Monday, October 03, 2011

Ways in which I'm a strict mother (2) - schedules

I actually intended to post my crafty link-ups but the pics are taking sweet forever to upload and I want to get to bed!

proof that she is our kid - her father and I are both bookshop people - we LOVE bookshops

Connor is fearless - he thinks he's 4 the way he goes around bossing big kids around. The good thing is that Kendra sees this bravery and joins in. I had to take pics because she is not someone to go off and play somewhere without us in sight

MandyE wanted us to talk about schedules next - I can't think why?! :)

Those of you who've been around since the babies were real babies know that we battled a LOT to even get them on a schedule with anything - sleep, eating, everything.

My children never ever stretched to even 3 hours to eat til they went on solids at 4 and 5 months respectively.

And once I saw the scheduling thing eventually start working I was all for it.

Still, I did hate all the other mothers who had perfect kids who fed every 4 hours (and longer).

So the way I do things is we stick to a general rhythm, not necessarily a schedule.

I watch cues for sleepiness and put them down around 10:30 - 11-ish and they'll sleep around 2 hours.

Then they're up for lunch, play time and we now bath first and then feed them at 5, but no later than 5:30.

When I get home at 5:30-ish, they're in their pyjamas and we spend time together on my bed (I sort out my work stuff, change clothes and they play with special books I keep in my bedside drawer) and then they have their milk while I snuggle with them (I'll take what I can get - it's the only time Connor is ever still).

I used to be very strict about getting them to bed at 6 sharp. In fact, the music (sleep CD) was on at 5:55 and they were out like lights by 6:00.

But then D messed things up because he said he missed them.

So I'd keep them up til 6:30 so they could spend some time with him.

I will say this - if he's going somewhere after work and will not be home by 6:30, he has to let me know and we do bed-time without him.

It's very cute how the kids know who they can take chances with.

At 6:25 I say, "come babies (yes, I call them babies), it's time for bed".

They each hold my hand (can you imagine the cuteness?!), we go to their bedroom, I pray with each one individually (apparently D and I do this totally differently, which is a topic for another post), tuck Connor in (Kendra doesn't like to be tucked in - "no, Mummy, no tuck"), say goodnight and I love you.

I switch on the music, turn out the lights and leave.

And that's it.

No drama.

When D is there, they read a lot longer and then pray and tuck in. But their whole bedtime thing takes about 30 minutes.

They run around their room, playing, looking for excuses to get out of bed, etc.

I hear them carrying on while I'm cooking supper.

So to summarise...

We feed roughly at 8, 1, 3:30-ish and 5.
They sleep at 10:30 - 11-ish and then at 6:30 (with me) - 7-ish (with D)

They never wake at night except when Kendra's sick and her meds are wearing off (just before that 6-hour mark, she'll wake) but they do wake up bright and early at 5:30 - 6-ish every day.

Don't bother telling me to put them to bed later - we've tried that - it doesn't work - all it means is they get to wear us out another hour or two and they still wake at 5:30 - 6ish.

These kids are, sadly, early birds.

I had the bright idea to teach them to tell time the other day so told V this morning she must start telling them they only get milk at 6 in the pm and 6 in the am :)

Let's see - after all they can identify letters, I'm sure they can learn the time (at least just 6 o'clock).

On the strict scale I'm a 7 or 8.

Where do you fall on the scheduling strict scale?


  1. I am pretty strict with schedules during week and very strict during the school year. During the day I run a home daycare and have two children of my own to get to school and preschool. Things have to be done by the clock or I will be late, house would be a wreak and no one would be changed or fed ;)

    Morning- wake up early, get oldest on the bus. First baby dropped off. Get my other son and my daughter ready to drop him off at preschool. Get home and other baby shows up. Put babies down for naps around 10. Clean house while my daughter has tv time. By 11 the babies are awake and we do lunch.

