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Fitting in around PFBs routines

(52 Posts)
happygonicky Thu 29-Aug-13 17:21:30

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?

soverylucky Fri 30-Aug-13 21:36:34

I was flexible in the day as dd would sleep in her pram if needed although I did prefer to be at home. However one thing I was very unflexible on was her evening/bed time routine. Both of mine have been excellent sleepers and I think this is partly due to the evening routine they have followed from about 6 months old. So for me it was worth it.

Weissbier Fri 30-Aug-13 20:38:58

It isn't so much the extent of routines that gets on my wick, as unwillingness to make ANY kind of concession that might signal your company is important to the other person e.g. if baby will only nap at home, they could invite you to come for lunch or coffee at theirs...

I had a friend who would only meet between the hours of 530PM and 8PM on weekdays at her end of town. I didn't mind that she had her kids on a late routine 'cos it suited them, but as my kids go to nursery and are falling over with tiredness by 530 on a weekday. I offered weekend mornings in her neck of the woods or weekday evenings in mine so could still get dd to bed early enough, but neither was any good because she only wanted to see me if it was a way to use the dead time before her DH got home, without much effort hmm

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 16:53:18

Perhaps I should have kept quiet about the 'easy' baby bit!!

ThatBintAgain Fri 30-Aug-13 15:46:10

"however any deviation from the routine meant he didn't sleep at night. An extra hour sleep in the day didn't mean one less at night, it meant 4-5 hours less at night. Also not getting enough sleep in the day meant he got over tired and wouldn't sleep. It was a balancing act. We quickly learned it's a big price to pay to be flexible." << exactly THIS. DS1 was one of these sort of babies. I did break with routine sometimes but it was just painful - he wouldn't sleep out and about and got absolutely Satanic with overtiredness. DS2 wasn't much better!

I think that you just really don't get what it's like if you have an "easy" baby - that hour or so sitting down recuperating in the peace and quiet was the only thing that kept me mildly sane and functioning...

DontmindifIdo Fri 30-Aug-13 15:10:35

Betty - we gave DD 10 weeks of being flexible, doing her own thing in the day and fitting around our plans, it was hell of no sleep at night. 2 weeks of set routine, and she's sleeping. I think it's clear that suits her. It might suit me better in the day to not have to fit round her timings, but I'll happily give up easy life in the day for a good nights sleep.

Honestly, if you've not experienced weeks of not getting more than 1 hour sleep at a time, you can't understand they mentality that once you've found a way to make that go away you'll do anything to avoid going back to no sleep hell!

Dreaming - I think in the same way people can be ideologically rigid about routine, people can be ideologically wedded to this idea of 'I'm so free and easy, I don't need a routine, I just have fun all day'. That's great if it works for you but I do see people doing this even when it's clearly not really that great for their kids. I know so many people like this. They would complain about lack of sleep, when I suggested a routine because it worked for us, they'll react like I'm crazy. Then again, I do think you get to a level of sleep deprevation where you just can't think, and even if something might work, the idea of thinking about it seems too much to cope with. If you are just 'getting by' it's hard to have headspace to do anything other than just get by....

Dackyduddles Fri 30-Aug-13 14:57:48

I learnt with my first to NEVER wake a sleeping baby

I too couldn't have borne too as my own state was knife edge at times

Baby2 gets on with it. Dunno if she's easy but she is accommodating and I'm more accustomed to the necessary. I've never understood why you would make yourself busy in the few moments peace you get when baby slumbers though.

BettyandDon Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:47

I've experienced this too. There is nothing you can do about it really. Just try to find more like minded friends.

I have a NCT friend and I reckon her last minute cancellation rate due to her DC farting or something is about 60%. I never plan to see her 1 on 1 as I know she's likely to cancel.

It's hard though as it is important for you to socialise too. I just signed up for activities and classes to get out.

