Friday, May 13, 2011

Reflections of Motherhood Part 5: Routine

I did a lot of reading while I was pregnant. I wasn’t too into all the pregnancy books (except this one) as a twin pregnancy is so different from singletons, although I did enjoy my weekly emails telling me how big my babies were and read a bit about their development. What I did read about was what to do after and I’m glad I did. I like to be prepared, I like to have a plan and I knew that with twins it would be important in getting through the early months. I basically went to the people whose parenting styles I respect and found out what they did. A book that was mentioned by almost all of them was this which focused on the E.A.S.Y. routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You). While not everything in the book was for me, I liked the idea of a flexible routine and knowing what came next. So since day one we’ve been following that plan... the boys get fed, followed by activity time (diapers, playing, reading etc.), then naps and time for myself. Because my boys slept so much in the early days we had to wake them to eat every 3 hours and we fell into that schedule. When they were ready we stretched it out to 4 hours between milk feedings during the day and that’s where we are now. My days are somewhat predictable and I love it. I think the boys do too. People often say we are lucky that we have such great sleepers, but I attribute it to our routine and teaching our boys how to sleep well. It seems to be pretty consistent with other parents who did something similar. I don’t think luck has anything to do with it.

I am not an “on demand” parent. That doesn’t work for me, especially with two the same age. That being said, I obviously believe that parents should choose the style of parenting that works best for them (*Side note: One things I’ve observed from friends who feed on demand is that they basically feed their baby whenever they cry. I guess my main issue is that I don’t always think a cry equals hunger and there are other things that can be done. Feeding is used as form of soothing which I think can be fine in babyhood but not as healthy in later years... think of the obesity epidemic and emotional eating, which I definitely do from time to time. I’m not saying on demand feeding and obesity are linked at all, I just have some questions about what I’ve seen. Again, just MY opinion and I have no issue with my friends doing it.) I believe that ultimately it’s important to raise loving, kind and respectful children. I don’t think sharing a family bed or crib sleeping, feeding on demand or by schedule, whether or not I wear my baby or let my child cry-it-out, has that much to do with it. I personally don’t know how I would have done it without my routine, while others might like a more go-with-the-flow type approach. I’m probably also a little more structured than I would have been with one and when/if the next child comes along we’ll also have older siblings to factor in. But as I’m getting closer to the end of my first year of motherhood (*sigh*), I think I’ve done pretty well to survive with twins and I think I have my routine to thank.

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