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Fitting in around PFBs routines(52 Posts)
Just wondered if I'm being UR re fitting in around other mums and their babies' routines. I have the 'easy baby' in our NCT group and have a loose routine for 9 MO, like to be out and about and baby happy to sleep on go, but it's really starting to get on my nerves that my friends want to be at home for mealtimes, can't agree a meet-up time until baby awake, need to meet half an hour later so baby doesn't need to be woken, literally as I'm walking out the door, can't meet at a certain time any day because it's nap time...
How does it work with second babies? I'm starting to feel like there's a 10 min slot we can all make, and that's with me bending over backwards. Do I just need to chill?
No, your friends do.
And they probably will once baby 2 comes along, if it does.
Until then, grin and bear it and do what you would do anyway, just do it on your own.
I worked to a routine. And I wouldnt wake dd from a nap to go out. However, I was always very happy to.be the host (so.not having to worry about getting out by a certain time), or if I.knew we were meeting out at a time dd would nap, id go out a little earlier so she would nap out.
You may think they need to chill, they might prefer a routine. Its apples and oranges.
I think that many people get deep into 'my baby's routine' with their first. By the second/third when there are non negotiables like the school run, they have to be more flexible.
I think it is reasonable to plan the day around your baby at this stage, but it's unreasonable to be constantly phoning as you are leaving the house, etc to delay and leaving you stranded. There comes a point where you just have to plan better or be more flexible.
I'm surprised that your NCT group are still together TBH. We found that, after the first few weeks, meeting up in a big group is quite hard, for the reasons you have said. It's much easier to meet one friend and their baby. Or meet at toddler groups where you don't care if they are late.
I think YABU a bit. You're lucky to have an easy baby, not everyone has that luck.
I don't know why people assume that everyone on a routine does it for no good reason or because they are uptight or god knows what. Don't you think your friends would prefer to be out and about and not have to worry about things?
When DS was 9 months I didn't make plans for nap times because it was the only time I could sleep reliably, he still woke at night so often.
Obviously you break the routine when you have to for school run or whatever but socialising is not the same kind of necessity, you can be flexible -- or at least you can if your friends are in the same boat and so it's all mutual.
I think that many first time parents do it- I did. You don't have that luxury with the second, they just have to fit in and are much better off for it.
We kept our NCT group going until they started school- it was better than a toddler group, it is in someone's house and is they have to speak to you! However, it was a new group once the babies had arrived, I never used it before they were born.
I agree Dreaming. I think the point I was trying to make is that, if OPs friends know nap time is X, it is unreasonable to keep making plans for just after nap time, so that they regularly cancel/push back because the baby has slept longer. Fix it for a time you can fairly reliably make, even if those times are limited.
YANBU. If they want to be meeting up with people and going out and about they need to learn to be more flexible.
Having an uptight routine with no flexibility often isn't practical at all.
YANBU - if there are times of day during which they cannot meet up with others (for whatever reason, not just family routine) then they should not be making arrangements for those times.
It's nothing to do with style of parenting (each to their own), but a great deal to do with basic courtesy and consideration.
"they just have to fit in and are much better off for it. "
I am debating this point with DH at the moment.
DD1 was easy as a baby - very laid back and chilled out. I didn't worry too much about a rigid routine but I did make life easier for myself - she used to have a big early morning feed, for example, and then fall asleep again. So I never made plans to do anything much before 11.00 so she could have her sleep out, and I took the chance to sleep myself. As she got a bit older (up to about 18 months) she kept the morning nap so I also kept morning activities to a minimum. It worked for us.
DD2 is now 16 weeks. She also, if left to her own devices, sleeps a lot in the morning and is more awake and alert, and mostly cheerful, in the afternoon. But she rarely is left to her own devices. And on days when she is having to be taken out for the school run etc, she is noticeably more fretful and tired in the afternoons. She hasn't learnt (at least not yet) to sleep whenever, wherever, unless she's exhausted, at which point she gets cranky. More often, if disturbed (being put in her carseat to go in the car for example, or even carrying the carseat out to the car) she fights sleep so she can see what's going on. She is still very easy compared to some babies, but she is more prone to getting overtired and grumpy than DD1 ever was. I do wonder if it is her personality, or if actually having to fit round DD1 has not made her more adaptable, but has meant she finds it harder to settle because she hasn't had the same sort of routine as DD1.
There's not much I can do about it, but I am now questioning the truth of the claim that having to fit round the older ones makes the younger babies more flexible - not so far in this house! DD1, at nearly five, is very flexible so it will be interesting to see how DD2 develops.
I feel for you! My NCT group was great and we didn't really have anyone like this in it - we just used to put the babies down in their prams for naps and go out when we needed to - but I have a friend who must stick to one in ten meet ups we try to schedule. The dynamic is different as this is just one person, but it does get frustrating when you've planned around a certain time, got yours down to sleep 45 mins early or whatever in order to meet at a specified time/place, only to get a last minute call or text to cancel. It's doubly annoying the day you forget your phone and end up standing like a lemon waiting for someone who is never going to turn up!