I can't help but wonder if children are less flexible as they have never been given the opportunity!

neolara Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:17

I started writing a reply to explain why your views are limited by your experience of an easy baby. But then I really couldn't be arsed because (and I do honestly mean this in the nicest possible way) I suspect even if I did, you still wouldn't really get it. Just be grateful you have an easy baby. You may feel differently when or if you have dc2 with a different temperament.

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 13:34:51

Chipping, I'm with you on that!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 12:38:19

I can see how parents tend to stick with those of their kind!!!

Yes and IMO as they get bigger this gets even more the way things go because you start to get things like eating habits/behaviour/choice of activities really starting to divide you as well. It's harder work to be out and about with people you parent very differently to because it's hard for the children (esp toddlers) to understand why they can't 'have & do' what they others can (or vice versa - it's hard to be the one allowing it but feel judged or a bit guilty).

Sometimes it's better to keep some friends as 'socialising without the kids for the large part' type friends.

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 12:20:28

Some very interesting points! I think I've realised that I'll fit in if I can but that essentially I don't want to be constrained by someone else's baby. Am also gearing up for return to work and have realised that time is short and I'm going to be busy over coming months, with even less patience and inclination to be super-flexible. I can see how parents tend to stick with those of their kind!!!

Friend one is lovely and flexible, can meet anywhere, anytime etc but is a tired wreck, friend two is much harder to meet up with but her kids sleep through and she is well rested.

I know this is a big generalisation but this has been my experience exactly. I have a friend at the moment who has no routine, always wants to do stuff all day, but both her and her DC always seem so stressed and tired.

I think in the same way people can be ideologically rigid about routine, people can be ideologically wedded to this idea of 'I'm so free and easy, I don't need a routine, I just have fun all day'. That's great if it works for you but I do see people doing this even when it's clearly not really that great for their kids.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 09:53:03

lol bore not bite!!

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 09:52:35

not going to bite you with my personal routine for dc1 but it was ridged.

fast forward to dc4 fitting around school runs, football practise, after school stuff, pre teen drop offs and pick ups, sleep overs, etc. amazingly enough she didn't have a routine and was the most placid of the lot.😃

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 09:46:25

My response was a reference to your question about second time around- I can honestly say I don't know anyone with the same enthusiasm and commitment to 'meet-ups' and visiting people's homes. Two means even more to organise and get out of the door, you don't want to be working to someone's agenda when you are doing that as inevitably you cannot synchronise everyone as easily.

I was very flexible with my first but babies are more mobile then toddlers and young children and it's just you and them, it's very easy to be laid back in that context. I have a four year gap between mine so one is at school and one is at home but I find I can do something in the morning after I've dropped my son at school and then my toddler has a nap and then it is nearly time to pick up my son from school. This basically writes off the whole afternoon for activities that I would've done with my first. After school my DS sometimes has clubs, he has phonics homework and reading practice every night. However flexible you are personally, a more rigid structure is imposed on you as your babies become children.

MiaowTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 09:29:30

Dd1 has to be horrifically tired to sleep out and about. She just has to either sleep or cope if I need to be somewhere though, but that's just my general approach to things and I wouldn't try to push that onto anyone else - I can often do an early nap to get round issues if I need to.

Dd2 easily zonks out in the buggy but not all kids are like that.

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:22:27

I look on in envy to those who push sleeping babies around ... mine never ever ever slept in buggy (I lie - once, and it was sooooooo unusual my mum got the camera out to take a picture of the momentous moment!)

I think you're very lucky to have an 'easy' baby but there are lots of babies that like to wake up/scream/cry/ ALL night and push their parents to breaking point. Therefore if a baby gets into a routine which means they will sleep better at night - go for it I say!

Sleep deprivation was a massive factor in my very slow recovery from an EMCS and I believe a huge contributor to my PND.