    Afternoon- Pick up my son from preschool, get my daughter down for a nap. Baby 1 gets picked up. Get baby 2 down for an afternoon nap. Son has a snack and we spend time together. Oldest son and my DH get home aroud 4

    Evening- Baby 2 gets pick up. We do homework,dinner, baths, brush teeth, reading, and bed. Kids are in bed 7:30-8.

    From 8-9 my husband and I do our own thing to relax. From 9-10 or 11 we spend time together.

  2. So when I was home this summer with the girls, I was pretty darn strict. But you know, the more people that your children interact with, the harder it is to follow a strict schedule.

    The new sitter is more about nap sleep cues than I am. I'm a very, by the clock, kind of gal. But she has four kids to tend to, so I am pretty flexible. Plus Addison is clearly shifting over to one nap, while Lauren is a sleep hog. :)

    I'm right there with you on the early bedtime, although we have always put them to bed around 7PM. We have a definite routine and whether they go down at 7 or (on rare occasion, later), they will get up around 6:30 like clockwork. I dealt with that all summer, really. I desperately wanted them to sleep in, and it did NOT happen! :)

    No drama here at night for at least a month or so. There was a terrible spell there this summer where Addison would WAIL for an hour before giving up - but I think she is just too tired now to fight it.

    I guess I'm about a 6 or 7. I like structure, but I'm not rigid.

  3. I like how Veronica carves out time for her husband. I need to do more of that. I guess I don't because I am ready to collapse by 9PM! haha!

  4. We are very strict with behaviour, but less strict with other things. My kids have never been book babies and we've always fed on demand. Bed time varies for us (but then mine are a bit older).

  5. I must post. I've found that we've totally relaxed. Totally!

  6. I'm probably a 6 when it comes to strictness and schedules. I try to stay within a 15 minute time gap for bedtime and meal times.Every other thing in between is freestyle. Ok, maybe a 5.

  7. My MIL used to insist I put the only reason my kids woke up early was b/c of how early we put them to bed. Well, kids are just like yours. No matter what time they go to bed, they are still up with the sun. Sometimes even earlier than that!

    We used to be very strict with our schedule too when our kids were younger. Seriously, it was the only way for me to stay sane. And my kids came to know what to expect. They knew after lunch was nap, they knew after bathtime was bedtime.

    Now, we're way more flexible, esp on weekends.

  8. I love your schedules and routines!! We don't have kiddies yet, but you are truly inspirational :)

  9. Veronica, I love how you and your husband have scheduled time DAILY!

    I have time on a weekly basis for him outside of supper - bad!

    However, we have now increased to two date nights on Thursdays and two on weekend afternoons, so things are looking up!

    Mandy, can't wait to read your relaxed schedule!

  10. We too have 'Rhythms' rather than schedules. My son Corey who is almost 8 is also an early riser and is usually awake before 6, he knows the routine, he can put on his light and read in bed and get up at 6. Breakfast and school, he is slightly autistic and rigidly gets dressed at 730am and we leave at bang on 8am. At hometime he will play with his toys or have some computer time before dinner, we eat usually around pm and then have time together. He will go up for a bath or shower around 6pm, in bed for 630pm and has a story read, he can read for another 5-10 minutes alone then lights out. We've also tried putting him to bed later and he still wakes before 6am!

  11. I think I'm closer to a 9 on schedule strictness. :)

    Our girls wake up these days around 6:30, on average. (It used to be as late as 7:30...but then potty training happened...I'm glad we have slept in underwear for so long, but it definitely affects the morning wake-up routine.)

    Breakfast is at 7:30, snack between 9:30 and 10:00, and lunch is at 12:00.

    I've had to experiment with the nap time over the past few months. As "scheduled" as I've always been, I think our girls are consequently pretty sensitive to time.

    For the past 6 weeks or so, I've been putting the girls down between 1:20 and 1:30. That's the one thing - once I find something that works for us - that I never vary.

    The girls usually nap until 3:00-ish, then we have a little snack, with supper between 5:15 and 5:30.

