewhere, but we had to consider who would pay the price for throwing a wrench in how we did things: we would. The small handful of times that we did break our rule, we paid for it. Doug and I could both tell you about the times we made that choice, and it ended up being just often enough to remind us why we like our scheduled, homebody lifestyle.
In reality, we are just getting to the stage where we are saying good-bye to our carefree homebound ways. Next year Moses will be in kindergarten and that will determine our new schedule. For now, though, we savor each day that we control the schedule and call the shots based on what is best for us in that moment. More than having tiny babies, that newborn smell or all those firsts, I will miss setting our own schedule most of all.
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