I tried to relax. I failed.

imageSo no one is going to accuse me of running rancho relaxo at my house.

I recently confessed that I was always going to be a routine mum, and having twins just gave me a good excuse to use when other people gave me shit about the army boot camp regime that masquerades as the running of my household. I’ve got TWINS yo.. I’m actually super free-spirited and spontaneous and zen, I just have to be like this because of them. What. a. BURDEN. to my usual amazingly casual, easy going nature. Mhmmmmmmm.

Not really.

I’m a planner. I plan my plans and then I plan things around them. I have an intricate colour coding system for my children’s books. I arrive at appointments so early that I’m then forced to sit in my car checking Instagram for twenty minutes (what a SHAME) because better that than face people who have be sitting there waiting for me.

I also sometimes arrive at the supermarket to do the grocery shopping and sit in the car checking my Instagram for twenty minutes before I go in because it’s the only moment in my week when I’m actually ALONE. But that’s a different story.

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Tilly demonstrating the thrill a minute lifestyle of waiting for a baby to wake up

My routine life was ticking away pretty seamlessly when we decided to add madness to mischief and have another baby. I mean it’s mayhem at my house, but it’s organised mayhem. Pretty much nothing happens without me making a list about it first. But I sort of knew things would have to change when we introduced a new small person into the mix. We have activities PLANNED and if small persons sleep is at the same time as aforementioned activity, we can’t just not go! I may appreciate the well ordered predictability of a routine but I’m not a monster 😉

So the arrival of our little Rosie has necessitated the relinquishing of a little bit of my tyrannical reign over our household. And with it has come fresh eyes for me on what can be some real pros to being what I like to call a free range parent.

Spontaneity

The most frequently used S Word in our household has never be spontaneous. Just sayin. However when you have a relaxed parenting style, it’s much easier to be s..s..s..sp..spontaneous. Sorry, that word still doesn’t roll off my tongue as smoothly as I might like. Baby steps. Speaking of babies, when you have one who is used to just going with the flow, when someone invites you around to watch One Direction concert DVDs at the last minute, you can just pack up your bits and pieces and as fast as you can say HarryStylesistooyoungformebutidontevencarerightnow you can be on your way. Or you know, other more socially acceptable adult type activities like, I dunno, lunch, or the beach, or a BBQ. Whatevs. When you don’t have to plan your activities around very regimented sleep times, it does make it easier to just DO things.

Socialising (if you like that kind of thing 😉)

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This is how I feel at the thought of getting out of my PJ’s too…

When you have a strict routine, sometimes you find yourself having to sacrifice social functions for the sake of your baby’s sleep times. I mean, to be honest… Depending on the occasion, this can sometimes be a good thing. But there are also times when you might actually want to go to something (for me, this doesn’t happen often unless the dress code is pyjama casual) but taking a routine baby out of its schedule can have very ugly consequences. That’s where the relaxed style of parenting wins every time because, again, it makes it easier to just DO things, and staves off the potential loneliness that can accompany being a new parent.

Demand feeding 

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Sometimes third babies just have to… Fit in

Generally the only kind of demand I’m into is on demand streaming TV (Netflix I love you longtime), but there’s also this thing called demand feeding. Or so I’m told. By definition, demand feeding is led by your babies cues rather than by the clock. This has approximately thirty billion benefits for your milk supply and not drawing the feeds out to meet certain time limits can lead to a more settled baby. Can’t argue with that.

Natural pattern building

Chances are that over time, even a baby with no set routine will start forming a little pattern of its own. Baby sets up its own schedule – one less thing for you to do yourself! SCORE!

I’m going to be honest, my Type-A personality meant that I didn’t really survive the relaxed style of parenting for very long. As early as I could get Rosie into a routine, I did. And frankly, that’s what works better for our family, not least of all because The Bachelor starts at 7:30 so small people need to be asleep by then so mummy can watch her documentary.

The one difference is that I’ve had to be more flexible this time around because, as is the plight of the subsequent child, I don’t want to interrupt all the fun things we do with the twins and make them sit at home while the baby sleeps. With Rosie, I tend to focus more on the appropriate “awake time” for her age rather than have her on a set to time schedule. As it happens, she’s a little ray of sunshine and a pretty awesome sleeper to boot, so I like to think I’m not totally screwing it up!

