Little Boy came out, and there was one thing on my mind from the first hours on, When will he get on a schedule? I don’t know how many times a day Husband heard me saying, What time is it??????? (Neither of us wear watches.)
I smile at that woman now because I can hear the contents of her heart. I see her fears more clearly now.
I thought the way to “do” the newborn months was to have a schedule. It was the only way. It was how my more-experienced friends had done it. And I’m a planner and like having an organized life. I told myself that I wanted Little Boy on a schedule because it was orderly and could guarantee time for myself, and remember, I was going to be a good wife. A schedule Gives Time For Your Marriage.
I was wiser about babies. Obviously. Those babies. They need their schedules.
My schedule wasn’t about the baby or my family. The schedule gave me certainty and control in a time that was inherently uncertain and out of control. What I really wanted was to get the hang of this thing, to feel on top of it, to master it, so I could move on and keep living my life.
My schedule helped me feel like life was no different when the reality was that there was no way it could bear any resemblance to my previous life.
I see this impulse all the time in your tired eyes, New Mum. You want to know what’s going on with your baby, you want to be able to meet her needs, take care of him in the best way possible. You want to know when the next feeding will be, when (and for how long) the next nap will be. There’s nothing wrong with that, and lots of babies respond well to it from the beginning, so please hear me – I am not anti-schedule.
But I want to take your hand, look you in the eyes and say with kindness – It’s ok to not know what will happen next. You don’t have to have a game plan for the day, for the week. The world will keep turning. You will be ok. Just love your baby, spend time with your baby, look into her eyes, give him lots of smiles. Talk to her. Talk to him. Keep feeding them.
The right schedule, the best routine – it will come at the right time. You don’t need to control your baby. You can let go.
This post is Day 9 of 31 Days of blogging in October. I am writing this month about my first season of motherhood, sharing stories and lessons that stayed with me from that time.
(New to this series? Start here and follow the links to each day’s post.)