One thing I wasn’t prepared for is how much team work is needed as a baby gets older. Whereas during the first six months Mamma often takes control with feeds, sleep, play: it all changes if Mamma returns to work. On my return to work I found it difficult to give up that responsibility and often tried to do it all. Now Fizz is a year old I am learning how important tag teaming is for parents.
My day starts at 6am. I leave for work at 7am after getting myself ready and packing lunches. The night before I lay out clothes and pack the nursery day bag. Daddy takes over at 7am and I think it’s lovely that Gav and Fizz have time without Mamma flapping about. In the evening I pick Fizz up from nursery – we do a family bath time with mummy in the bath and daddy passing various toys to Fizz. We take it in turns in doing bedtime so Fizz isn’t used to just one person putting her to bed.
Without our routines and working together as a team we would be running around like headless chickens! I know early on in motherhood everyone seems to bang on about routines and how important they are. I know they are – I can see the difference in Fizz when we go outside the lines, but I also know how difficult it can be to stay inside the box too. So we all work together to find what is the best way to do things together and enjoy family life whilst also having the constraints of being working parents.
Here are some routines that have worked for our family:
1) Bedtime – set by changing into PJ’s, cuddles and sometimes a story depending on Fizz’s concentration
2) Before Nursery routine – we always get Fizz changed and dressed between 7 and 8 even on non nursery days. I find this is because I would stay in PJ’s all day with Fizz on my lazy days.
And here are some routines that haven’t worked for us:
1) Set meal/milk times – you will only eat when you are hungry so why would a child be any different
2) A bath before bed – Fizz has eczema so this is not do-able. Plus, it’s not necessarily great for a child’s skin to be soaked every day, as it can dry out the natural moisture
3) Set nap times – now with nap times ever changing in our house we decide to wait for Fizz’s tired cues rather than stick to a time
I love comparing routines and sometimes I adapt what I do if I think there are elements we can use. Babies change into toddlers, becomimg more active – sometimes sticking to set rules is too restrictive but it’s nice to have a framework, and it’s great when you find a balance which works just right for your little team!