Sunday, May 17, 2009

A slave to the clock

Cameron and I have had a lovely weekend. DH has had a dirty one as he is trying to fix a drainage issue we have with the garage and it involves a lot of digging. We were given a ridiculous minimum quote so our Puritan souls shriveled and DH decided to try it on his own. I'll update the blog with the results. Fortunately it is nothing serious so the work doesn't have to be completed immediately.

On Saturday Cameron and I went to Amanda's for a play date. Cameron ruined her two nights of uninterrupted sleep with 3 AM wake up calls for Mommy. I guess I was right that the sleeping through the night was a fluke. I took advantage of a break in DH's work to run to Babies 'R Us and then to get a manicure and pedicure. It took about 3 hours total and I felt guilty for taking the time. What is wrong with me?!? Plus I was annoyed because it takes so long to get to Babies 'R Us (why are they always placed so far away?) and I had to go there for the product for which I refused to pay $5 extra dollars in shipping costs.

So what is this post really about? Well, the title says it all. When I leave Cameron at home I feel like I'm always rushing to make sure I'm back in time before she wakes up from her nap. Or her next feeding. DH is always willing to step in but with breastfeeding, that isn't always possible. Plus I'm having trouble letting go. What if he doesn't recognize the signs that she is getting sleepy and she gets overtired? Will he know to put her in her swing for a while and then in her crib? Can he move her just as gently as I can so she doesn't even stir on transfer? It's not that DH isn't competent. Far from it. It's that I spend basically every minute of her waking life with Cameron and probably know her better than myself at this point. And because I know her schedule so well I just assume DH does too. But I'm trying to let it go...I promise!

I have to let it go because Cameron isn't a very portable infant. It is very hard to bring Cameron out with me for any longer than an hour and a half. Maximum. She is completely on a schedule which is great but makes me feel terrible if I'm out and she gets fussy because she's ready for a nap. There isn't much I can get done in 90 minutes. And usually I only have 60 minutes. Even when I'm home I still constantly watch the clock. It's weird that I haven't been wearing a wrist watch but between clocks in the house, on my phone and on my computer I usually know exactly what time it is. And more importantly how much time until her next feeding or nap! Even worse is when I write the date down for my milk storage bags every day. I feel the days slipping away until I return to work (sniff, sniff).

Have other moms experienced this slavish devotion to timekeeping? Does it get better in a couple of months or not until Cameron is much older?


Mommy, Esq. said...

We are still slaves to the schedule but we take turns to run errands (or in Husband's case, do yard work). Hire a babysitter. I've said this before. I refuse to post any more comments on your blog or acknowledge your whining until you do. Tough sisterly love.

Sotorrific Twins said...

Yes - I am also a total clock slave!! I think the hardest thing aboit being on vacation, besides not having all my gear, was that I didn't have clocks everwhere. I don't wear a wtahc either but the cable box, oven, clock, etc are always in sight.

But to be honest, once you get used to it (and experience some time without it), its actually kind of freeing. You know how much time you have to do something instead of living in unpredictable chaos! At least that's how I like to look at it.

Amanda said...

Your going to be fine, with going back to work (as much as we don't want to it will happen), you will learn to have time for yourself. As for DH, you will need to let him and Cameron figure out their own routine. I had a hard time with the same what ifs with jeremy but he is much better at calming Holden sometimes. And Cameron and DH will figure out what works for them when mom is away. Its more about us mom's learning to trust that dad can do just as good of a job just a different way. Not to say that Cameron and DH won't have some bumps in the road, like getting overtired or misinterpetation of her cues. But we forget, that we were there once, it was just weeks 1 and 2 not weeks 7 and 8. Even with all of that, the baby's schedule still dictates to some extent in our lives we have just chose to not give up all of our freedom with respect to Holden. But that might have only happened in the last couple of weeks since I've been back at work.

A. said...

It gets easier when you are not breastfeeding anymore, and when she is only taking two naps (or even better, one!) a day. Better, but you still always have an eye on the clock. I'm still waiting for that to change, and Finn is 2 and 1/2!

LauraC said...

We were huge clockwatchers bc we had to keep the boys on the same schedule. I'd say the first six months were tough that way bc we felt like by the time we got everyone ready to go out the door, we had an hour max before we had to get home.

What I'm about to write now may not make sense. We still keep to a strict schedule but we don't watch the clock. The boys walk up to us and say they're hungry and we're like, oh yeah, it's snack time. Or Jon and I start feeling tired and cranky and we're like, oh yeah, the boys need a nap so we can rest.

And I do agree you have to let DH do the work and learn lessons the hard way. That's the way they become good parents, and make it so much easier for you leave the house for as long as you want (for example, if you wanted to go to the presidential inauguration for 3 days!).

Anonymous said...

I agree with Soterrific Twins... You just get used to being a slave to the clock. You get a little more "wiggle room" the older they get though. If the boys don't go down for their naps until 1 instead of at 12:30, it's not the end of the world. If they aren't in bed right at 7:45, meltdown is not inevitable. But I really feel that kids AND adults do better when they have a routine. It's predictable and it's comforting. It keeps us all sane. I know some parents who practice a total "go with the flow" style. And I cannot cannot cannot imagine living the way they do, not knowing if or when their child will eat or nap or whatever. I don't know how they get anything done at all! I used to have friends tease me about being neurotic about keeping my kids tightly scheduled... And when they became parents themselves, they apologized. :-)

Donna said...

I must be the odd one out -- nope, no schedule. I never watch the clock with the kids, except when we are nearing bedtime. We really do things very casually. With both babies I fed on demand, and put them down on demand and/or when convenient. When I was on maternity leave, the only way I knew what time it was - CNN has a little clock in the corner and I would notice it once in a while when I was watching the news. I liked no schedule - still do. Works for us.

Danielle said...

Brady and I do and do not have a schedule. In the beginning I was nuts about it...nuts! I would get really anxious when he didn't take his nap on time. I don't think was as early as Cameron's age though. He had no schedule until about 2.5-3 months.
I was also crazy about being away from him. Partly because I got very uncomfortable if I missed a feeding. I only pumped if I was going to be away from him.
I have learned (thank God) to let things go most of the time and just let him dictate the schedule and to mess him up a bit if needs be. It works much better for both of us. He only naps in the stroller - but it works for me. If we're out, we're out, if I need to be home we go home.
It'll get better. But it may take a bit of time.

Anonymous said...

Since I talked to you while having your pedicure I do believe that you "protest too much"...Cammie will survive any of DH's inattention - which I would bet $$ is not an issue when you are not around...give the guy some credit...but if not then just hire babysitters and housecleaners until he sees the light...and I dare you to tell hem to read this. Mom