Career women are often great with schedules and planned outcomes. Organised (when we need to be). Understanding of SMART objectives. Give us a list to work through – we’re in our element. Specific inputs lead to specific outputs – got it. On it. Done it.
I’m one of these women. Confident with planning, consistency and project management. That’s why, right up until 6m, I’ve struggled to accept there’s no Baby Algorithm. Unless you’ve got a baby who’s chewed on (and absorbed) the “textbook”… you know what I’m talking about.
Take morning nap routines.
We have one – and naps are roughly the same time each morning. While nights are pretty consistent in terms of numbers of hours slept and number of night-time wakings. Breakfast is roughly the same deal each morning. And yet naps are sometimes 40 minutes (yup, that single sleep cycle is a royal pain in the ass) – and occasionally as much as 2 hours.
It’s freaking impossible to plan. Do I shower and put the washing on, having sterilised the bottles and fed the dog? Or do I have time to also wash and dry my hair? Or pay some bills? Purée pears? – heck, is it worth crawling back into bed or are we on a 40 minute affair right now? TELL ME BABY! (this is my internal voice and not vocalised to tired baby who just wants to focus on Ewan the Bloody Dream Sheep).
Car journeys – sometimes sleep, sometimes quiet play, and sometimes screaming bloody murder. And yet every trip is planned and prepared in a similar manner.
Sling walks – sometimes ‘earth-mother’ with a gurgling and happy baby. Other days same baby is a cranky little poop-bag mizzling and hating every moment of being this close to Mum. Meh!!
And none of this seems to be linked to bottles, naps or nappies. “Teething” is the excuse rolled out since about, ooh, week 8 – so unless this baby is Jaws growing a serious set of nashers – it’s not that.
So. No baby algorithm. Yet another of Motherhood’s Disappointments (others including the “pregnancy-glow” myth and the “newborn crawls up your tummy to serenely feed at the nipple because it’s what nature intended after birth” fantasy).
Rant over. Going to optimise my morning nap window… Good luck with yours.