This guest post comes from Jennifer who you can find at Aka The Wife and on Twitter. She’s a military wife and a mom to a 2 year-old daughter and a newborn baby boy! Jennifer also has some really awesome recipes on her blog like Key Lime Cupcakes (gimme, gimme!), and Rustic Gnocchi (oh my!). Make sure to go on over and say hi!
If you would like to guest post, whether or not you have a blog, email me at elle dot mommyhood at gmail dot com.
I’m a planner. Some people many call it anal retentive or controlling but I like the term “planner” so we’ll stick with that. I function well with lists and set rules and details. It’s mostly tied to my anxiety but it works and keeps me from running around in panicked circles all day.
When I became a parent I was worried I would have to give up my love of order. I had heard all about babies who slept whenever they felt like it and didn’t know day from night. The thought of this kept me on edge for the entire nine months of pregnancy. Mother Nature must be a benevolent creature and a fan of mine because I was gifted with a baby who was just like me. Two babies in fact!
Both my daughter and my son came out of the womb with detailed mental itineraries of when they would like to eat, sleep, and poop and really have not wavered from it since day one. I could set a clock by these kids. I know, I’m super lucky and I should just shut my mouth now. There is a downside though.
I am beholden to “The Schedule”. I must not tinker with or outright ignore “The Schedule” lest I want to suffer the wrath of tiny irrational humans. My sister invited us to go see Despicable Me 2 last Friday, the movie starting at 6 p.m. I did a quick mental review of “The Schedule”, accounting for a two hour movie and then travel time back home, and decided it was a no-go. She rolled her eyes at me and asked me in all seriousness “Will staying out past bedtime kill her for one night?” No, probably not but I will pay for it for at least the following day.
When I was a mom to just one kid, “The Schedule” was judge, jury, and executioner. If it was noon we ate lunch and nap time followed immediately. I didn’t make plans or go out places, even to a friend’s house, if I knew I couldn’t get home in time to keep to the schedule. My kid was an awesome sleeper and there was no way I was going to rock the boat. And when she wanted a nap, she wanted it then and I did not want to be one of “those parents” with the kid flipping her shit in the middle of Target.
Looking back, I pretty much lived in fear of “The Schedule”.
When my son was born a few months ago, I acknowledged that 1.) he wasn’t going to have any type of schedule, 2.) nothing would coincide with my daughter’s routine, and 3.) we were all going to be tired and cranky for quite a while. Surprisingly that didn’t really happen. My son followed my daughter’s lead and soon we were in the throes of “The Schedule – Part Deux”.
It was then that I started to get a little cocky. I have started to take them out to stores or visit with family and friends past their allotted nap times. I assure myself they will get naps in the car or will go down late for a nap and sleep just as well, waking refreshed and chirper like they always do. “And worst comes the worst,” I tell myself, “skipping a nap won’t kill anyone.” Haha! I was so cute with those rebellions ideas because those things just don’t happen in real life.
Do you know what happens to a schedule loving toddler that misses a nap? She basically becomes a stumbling terrorist who giggles a lot because everything is hilarious when you’re tired. (She may get that last part from me.) And there’s no stopping her from squealing or screaming (depending on the situation) at a deafening decibel while running around naked…it’s DEFCON 1 at that point and you need to just ride it out. It’s even worse if she goes to bed late because her body decides to wake up extra early the following morning. How this makes sense I will never know.
The grass is always greener I guess. I’m a little jealous of the parents who can just cart their kids anywhere and everywhere because they only sleep for brief periods of time and I’m sure these parents are jealous of my kids who appear to be on their way to a narcolepsy diagnosis. If you need me I’ll be upstairs, it’s 3 p.m. and “The Schedule” says it’s time to get up the children up from their naps.