Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life, Three Hours at a Time

I've had the title of this blog floating around for a little bit, but I had no idea what to write exactly. The title is clever, albeit broad. It describes how I live right now--in three-hour chunks--on Lillie and Dani's eating schedule.

There are a lot of things that can be done in three hours. You can watch a good movie, catch up on some tv, take a nap, take a shower, wash dishes, clean a room, run a load of laundry. I know these are all things I can do, but do I do them? Sometimes. Should I do them? Always.

Eventually I will realize that the time between feedings should be used constructively. I used to be a person of schedule. I used to plan out a day so that I would use it to its best potential. Heck, I even planned in downtime so my normal procrastination tendencies could have a buffer. I now, though, must turn off the procrastination. I must learn how to be unfrazzled again and control my routine. If I've learned anything from the multiple books on multiples I've read, I will always hold on to this gem:

You control the routine. Do not let the routine control you.

Right now, I'm letting the routine control me. After feeding, burping, changing, and rocking back to sleep (except when they want to have awake time), I should do one of three things--sit and relax, stretch out and nap, or get up a do a chore. Most of the time, I sit and think about all the things that need to get done and when the hell am I going to do them while I listen for small noises coming from the Pack n Play, ready to jump on it before either daughter gets past a whimper, as I watch some pointless television. (Food Network and HGTV seem to be my staples when there isn't a SVU marathon on, but that's a different blog entry all together.)

Here's another gem I plan to keep in my head: The clock shouldn't be part of your routine.

Babies can't tell time. They have internal clocks, yes, but they don't know it's 4am from 4pm. You have to start basically ignoring the clock too. A routine should involve doing things in a certain order, not at a certain time. This is how babies learn to expect things. This is how parents cope. If you decide that you will always bathe your children at 6pm, fix dinner by 7pm, and watch your favorite shows until 10:30, you will always consider yourself a failure. Children are the great unpredictability. Things happen. You must always account for this.

What will make you feel successful is that the bath happened before bedtime. That dinner was eaten, and it covered more than one food group. That DVR was the best invention of the decade, and that you have made time for the important things and let other things (like taking the stacks of diaper boxes to the garage) wait for another day.

All of this I say as if I'm some seasoned pro. I am not. I've only been a parent for five weeks, three days. I can't even consider myself successful by my own standards since I'm not in control of my routine. But I am an overachiever. I will work very hard to become the parent of my own advice.

1 comment:

  1. Very well reasoned! I also love the photo. -Jayne