Please go easy on those mums trying their best to turn their little monsters into an 'easy' baby like yours

DropYourSword Fri 30-Aug-13 09:17:59

Maybe you have 'the easy baby' precisely because you are laid back enough to go with the flow?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 01:26:25

I find one way to reduce the stress from things like this is to meet somewhere that you would be happy to go on your own - then if the other person/people don't turn up, it's not so important. We have a great place near us that has a playground, a library, a toddler group and a lovely cafe. I count anyone else actually turning up as a bonus. Same with a coffee shop in town, or the park on a sunny day or softplay. I'm happy to go with the kids so don't stress if someone cancels at the last minute.

My friends and I are all different and they range from 'baby sleeps anywhere when she is tired and never gets put in her cot even if they're home' to 'baby only naps in his cot, he does this twice a day and I wont wake him, ever, or deviate from this for anything less than a family wedding and even then I am hmm' Friend one is lovely and flexible, can meet anywhere, anytime etc but is a tired wreck, friend two is much harder to meet up with but her kids sleep through and she is well rested. Then the others in the middle.

Life is what you make it really.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 29-Aug-13 22:37:54

I was you OP, so for me YANBU.

I have found over the years that there are 2 very different types of parents (and neither is right or better, just different). We (as a family) have slowly and naturally got to the point where we mostly only hang around with only those who are our 'type'.

It's just easier.

Pigsmummy Thu 29-Aug-13 22:05:08

I won't meet anyone, as much as I love them during the hours of 1-3 due to DD's nap. She won't sleep in pushchair

AmandapandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 29-Aug-13 21:25:52

Dontmind - I had two nightmare sleepers. I can sympathise with that bit. DD2 was nearly 2 before she slept through. I didn't have a strict routine - tried it and it was a disaster for us. Not having a strict routine doesn't mean you had an easy baby - and much as it must annoy you to hear people knock routines, it irks me to hear people assume I had easy babies when I certainly didn't! But as I said, I get the feeling of doing anything for another minute or second of sleep yourself, so I'm certainly not anti for people they work for. Whatever works for your family is right for you.

My response wasn't so much towards the being home at nap time, it was the "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". If you have a routine, surely you have some clear times in the day which you can reliably be around for. If your child regularly overruns their nap, it is really rude and inconsiderate to arrange meet ups just after.

I think I was the first person to mention the school run. I wasn't really referring to flexibility from day to day. I meant that some FTM's get so deep into a 'book' based routine that it doesn't actually fit their life. Which isn't an option later on.

mootime Thu 29-Aug-13 20:23:54

Both DS and DD have been really good, regular nappers. But while ds would sleep in the buggy at 9mo, dd never has. She would sleep in a sling until about a year, but ideally would prefer her cot. They now both (on a good day) nap from 1-3 but only if home in bed. As such I rarely arrange meet ups for that time. Luckily most of our friends kids nap at similar times so we meet in the morning or afternoon. Those two hours are a saving grace, particularly now I'm heavily pregnant.

mootime Thu 29-Aug-13 20:21:35

Both DS and DD have been really good, regular nappers. But while ds would sleep in the buggy at 9mo, dd never has. She would sleep in a sling until about a year, but ideally would prefer her cot. They now both (on a good day) nap from 1-3 but only if home in bed. As such I rarely arrange meet ups for that time. Luckily most of our friends kids nap at similar times so we meet in the morning or afternoon. Those two hours are a saving grace, particularly now I'm heavily pregnant.

Goldenbear Thu 29-Aug-13 20:12:07

IME second time around people are less sociable as they have children to occupy each other so don't rely on the social outlets of groups and meeting at people'shouss houses. Indeed, having the first is unique in that sense, you have time to think and worry about these things. Quite apart from the fact it is highly unlikely that you are going to socialise with a load of people that have had a second child at the same time. In my own case the novelty of such gatherings wore off by the second. I have a four year gap between my two so this may be the reason for not wanting to meet up with people to talk about 'development' and purrees! I do a lot of things with my 2 year old on my own whilst my DS is at school. I had/have too much to do when she naps. It feels indulgent to go for a coffee or someone's house in that time now. I never felt like that with my first.

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