9 months is quite young but by then, DD was down to a mid morning and a mid afternoon sleep. So we'd meet people for lunch, eg 11:30-1:30, or after the afternoon sleep around 4pm and maybe go for a walk or a coffee. My timings were never set in stone and we'd be flexible where possible.
DD is now almost 2 and sleeps after lunch for an hour and a half or so. So we plan activities for the morning, come home and have lunch, she has a sleep and then we head to the park late in the afternoon. Most of her little friends are pretty similar.
Re your NCT group - are people starting back at work soon? That did change the dynamic in ours slightly, and whereas our regular coffee catch ups were sacrosanct in the early days, they became less important to those going back to work at 9 or 12 months. Could that have something to do with it? Also, there was only one person in our group who was a local - the rest of us had moved to the area and didn't have family nearby. I think that also made us more committees to the group somehow - so what I'm trying to say is don't take it personally!
You need to find a balance between the easy baby mothers and the routine mothers. We had 3 anytime, anywhere mothers, one of whom had twins and 2 routine driven mothers in our mother's circle. The routine mothers dipped in and out between meals and naps which were taken at home and the rest of us sat and drank coffee and watched babies playing until we were ready for off. It worked well and we are all still great friends with the kids off to school next week I can hardly believe it and they are all in the same class .
I lived for my baby's naps when he was tiny, the thought of missing one of them because I'd gone out would have floored me.
These routine threads always make me wonder what happens in traditional, indigenous cultures (or whatever the anthropologically correct description is).
Perhaps Bruce Parry could do Tribe again, but focus on child-rearing. I think it would be very interesting.
I had to go back to work 3 nights a week when ds's 1&2 were 14 weeks old. I didn't have any childcare during the day and so routine was crucial. We spent the morning out but had to be home by 12:30 so that they could be fed and in their cots by 1:15. They would then sleep until about 4:30. Friends would often ask me out in the afternoon and found it difficult to understand why I wouldn't keep them up if I wasn't working that night but I was afraid to disrupt our routine in any way as it was the only sleep I got.
With ds3 I had 8 months off and went back on days so it was all much easier and it didn't matter when he slept.
So I think YABU. Everyone arranges things to suit themselves but they shouldn't be arranging to meet and then cancelling/turning up late.
Thanks, all. So helpful to get different perspectives! I think things are starting to shift re people going back to work and there's been a run of it, which has worn my patience thin. I do like doing things on my own, so think'll I'll get out and about more on that basis for a bit...
The 'easy baby' isn't so easy at the moment, perhaps that's contributing to lack of patience too!!
I think maybe you will be more sympathetic next time round if you find yourself with a not so 'easy baby.' I've always just got on and got out but I wouldn't wake the kids if they were asleep and I respect that my kids aren't the same as other people's and if that means we meet up late then so be it!
Nap time was when I rested - I think you are being insensitive - I was up a lot at night still at that age and even when ds slept through I found it hard always getting up early
I was not strict about being home for a nap always but I completely understand people who are
Can see it from both sides.
Yes it's frustrating for you and I would also find a strict routine too limiting. BUT have you considered that it might just be easier for THEM? It's not unreasonable to put you and your baby first.
I can understand to a certain extent, and I agree that some babies benefit from a routine. DD was adaptable and would sleep anywhere, but I know not everyone is so lucky.
A few of my NCT friends had routine babies and it meant they missed some activities, but could still come to others. It wasn't a problem at all. As others have said, getting everyone together wasn't really possible, but often it was 3-4 of us. I thought the point of having a routine would be that you knew when was a good time to leave the house? I think your friends need to be a bit better organised and maybe just plan something that doesn't matter if one person turns up late or not at all. You shouldn't have to alter your plans at the last minute.
It's annoying when people change plans at last minute but otherwise I'd just go with the flow.
Perhaps try not to organise all being together for every meet up.
We used to get endless back and forth emails trying to hit on a perfect time for everyone....I got fed up with this so just used to send a message to everyone along the lines of "I'm going for a walk and a coffee in x park at 11, come along if you can". Nearly always had someone come along and people really can't be cliquey and whinge if you've extended the invite to all.
I have a good laugh now with friends about how we were with first babies!
My friends with easy babies didn't understand either.
I could of written your OP about 9 years ago. My ds was summer born & I made the most of it, nice long walks in the sun etc. I would just let ds sleep in his pram & would be free to meet people at whatever time they wanted.
I feel sorry for parents that take routine too seriously, why stay in the house half the day when you can be out with friends etc.
In my experience it tends to be these parents that end up really uptight & don't really enjoy the new born stage.
Keep doing what you are doing & hopefully meet some like minded people to socialize with.
I'm with RobotHamster
My baby never slept on the go. I had to be home for nap times. I still had time to meet friends though. It wasn't really an issue to be honest.
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