During some recent observations I have come across two different styles of parenting,
- The child has a schedule and must stick to it
- We have a life and do not let the child’s schedule interfere
We have never been big on a schedule. While keeping in mind how long it has been since a feeding, nap, or changing. We let him tell us when he was hungry or needed something. Which allowed us to still go out and get things done because we were/are always prepared for anything.
We have run into parents who are so set on a schedule that they won’t leave the house if their child needs to eat a full meal or is still napping. However, operating on a set schedule, it seems to me, really prevents the parents from having a life. Sure you can go out after the child has waken up and has been fed but if you stick to that schedule and only allow him to take naps and eat at home you really only give yourself a 2-4 hour window to get anything done.
We are not afraid to feed the Kid in public and we are not afraid to let him sleep even for just 30 minutes and then wake him to do something important that we need go to. During this recent observation, I saw parents that said their child must eat at home and eat a full meal. Again, we do feed the Kid a full meal even while we are out, we pack extra food to feed to the Kid. This flexibility is needed during certain situations and some parents are not willing to give that flexibility.
You can call this planning, you know your child’s schedule and you know what your schedule is. We try to interweave his schedule with ours and it works almost flawlessly. The Kid does have his moments where he hasn’t napped and gets very cranky which makes for a miserable lunch or afternoon. Hot Mama and I do not dwell on those times so that it prevents us from wanting to go out with the Kid again, 90% of the time the Kid is awesome!
How do you handle your child when life events happen like weddings, funerals, graduations, and the such? Do you keep your child to the schedule he has created and show up late because the time didn’t work for your child? Or do you try to change your child’s schedule so that you get to something on time and are still able to enjoy yourself?