    We start our bedtime routine about 6:45, and the girls are down (after milk, pajamas, book, wash faces, brush teeth, prayers) about 7:15.

    I'm not strict about snack times - as long as they're not too close to meal times. Everything else I maintain pretty closely.

    When the girls were teeny-tiny, my neighbor recommended a particular book series, Babywise. It is very schedule-oriented. What I like about the philosophy - and have found true - is that, with a schedule, the baby knows what to expect, and you know what to expect.

    I think it's important to have structure in schedule, as that's something the child can count on. The book series rationalizes that there are a gazillion new things happening every day in a child's environment; let the schedule be a constant to allow the child to best process all the other changes.

    Further, for me, I can bank on when our girls will be best-behaved, so I can schedule my day. There are certain times of the day when I need to be more hands-on with them, and other times when they'll play pretty independently.

    I credit the girls' schedule with them being really good-natured. They're rarely overtired, and that's so important for the general well-being of everyone (and Mommy's sanity!).

    For me, the girls' schedule is a lifesaver. At times, I look at other mothers and think I wish I could be a little more "go with the flow"...but we're doing what works best for all of us, the girls, and for me.

    I know some of my friends and family don't understand my strictness, but I got over that a long time ago. When you're with a child (or two) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week [with few exceptions], you've gotta get a system down that works for YOU...not anyone else.

    I should also note that I will vary from the girls' schedule occasionally. I try really hard to adhere to nap time (and I NEVER miss bedtime for ANYTHING), but we'll occasionally deviate. We had an event to attend a few weeks ago, from 1:00 - 3:00. We went for the first 30 minutes and headed home. I missed the girls' 1:30 lay-down...and they didn't nap at all that day. I knew that might happen, so I was sure to plan to be home the remainder of the day.

    Sorry for the crazy-long comment, but you know this is something I'm really passionate about! :)

  12. Oh, by the way, I've just decided our girls are early birds, too. Several people have suggested that we extend their bedtime, but I just don't think that would work. AND it would be a big gamble (with my sanity, if nothing else!) 6:00pm, our girls are TIRED. I can't imagine getting them down any later than 7:30!

    Besides, I don't mind getting up early-ish...'cause I LOVE having at least a couple of hours at night to myself!

  13. Schedule and routine were the absolute saviors for us for such a long time. It felt like FOREVER that we were on that 3-hour schedule, at least during the day (thankfully, my girls learned to sleep through the night fairly early!). I would say I was an 8 or 9 until the girls were about 15 months.

    Like Mandy said, I can see where I've relaxed a lot, especially reading MandyE's comment! : )

    We still have good routines, in that we follow the same general schedule almost every day...and there are specific "routines" that we do for naptime and bedtime. But as far as the time of the day goes, the only thing I am strict on is sleep. The girls eat breakfast when they wake up, which is usually around 8:15-8:30, but could be as late as 9:30 on the weekends, so snack and lunch just kind of depend on that. At school, they eat lunch at 11:00, so we try to keep that at home when it works out.

    I still don't like to mess with naptime...A & M go down around 1:30-2:00 and usually sleep at least two hours. Due to random circumstances, they missed nap two days recently, and the world didn't end! : ) It wasn't a fun afternoon, but we survived.

    Bedtime has gradually moved back over the last year and a half. My girls used to be OUT by 7 at the latest, but now it's more like 8:15 or 8:30 during the week. Unlike MandyE, I have found that bedtime is something we can play with occasionally without too many consequences. The girls may not sleep later after staying up, but since they regularly sleep until 8 or 9 anyway, staying up til 9:30 or so on special occasions doesn't hurt long as the next day is fairly normal, routine-wise.

    So, yeah, I can see where I have eased up a lot in this area...but I'm still a lot more routine-oriented than many moms of singletons. Lessons learned from infant twins are hard to forget! : )

  14. The only "schedule " my 3 yr old has is bathtime at 17h00. ish.

    And my 6 week old drinks every 1 1/2 - 3 hrs.