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20 thoughts on “I tried to relax. I failed.

  1. I’m the total opposite to you. I’m not organised at all, no matter how hard I try. Although I’m not that spontaneous either. Maybe I’m just plain old lazy? In any case, I totally get what you mean about having to let go a little when you start adding other children to the mix. Our first year with twins and the other two was just a blur, it’s only now that the there’s some order in the house. Mostly because if the twins don’t get a decent sleep in the day, I’d lose my mind by mid-afternoon…

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  2. Loved it!! Such beautiful photos. I am not super organised (wish I was!!) but I don’t do that ‘S’ word very well either…you know…?…when Husband breezes through and quips, “let’s go the park in 5 mins…” Uh-Uh, sunshine…need to pack snacks, hats, sunscreen, spare jocks, go to the toilet myself (!!)….No, spont… with kids is difficult.

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    1. Lol children inherently make spontaneity VERY difficult to achieve. You’re as spontaneous as packing food, drinks, spare clothes, an entire pram or the car, putting on shoes, hats, having spare nappies and wipes on hand and actually getting there will allow you to be hehehe

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  3. When your kids are small- you just have to do what you can to get by. If thats a routine and your kids thrive that way- excellent! In my experience, that is rare and routine mums are always stressed about the kid not sticking to it because, you know, THEY don’t know theyre in a routine! Whatever works, I say!

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    1. Lol weirdly enough I never had the issue of my kids not slotting into the routine and stressing me out. But that may be because I based my routines around the appropriate amount of awake time for their age and level of activity rare than what a book said or around what I thought I wanted to fit in with my life. They were always tired when they went to bed so they always slept and the routine worked a treat. I’ve absolutely seen other mothers more stressed out about it though and in that case it definitely doesn’t seem worth it! But it can also take time for babies to get into a pattern so it can just be a case of riding it out 🙂

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  4. I love being organised. But I am also very laid-back. I did demand feeding with Scarlett + never worried if we were going to be out during a sleep. Sometimes I would make her miss sleeps.

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    1. It’s amazing how different things can work for different people. I had twins first so there was a need for routine with them. Well honestly there’s just a need for routine in my life because that’s how I function best 🙂

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  5. I’m somewhere in between I guess. I do like to plan and be organised, but I also quite often go “off plan” and go with the flow. I had one routine baby, and another who was all over the shop so I’ve had to learn to be pretty flexible!

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  6. Haha, I’m totally a routine mum too. I am not good at being spontaneous or relaxing.. not sure I even know the meaning of relax. We live an hour from town so its really hard to be spontaneous as well. Knowing I have to drive with a potentially screaming baby for an hour if I don’t get the time right has made me probably even more routine. I plan outings around appropriate naps times so she’ll sleep in the car. We do our one hour walk at the same time every day. I find it works well for us 🙂

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  7. I’m very much a go with the flow kinda mum. We have vague plans each day but also love a bit of spontaneity. Works for us and keeps those kids on their toes 😉

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  8. I fail at being a relaxed parent. Our youngest has his one day sleep from about 11.30am to 1.30pm. There is no way on earth that I will schedule or plan ANYTHING for during that time. If he doesn’t get his sleep, everyone suffers the pain! My bootcamp class that runs at a lunchtime, well, that just ain’t happening any more, unless he decides to have a freakishly early sleep and wake up in time. No awesome boxing work out is worth the cranky toddler I’ll have on my hands afterwards…. Kids are in bed by 7pm though, I’m not missing out on the Bachelorette!

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  9. I LOVE to plan and love my to-do lists, however I’m actually pretty relaxed/spontaneous. I guess I had to be with my 4 as I had a 1yo and 3yo when my twins were born, as most days my plans went out the window. 😉
    The best way for me to cope was just to go with the flow and if we made it to that play date, great, if not, oh well. I also demand breastfed my twins too – thankfully my toddlers liked snuggling up on the couch with me/ amusing themselves by tipping blocks all over the house or tipping their breakfast on the floor right in front of me when there was nothing I could do about it lol. ;-D

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