Monday, June 11, 2012

Don't mess with the schedule... sometimes, it's ok.

Whenever other parents of multiples found out that I was pregnant with twins, they would often tell me to "get them on a schedule!" It was drilled into our heads from very early on. I remember when the girls were about 2 weeks old, despite trying to get them on a schedule, they didn't have one. I remember feeling panicked. If we don't get them a schedule ASAP, we're screwed, I thought.

Patience is sometimes not my strong suit. Sure enough, a few weeks later, the girls were on a pretty good feeding and bedtime schedule. Naps were still iffy. We stuck to that schedule, like a fat kid on cake. It was sometimes a pain. It felt limiting. We would have to rush home for 7pm, close the blinds, turn off the lights and block out that amazing summer sunshine that poured through our windows late into the evening. But, because of our perseverance, we soon had two fabulous little sleepers who went down like dreams at 7pm, giving us time to eat dinner like civilized adults.

When the girls were a few months old, we would cart them around all day because they would sleep anywhere at anytime. It was fantastic! They'd sleep in the car, in the stroller, in a restaurant. They wouldn't wake up when we would transfer them from place to place. As they got older and more mobile, this luxury disappeared. While I was alone during the week, we were out all the time. It was more for me than them. I wasn't ready to let go of my pre-baby freedom.

In the last few months, not only has our daily galavanting caught up to me, it makes for miserable and cranky little, I mean, toddlers ;) The girls are so active and do not want to sit in a stroller or car seat for longer than they have to. So now, our busy adrenaline-driven days have been replaced by "boring afternoons," as my mom jokingly calls them. We are always home at 8:45am for morning nap and about 1:30pm for afternoon nap. While I've only recently started "boring afternoons," I've grown to love them. The girls tend to nap for about 2 hours in the afternoon. The 'crazy me' of a few months ago, would never have dreamed of grabbing a quick nap or sitting down with a book. I had mommy guilt. Always mommy guilt. I don't deserve to have time to myself when the kitchen needs to be cleaned, dinner needs to be prepared, laundry needs to be folded...

Well, mommy guilt has exhausted me. The girls schedule has forced me to enjoy "boring afternoons." I do some chores but also take time for myself. Today I took 45 minutes to read Catching Fire, the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy (awesome, btw).

The schedule is good for me for sure, but has been amazing for the girls. They are far happier when they're awake. Have you heard the phrase, 'the more they sleep, the more they sleep"? Even on a perfect day of 2 2-hour naps, we'll get 11-12 hours of sleep from them at night. Happy and well-rested babies = two happy mommies.


  1. Hi, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Congrats on the twins--and the schedules!
    Ours dropped the 2nd nap right around one year and it was scary at first but led to long mornings and we could do more planned activities.
    Still, even at almost 2.5, I most certainly race home and try to get them in their cribs to nap at just the right time.
    I think people who don't have twins just don't get it. The schedule and the nap time is too important to mess with.
    And good for you to take some time off during those naps. Some days I do, some days I don't. But I always try to sit down and 'rest'/read for at least 30 minutes. You need it.

  2. It's funny how set we are in our schedule. We will not even say proper goodbyes sometimes at family functions because we have to get home and get everyone in bed on time. :)

    I'm glad your schedule is working for you and the girls.

  3. And in a few months it'll probably change again...

    The Bean is now sometimes starting to do one nap instead of two. I think I'm really going to miss the two naps... but if he does do one mega-nap that might be a good trade off because we'll be able to get out for a longer time earlier in the day whereas now sometimes I feel like we're rushing to get him home for nap time.

    1. We say that constantly...just when we think things are set, they change! We are all definitely kept on our toes!

  4. We never really got onto a schedule for feedings and naps - we were always, and still are, quite baby led - but they did fall into their own grove (including for bedtime). I still have MoM guilt about not "forcing" a schedule though.

  5. I call ours a "routine" I'm not one for rigid schedules. We too followed our boys queues & let them lead the way. They were also great sleepers anywhere, anytime. I miss those days. Our boys have been a little unsettled since our move, they still stick to pretty much the same routine but cry a bit when we put them to bed. Naps are changing for us too, Im trying to hold off on the one mega nap until all 3 are ready, so as of recent I usually have at least one of them up before the others from both of their naps.
    I took a nap Saturday to escape the craziness of visitors at my parents house for the weekend (while we stay with them until we find our new home) I felt so guilty, I didn't even want to tell Donna I did it, lol...

  6. I'm so glad that you're giving yourself permission to have some boring afternoons :) Our older two have dropped their naps now, but I look back on the days of naptime with great fondness. Good for you for letting go of the mommy guilt!