Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Which I Start to Learn to Love the Unexpected

5 weeks + 5 days

I wouldn't go so far as to say that Jacob is on a schedule, but in the past six weeks I have come to expect a certain routine. He eats every two to three hours, then I cuddle him for a bit before I change him and put him down for a nap in his crib. When he wakes an hour or two later, we do it all again like clockwork.

Except when it's not.

It's strange how I resist him when he shakes things up. Like last night, for example. He was "supposed" to be sleeping, so I spent a half an hour trying to get him snoozing so I could sleep, too. Finally I realized I might be able to make us both happier faster if I tried nursing him again, even though it wasn't what he "should" be doing according to his routine. So I did, and he went to sleep much more easily afterward.

I'm trying to learn this lesson now while he's too young to remember my stubbornness and be hurt by it, because he's only going to buck those shoulds more and more as he grows. And I want to give him the grace and freedom he needs to be unexpected, to make his own choices. One of my goals as a parent is to say "yes" to this wonderful little boy as often as I can.

I think it's going to be a long education. I find it far too easy to say "no." But it will be well worth every lesson.

My children have already taught me so much in their short lives. I love how that works.


  1. Beautiful post. I have a four week old at home and I can say I, too, struggle when she breaks from her routine. I, too, resist. It has been one of the hardest lessons as Mama so far to allow her to do what she needs and to simply allow it to happen.

  2. Sweet Beth. Go with the flow. What I've learned from watching my sister with her two is that the minute you get into a "routine," it changes. Babies grow so exponentially! Like leaps and bounds. I know that you have a strong personal awareness and practice of mindfulness. I'm so glad you are translating that into your mom-ness.

  3. So much of mothering is just figuring out what WORKS for you and for him. Liam wasn't a schedule kind of kid. People were horrified when they'd ask "What time does he go to bed?" and I'd say "Midnight". But he never slept more than eight hours. Not EVER. So if he fell asleep at 8p, he was up at 3am wanting to play, play, play. I just had to do what worked for him and for me.

  4. You're doing well! One thing I learnt as a new mother when Miss8 was born was to never get caught up on strict routines. If she was unsettled I would go through the list - nappy clean, fed, hurting, etc. Sometimes all it was was that she wanted some close to Mummy time, or even, as in Jacob's case, a little extra milk. Keep on keeping on Beth. Be good to yourself throughout this time and don't be too tough on yourself.

  5. I'm still learning to love the unexpected! I tend to be too uptight in general as well as specifically as a parent, but I find that the rewards of calming down and saying "yes!" as much as possible are immesurable! :D


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King