Friday, June 4, 2010

I''ll Pencil You In...

I need a schedule. Any kind of semblance of a routine will do, actually. Making deadlines on the fly, never knowing when I'm going to eat my next meal... these are not behaviors that are conducive to a low-stress environment. And I can feel that stress affect the way I parent.

I don't want to be playing with Ellie thinking, "Man, I really need to write that article about Botox..."

Not cool.

But what the heck am I supposed to do? Parenting advice is the single most contradictory subject I have ever encountered. Speaking as a woman who researches things for the heck of it, that's saying a lot. Do I listen to "Never wake a sleeping baby" or "Don't let the baby sleep through a feeding?" Do I let her dictate the schedule or do I try to keep her on a created schedule?

All I know is that, whatever it is that we're doing here, it's not working. I'm grumpy and exhausted. And it's not that she doesn't sleep at night -- she does. In fact, that's the one area that seems to be pretty much on schedule. Bedtime is good. We rock at bedtime. So how can I make the rest of my day run smoothly?

Now, before you all say, "That's what having a baby is all about!" and I have to throw something out you, hear me out... I'm flexible. I'm all for spontaneity. I'm just wondering if I should be providing some structure to our day. I read once that babies like structure. It helps them stay calm, stress-free, all that good stuff. I'd like to give Ellie what she needs.

Unfortunately, that also means that I have to write for a living. All I'm asking is for two solid hours of work during the day... that seems reasonable, right? Two hours. That's it. But right now, since my princess cat naps all day and I get short bursts of free time, I get nothing done. And if I can't write for money, I can't pay bills.

How do I make this all work?

Ok, ok. Maybe I am asking too much. She's not even four months old. I get it. I just have this undying urge to be Super Mom--you know, have a clean house, get all my work done, vacuum in pearls, and bake a brisket. But I guess that, unless I learn how to function without sleep, that ain't gonna happen.

Stupid perfectionism...

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