12 November 2006


I've been thinking about schedules a lot lately. Of course, I've been thinking about them in relation to my children. You're shocked, right? I thought so.

You see, my children don't have much of a schedule. Oh, sure, bedtime rolls around at the same time every night, and every other night we have baths. Monday through Thursday, they are at day care from 8:30 to 4:30. On Fridays we have music class at 1:00. That's our schedule.

Eating? No schedule other than when they are hungry. Sleeping? Yeah, not so much. They nap when they seem tired. Mostly they nap for 45 minutes at a time throughout the day, usually not at the same time. Sometimes we'll get an hour or even an hour and a half, but not often.

On one hand, this lack of schedule drives me nuts. I'm more than a little bit of a planner. I love my Palm Pilot. I adore making lists. I like to plan my day and I like routine. Part of this is just me. Part of it, I think, is a general American obsession with schedules.

On the other hand, I don't feel like I can force the twins onto a schedule. Certainly as regards eating, they get to eat when they are hungry. As growing babies, this is their job. As regards, sleep, well, this is a loaded topic. In my heart, I feel like I shouldn't force them onto a schedule. They sleep pretty well at night and seem happy and rested during the day. But their catnapping and lack of any coherent nap times do not fall into the pattern that the books and (in my case at least) other parents would lead you to believe is normal and/or desirable.

Since I have no influence on their nap schedule or lack thereof four days a week, I also feel that any work I want to do in this regard is futile. And anyway, as I said, I'm not sure I want to work towards a schedule at all. Perhaps one will just fall into place without me forcing it. That would be nice. And if it doesn't, maybe it wasn't meant to be.

It's all the more difficult with twins since even if a schedule does emerge, it could be different for each baby since they are two little individuals. I hate to think that I'm going to spend their baby and toddler years with the two of them never being in synch on the napping, but that's the way it's been so far and it's not so bad. It gives me individual time with each baby, it just never gives me a total break.

I'm rambling on. I'm just filled with the usual first-time parent angst. Am I scarring my babies for life by forcing a schedule? By not forcing a schedule? Obviously, I don't really think that either choice will scar them for life, but sometimes the outside world wants you to feel that way. And am I just being lazy by resisting the schedule? Or is it that I truly believe that I know my kids better than anyone and trying to make their sleep and eating habits fit my life just seems selfish and unnecessary?

(Tomorrow's post will be more fun. I have a game in the works!)


weigook saram said...

Every baby is different. They will probably settle into a routine as they get older, but I wouldn't try to force it. It sounds like you're doing fine. As long as it works for you, why change it?

Linda said...

I kept mine on what I called a routine, not really a schedule. I nursed them about every 3 hours but if they were hungry or we were busy, it'd be earlier or later. Around 6 months, they started napping at regular times (10 am and 3 pm) so that regulated my day. While I enjoyed the casualness of my non-schedule, it was nice to know that I could do things from noon to 3 pm every day.

You seem pretty flexible and that's what's important, schedule or no schedule.

OTRgirl said...

I don't have any helpful schedule advice, but I'm enjoying your daily writing. Your 100 things list is great! (I hate ice, too. In the ice department, I do have some advice: when you're having dinner with your mafia landlord and he asks if you want some wine in your red wine, wait to see what all the other women in the room do before you say, "Are you kidding? My wine snob husband would kill me if I did that?!")