Parenting Without A Schedule13:10
Everyone parents differently, finding a balance that works for them and their child(ren). For some people this means having a strict routine, whereas for others, like our family, this means simply going with the flow. I’ve seen a lot of people share their daily schedules, so I thought that I would share how we function with our lack of one. We do of course have the basics; three meals, one nap and of course bed time, but their timings vary each day.
Although we have never followed a strict schedule the need to be flexible has increased over the past six months due to my return to work. Zach is now almost 18 months old and spends two days each week with my mum whilst I work part time and Jono somehow juggles two jobs. We are, like most parents, really busy, so having set times for things just doesn’t work. Some evenings we are late home after our commute which means that dinner and subsequently bed time are later than on the days Zach spends at home, but they balance out with lie ins the next day which is something we are really lucky to have.
On the days Zach spends with my mum he naps in the morning, going down at around 11am, whereas when he is with me he naps in the afternoon at around 2, with Jono it is either or, and occasionally when we are out he doesn’t nap at all which means a mammoth one the next day! Subsequently this means that his lunch times vary; some days he has it before a nap and other days he has it after, but he is happy either way. We never have a problem putting him down to sleep or giving him lunch (although he does sometimes refuse what we serve him, but that’s a different story!)
We’ve found that this lack of schedule means that we can be flexible at the weekends, allowing us to squeeze in as much as we can during the time we have together. We do not need to plan our life around nap time or lunch time as their timings are not fixed, although we do of course let Zach eat and sleep when he needs to - we don’t force him to do what works for us, but the flexibility in his day to day life means that it is easier to move things around.
I’m hoping that our lack of schedule will also work wonders when we go on holiday at the end of September; both during the journey and with the time difference, although it is only one hour ahead. I am sure that at some point, probably when Zach joins nursery, his schedule will become stricter, but for now parenting without one is working well for all of us. We have a happy, well fed toddler who both naps well and sleeps through the night; there’s not really much more we can ask for.