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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Off Schedule

I learned one thing over the last week.  The schedule matters.  I'm referring to my baby's schedule, of course.  Upsetting her balance, whisking her to Maryland, and surrounding her with lots of loud and excited relatives meant for one thing.

A cranky baby.

That translated into an exhausted and tired mom.  I brought my kindle with two newly purchased books on the trip with hopes of doing a lot of reading.  The reality was that I didn't read a single page.  Most of my time was spent corralling Emily who wanted to be held more than normal, never wanted to nap, hated everything we gave her to eat, and was unable to be occupied happily by any task for more than a few seconds.  It was so stressful that when my dad mentioned he had to run to the store for something I nearly knocked him over running to the door to join him.  Boy, I just needed a moment. 

Sure, my mom watched Emily for a little here and there, but she was in the middle of her own holiday preparations and had to pay attention to that.  Shawn helped when he was home, but most of the time he was out hunting, because part of my Christmas gift to him was a hunting trip on farm a few towns over. 

There were just too many stimulations.  Relatives coming and going who wanted to hold her and squeeze her and get in her face making silly noises.  Nap times that were missed, because of family lunches and get togethers.  I paid for all of that in spades.  

For days I was seriously perplex as to what happened to my daughter's wonderful personality.  

Finally, though, by Christmas Emily had found her groove.  She got used to her new surroundings, new sleeping arrangement, and became the happy baby I know her as.  Phew...

So, I learned the dangerous lesson of getting off schedule, especially with tons of stimulation and new surroundings.  The schedule is not to be taken lightly and toddlers are no where near as capable as adjusting as an adult.  Also, I am finding that increasingly I need vacations from my vacations.  Perhaps I need to have an actual vacation that both doesn't involve taking my baby and doesn't involve a whirl-wind of family visits!


IdahoNegomir said...

When my kids were that age, we prepared for the worst and whatever we got was better than what we prepared for. We always had different rules, like on vacations the baby went to sleep with us sometimes they got moved later and sometimes not. We always tried to arrive so they got a nap in the daylight in there "new room" it made bedtimes easier. Sometimes we just planned naptime to be in the car.

Stella said...

Happy Holidays. What darling pictures of Emily. Our society has really changed over the last few decades. Families are so far apart that there isn't that frequent face to face interaction for little ones. I would suggest you schedule a once a week (at least) day for yourself as a vacation. I remember raising my son by myself (divorced, he left when my son was 10 months)and I had 1 day a month when the Dad visited that I could have off. It was such a relief to have all the weight, responsibility lifted for just one day. I remember it well. Have fun, the time passes so fast. Love Stella Ann

Kristin said...

Vacation from the baby. I completely approve. My husband and I try to go on a trip every six months without the kids. This last time we dropped them at my mom's and went to Vegas for a week. We missed them, but at the same time, we valued the time because we got to be adults. And a married couple. You know, instead of roommates who take turns corralling the kids. :-) Emily looks adorable in all her Christmas outfits, though!

Little Wife said...

Without kids of my own, I can't really relate to the stress of all this, but I did see my sister-in-law dealing with the same thing this Christmas! I think that one thing that would have helped the situation was if she had worried less about hurting others' feelings or changing other people's plans... I think opening presents would have been a lot more fun for both her and her little one if she had filled Mom in on the schedule and said no to opening presents during little boy's usual dinner time! I'm sure that she just didn't want to be "demanding," but it would have taken a lot off of her shoulders if she had "demanded" a little (and I don't think anyone else would have minded at all!)

SharleneT said...

If you can, get started on Skype for your phone calls so that family/friend faces aren't the same as strangers. (Finally, learned how for my distant nephews and nieces!) And, it's important to know the difference between vacations (you and hubby doing your own thing for a day or two) and family trips (the whole family doing everything the children want!). Those little vacations save your sanity. Come visit when you can. I'm so behind, I don't think anyone remembers me!

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