(This post originally ran 2 years ago, but it is visited so frequently that I updated and added to it today. Enjoy!)
When my oldest daughter (now age 9) was a baby, my friend asked me what time she normally took a nap. I was clueless. “Whenever she falls asleep,” was my likely answer.
Clients and associates often assume I am the queen of organization. As the creator of such a detailed time-management system like the Baby Love Carebook, how could I be anything but a type-A, Martha Stewart-like mother with all her ducks in a very straight row?
The truth is, I’ve always hated routines.
I’ve always been very laid back and flexible. I like to do things when I feel like it. I’ve never had a designated “laundry day” or “grocery day.” My professional life has always revolved around deadlines and details. I’ve developed my own method of paying attention to the smallest detail in an organized fashion, but waiting until the last minute to get anything accomplished.
Imagine my anxiety as a new mom when I realized that babies don’t enjoy such a leisurely approach to living. In fact, babies can be downright crabby when they are expected to eat at 10 a.m. one day, and 10:30 a.m. the next. Try to put them down for a nap at 1 p.m. some days, 2 p.m. on others and they cry … a lot!
Now that I’m raising three children, I know better. I firmly believe that children are happier with a consistent routine. However, I also know that all children are unique. My oldest daughter loves a big breakfast, my middle girl prefers to wait a few hours in the morning before she will eat anything. It’s up to you as parents to discover and nurture the best routines for your children. If you’re interested in a little research on the subject, read Mom, Could You Pencil Me in for a Nap?
Routines did not come naturally to me, that’s why the Baby Love Carebook was invented. I found it was the only way to keep myself on track. Writing down my baby’s ideal routine gave me more incentive to stick to it. I’m also a visual learner and need to see something in order to remember it. Telling me that the baby ate two hours ago will go in one ear and out the other. Writing down the time will ensure that I retain the information.
And keeping all our information in one place made me more likely to reach out to others for help when I needed a break. You may not think taking a break is all that important, especially if you left your day job to take care of your little ones. Here’s a quick link about the importance of sharing the love of others with your children:Another Attachment: Let Others Bond with Your Children.
Finally, if you’re reading this today on October 2, 2011 (my birthday!) you will be interested to know that Babysteals.com is offering the Baby Love Carebook organizer and Doctor Diary pages for only $19.99. The sale lasts only until 11pm eastern time so steal one quickly!
Grace and Peace.