The Ever-Changing Parenting Routines

The first few weeks of having a newborn were wild. Previously, I had gradually been moving my life to more routines and habits, and all of those instantly disappeared. My daughter’s schedule became my schedule, and she had no schedule–only needs to be addressed.

Fortunately, things settled in surprisingly quickly. I occasionally skim through the data in the Huckleberry app and visually observe how she consolidated her sleep and developed a schedule.

Not actually my daughter: this is from their marketing material, but you get the idea

But “schedule” might be a strong word to use because it never seems like it sticks for long.

No more walks

A few days ago, I realized that we hadn’t gone on a neighborhood walk recently. We used to wander the streets to explore and look at gardens, but we basically have just been heading back and forth from the park.

At first, I couldn’t figure why: the days are long enough for time in the evening. My work and daycare schedule hadn’t changed in awhile. We had the time and opportunity to do so. We used to go for walks after getting home from daycare and work.

Then I realized that after work, we were playing in the yard instead. And we were playing in the yard because my daughter was walking better on her own. Rather than pushing her in a stroller, we gradually found ways for her to be more active and enjoy her outdoor toys.

How I became boring

Maybe a year into my adult working life, I realized that this was the rest of my life. When I was growing up, my schedule had always been dictated externally (usually by school), and there was a regular, predictable rhythm of change. Each semester was followed by a break, and then I would have a whole new set of classes and obligations to attend.

Perhaps others in other professions have more specific, dramatic changes and seasons, but I don’t. I more or less do the same thing year round. I take time off for the holidays, I add and drop standing meetings, and projects start and end, but in many ways, it’s easy for the days to blend together.

So watching and reacting to how my daughter’s schedule changes perhaps is some sort of regression to patterns of growing up.

Schedules keep changing

For the next few months, I don’t anticipate much more change. However, I probably would have said the same a few months ago. But I can guess what might change.

As I mentioned, we have been trying to get my daughter to take part in more chores around the house. Her ability to entertain herself or help in preparing food has changed my mornings slightly. Before, one of us had to watch her constantly before breakfast. Now, she might stand in her learning tower and watch me make sandwiches.

Our mornings are always chaotic. It’s probably because I can’t get into work soon enough, so there is never enough time between wakeup and the start of the workday. Hopefully we can settle into a good schedule for that.

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