Monday, November 9, 2015

Schedules, Childhood, & Newborns

It has been a busy week at our house, with the birth of Baby #4. We brought him home to the other Little Ones, and began adjusting our lives around his schedule. Perfect example, this post was planned to go up on Thursday and here we are days later...  It is to be expected, since the schedule of a newborn is never in line with that of the parents or siblings. It's amazing how such a little person can take control of the entire household just with his cries. Isn't it a beautiful thing that a baby can command a room? Beautiful and tiring!

When I was pregnant with Baby #1, everyone had an opinion on how to get that little bundle of joy on a strict schedule. Whether it was a feeding schedule, a diaper changing schedule, or a sleep schedule. The funny thing is that I never really cared to hear about these schedules, partly because I'm super stubborn and I don't want other people to tell me what to do, but mostly because I knew these schedules wouldn't last past the first few weeks. (Even that is probably a stretch). It just seemed common sense to me that babies will eat when they are hungry, poop when needed, and sleep when they are tired, just like adults. Why would we expect babies to be any different from adults? It's a bit laughable that parenting "experts" expect a baby to mold their schedules with ours. When it really needs to be the opposite, at least for the early months. Now, it won't always be this way, but the first several weeks, even months, is all about that little bundle of joy, and that's a good thing. Those early weeks are some of the most precious moments for bonding.

We have the rest of our lives to be on a schedule. Instead of forcing our infants, or even toddlers, to get on a schedule, let's enjoy those haphazard moments with them, because pretty soon they will be in school. It can be pretty difficult to let go of our daily routines, especially for those who have A-Type Personalities, like myself. I don't like to be late for anything, actually most of my clocks are set 10 minutes fast, because I prefer to be early (Vince Lombardi Time), and I love "to-do lists". I am very much a planner, but children, especially newborns make all those schedules and lists seem so silly. Ultimately, they really aren't that important if we are choosing to finish housework vs. spend time with our children. (Yes, I know, the housework needs to get done at some point...) It definitely took me awhile to get used to this thought pattern, not that I have mastered it by any means. (I still hate being late!) I have, however, learned to let go more as we welcomed more children into our family. Surprisingly, I have begun to enjoy life and the craziness of the children more as I stopped trying to control every aspect of our world. Who would've thought that it has actually become a relief to no longer be in control of everything.

Baptism Weekend!

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