It’s 1:30 p.m. I’ve been sitting in my running car in front of Sahara Restaurant in Sterling Heights for the past 17 minutes, dreaming of the baba ganoush. Our family party doesn’t start for another half hour, but my son’s feeding is at 1:15, so he and I arrived early.
At 1:45, a car pulls up into the parking spot to my left. I immediately look through its backseat window, hoping to see my daughter sleeping. Whew.
As usual, my phone rings:
“Hey,” I answer while glancing up towards the driver’s window of the now parked car next to me.
“Sup, bro?,” my husband replies smirking with a head nod.
“How long has she been asleep?”
“About an hour. I’ve been driving around for a bit. Is he done?”
“Yes, just needs to burp, and then we’ll head in.”
“Cool. She’s stirring, so I’m gonna drive around a little longer until it’s time. See you in a few.”
Yep, we often take different cars. Yeah, we work extremely hard to maintain our son’s and daughter’s feeding and sleeping schedules. Yes, our lives were drastically impacted when we had kids. But guess what? We are more than fine.
Ever since our daughter was born, we’ve heard an array of indirectly offensive comments about our “crazy scheduled” parenting style, some from complete strangers, but the majority from close family and friends: “I don’t believe in waking up sleeping babies,” “Kids need to learn how to adapt,” and, I couldn’t possibly leave out our favorite: “I never let my children change my lifestyle.”
But, ever since our daughter came along, we’ve also heard a variety of direct compliments about our kids, as well: “How do you actually manage to grocery shop with an infant and a toddler?,” “I’ve never met a child who actually asks for a nap or bedtime before!,” and, the one that always makes me laugh“Your kids seem so laid back!” Ha! If they only knew our kids.
We have, as many have called it, “changed our lives” to accommodate our kids’ schedule for two reasons:
A) Firstly, their happiness. 99.9% of the time that I’m moody is due to being overly hungry or tired. We have found that by feeding our children before they’re starving and by putting them to sleep before they’re exhausted not only makes them appear to be well-behaved but truly good kids who honestly rarely cry since their basic needs are always met.
B) And second, our happiness. Yes, I have to plan my errands around meals and naps, but it’s totally worth it to seldom hear any whining or (DUN DUN DUN!) having to use public restrooms. Also, both my husband and I have businesses where a lot of our work must be done at home; we love knowing an approximate window when we can get our work done or make phone calls. Most importantly, though, 8:30 p.m.-on is alone time for my husband and me. Unless teething or fighting a cold, our kids are in bed and asleep by 8:30 p.m. We usually don’t get to even say one word to each other up until this point but knowing we have a guaranteed block of time to ourselves makes it all OK.
Do we love getting the kiddos up at 8 a.m. every day, even after managing a late-night date the evening before? “Love” is definitely not the word I’d choose. Do we look forward to leaving get togethers early so we can get the kids in bed? Depending on the party, maybe, but usually we would prefer to stay. But, do we do what we do because we believe it’s best for our family? Absolutely.
I get “our style” is not for everyone; nevertheless, it is “our style.” And we love it.