    So. No routines to speak of and huge admiration for you for getting it right.Advice to get them into a routine appreciated!

  15. I was probably a 10 for the first 12 months. Our schedule was everything to me and the only thing that kept my sanity. We were lucky to come home from the hospital with babies who fed every three hours and then napped between feeds. I loved the predictability in that, and wouldn't mess with our schedule for anything.

    Gradually things changed, feeding spaced out a little longer, there was more awake time. But I pretty much didn't leave the house for most of the first year to keep our schedule intact. After the first year, I would say I was more of an 8. :o)

    Since my guys turned three, I'm more of a 6 or 7. When there's no need to disrupt our schedule, I don't. But if something fun comes up, I'm no longer the mom who says no for fear of ruining the nap or disrupting the schedule. We don't do it a ton, but I no longer live in fear of getting off schedule. :o)

  16. I also stuck to a strict routine when my kids were young...but I did giggle at one of your don't seriously think there is something like a "perfect kid" do you?

    Now I have no routine with my grand babies...will have to get that fixed before B's baby arrives tho;-)

  17. I am a little late on this one but here I am to RATE myself and I am scoring a strong 9, maybe even 10...yikes! LOL!

    7am- up and breakfast
    9:30- snack
    10:15-12:30pm- nap
    12:30pm- lunch
    4-5pm-nap...more like alone time in their rooms, they rarely sleep.
    6:15 supper
    6:45-7:15- Daddy reads
    7:15pm- bed

    7am- we start all over again.

    The reason I rate myself a "9" is because most, if not all, activities are arranged around these times. Including when we fly...LOL!

    Looking forward to the next topic... :)

  18. My mom and I have been discussing this alot while she has been here.

    She asked me what Jacks nap times were - I have no idea - it varies from day to day but my sis-in-law had a very strict routine with her little one and there was specific and set nap times.

    I have a "flexible" routine - I have always taken their queues but bedtime has always been 19h00 - even now for Jack.

    The bigger kids will read, play DS or whatever but they must do it in bed and quietly. Jack gets bathed, fed (if need be) and put to bed around 19h00 - it does depend on the type of day he has had but he MUST be bathed by 19h00.

    I am hoping once Jack has solids and has the breakfast, lunch, dinner thing going on we do get a little bit more of a routine in terms of "set" nap times!

  19. Oh I wanted to add out of all my parenting things bed time is the one thing I am the strictest on.

    Even if we go out with the kids I will let them stay up but not to midnight or some unreasonable time. When we have sleep overs by 9h00 they must all be in bed!

  20. My guys get up around 7, 730 on the weekdays because that's when the girls get up to get ready for school. They sleep later on the weekends.

    They eat with the girls, and at 8 the girls head off to school.

    They only nap half the time, but when they do, they go to bed at like 10-11pm, pretty much wherever they crash. Aaron deals with them in the evenings.

    If he's not home, I put them to bed at like 8- 830, LOL

    IF they nap it's generally around lunchtime for 2-3 hours.

    We usually eat dinner around 630-7pm.

  21. I think you're getting the most comments I've seen anywhere lately!

    Either that or my posts just really suck.

    I'm a routine already know that. They get up, chill, have breakfast, activity, lunch, clean up, nap, wake up, snack, chill, activity, dinner, baths, reading, bed.

    Everything takes longer when Husband does it, but that's fine...we're different parents.

  22. I'm pretty strict...but I'm okay with half an hour wiggle room here and there. That's about my tolerance level.

    I get up at 5, Nicola gets up between 6 and 6:30. We leave home at 6:45, drop her off at school at 07:00. I pick her up somewhere between 16:00 and 16:30, we go home and do chores, between 17:30 and 18:00 we eat, between 18:30 and 19:00 we bath. Then she gets' to watch a tiny bit of animated movie if she wants. Between 19:30 and 20:00 she goes to bed. I play a bit and usually try to be in bed by 23:00 latest...I see I am failing again tonight. ;-)


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails