Thursday, February 21, 2013

Schedules



When I was pregnant with Daxton, I was told over and over again how important schedules and routines were. Routines were freeing and it's extremely important to tell your baby when it should eat and sleep. I got books about schedules and read them, ready to apply them when the baby came.

After I brought Daxton home from the hospital I was all ready to set him up on a schedule. Those first weeks were full of stress and tears and I just couldn't understand why the schedule wasn't working for me. 
Why didn't I feel free and why couldn't I stick more strictly to my schedule? Schedules were supposed to be good, to be freeing right?


About 3 weeks of trying to be scheduled i knew that it wasn't working for me. I'm not much of a scheduled person - tending to be more of a free spirit.  After this moment of realization, I decided to put the schedule book down.

Since then I have learned a valuable lesson that there is no 'right' way to raise a baby.  You just have to do what works for your family.

I now live by that motto and feel so much more free because of it. I got so caught up with doing what other people were telling me to be, and feeling guilty for not following through. The guilt was too much.  If my baby cried, it was because I wasn't following a schedule, if my baby wouldn't eat it was because I wasn't following a schedule, and if my baby didn't sleep it was because I wasn't following a schedule.

When I finally realized that my baby was mine, and that I was the mom and I knew what my baby needed, I was finally able to feel guilt free. There are still times that I feel guilty because I don't follow a schedule and my babies are falling asleep in the car, or are having a screaming fit because of lack of sleep. But I always fall back on the lesson I learned that I don't need to compare the way I raise my children to others.

We all raise children differently.  I have some close friends who are incredible mommies and they choose to stick close to a schedule.  It works great for them!

We are all different and raise our children different and that has been a huge lesson to me as I've become a mamma.

I would like to know, do you like schedules? How does it work for you?

5 comments:

Hanna said...

I was told the same thing. A schedule never worked with my first born. He wanted to do what he wanted to do but my second child took to a schedule very easy. Yup, every child is different.

55286d4c-bbd0-11e0-8153-000bcdcb2996 said...

I can remember being in the hospital after giving birth to our first child. The hubs and I both wanted children so badly, an had tried for so long to have a baby, you would have thought I'd feel overjoyed. Instead, I was completely panicked. This beautiful boy had finally come into our lives, creating the beginning of our family, and all I was consumed with were questions like, "How will I possibly know what to do for this baby?", "What do I REALLY know about taking care of a newborn?", and "Am I really ready to be a mom?"

I was fraught with fear, worry, and guilt for even having these thoughts in the first place....until the hospital's pediatrician met with us to give our little guy a full once-over, and talk with him about any concerns we had. It was then I confessed to him my fears and worries about being a less-than-perfect mom to my little one.

His response was simple, but profound: "Your feelings are perfectly normal, and perfectly valid. Being a parent is a scary prospect, and babies don't come with instruction manuals. That's because each child is different, and each parent is different. Just know that there is no 'right or wrong'. You will make mistakes, and you will learn from them. Most of all, by the time you take this child into your pediatrician's office, you will know more about this baby...his personality, his likes, his dislikes, his needs....than any doctor or any book could possibly tell you."

Of course, I was paraphrasing, but that was the general concept of his advice. And let me tell you...it did my heart a world of good, dissolved all my fears, and gave me the courage and strength to take our child home and do my best. Which is all any child ever expects or wants from their parents in the first place.

55286d4c-bbd0-11e0-8153-000bcdcb2996 said...

I can remember being in the hospital after giving birth to our first child. The hubs and I both wanted children so badly, an had tried for so long to have a baby, you would have thought I'd feel overjoyed. Instead, I was completely panicked. This beautiful boy had finally come into our lives, creating the beginning of our family, and all I was consumed with were questions like, "How will I possibly know what to do for this baby?", "What do I REALLY know about taking care of a newborn?", and "Am I really ready to be a mom?"

I was fraught with fear, worry, and guilt for even having these thoughts in the first place....until the hospital's pediatrician met with us to give our little guy a full once-over, and talk with him about any concerns we had. It was then I confessed to him my fears and worries about being a less-than-perfect mom to my little one.

His response was simple, but profound: "Your feelings are perfectly normal, and perfectly valid. Being a parent is a scary prospect, and babies don't come with instruction manuals. That's because each child is different, and each parent is different. Just know that there is no 'right or wrong'. You will make mistakes, and you will learn from them. Most of all, by the time you take this child into your pediatrician's office, you will know more about this baby...his personality, his likes, his dislikes, his needs....than any doctor or any book could possibly tell you."

Of course, I was paraphrasing, but that was the general concept of his advice. And let me tell you...it did my heart a world of good, dissolved all my fears, and gave me the courage and strength to take our child home and do my best. Which is all any child ever expects or wants from their parents in the first place.

Tina Salmon said...

You are an amazing Mom and I love seeing you with your kids :). Books are nice, but only for suggestions. You have great examples in your life with your Mom and Deb too. Each child is so different and no one knows them better than Mom. Keep that positive, sweet personality that you have and your kids will follow your example. You and Brandon have so much fun together and that makes for happy kids :). Miss you guys so much and love ya lots! T

Cherie said...

I agree you must do what works for you. All the books in the world can't tell you how to be a mum well said Shelby