From day one I said I didn’t want to force my baby into a routine. I believed if we went with the flow then she would naturally settle into her own routine that was natural for her, and I also didn’t want to put her into such a strict routine that it would control our lives to the point where any step outside it caused chaos.
This has, despite the fact I make all this up as I go along, worked remarkably well. No, I’m not getting as much sleep as I want, but she has fallen into a pattern which seems to be working incredibly well for her and I am just going with it, and on the nights where it completely falls apart for whatever reason then my small, but precious, amounts of sleep evaporate.
In order for the system we have developed to work others around us need to be on board. When people are actively not on board they insight mummy-rage, and believe me, when I turn on the mama bear there is blood up the walls… as someone who will remain nameless recently discovered.
Part of our routine is that before bed time we have quiet time. We still talk like normal, there is still light and noise and laughter, but we don’t overstimulate her. She is held and cuddled not played with or moved around jerkily, and noise is kept moderate and constant with no sudden bangs or shrieks. This was until we visited certain relatives one evening.
For the record, anyone who is around a mother with a baby in a routine, these are the things you do not do:
1) Go out of your way to stimulate a baby when expressly asked not to
2) Criticise the aforementioned mother for being neurotic
3) State that as the mother in question doesn’t get much sleep anyway it won’t make any difference
4) Spend so much time trying to get to the baby whilst criticising the mother that she moves from calm but annoyed to raging and shouting at you
If you’ve had children and are doing this then remember you’ve had your turn. You had a go already, I haven’t, go look at your perfect children whilst I deal with my flawed one. If you haven’t had children yet then wait until you do then do it your way!
Ultimately the wisest thing you can do is echo my husband who said from the beginning that he might not agree with me, he might choose to do it a different way if he were the mum, but he isn’t so he’ll do it my way.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!