Much as I’d love to be one of those people who have no schedule and things fall into place, I’m not. I need routine; without it minutes turn into hours and months later those half-finished projects remain. M’s breastfed, and I’ve never tried to schedule feed him. He’s always fed as and when he wanted to, for as long as he’s needed. Now though, at 5 1/2 months (again, seriously how is he that big already?!), he’s settled into a nice little routine of his choosing, and so, now I can build a routine for us that fits around his and get our weeks back more on track.
One of my pet hates currently, is the question “You’re not working, are you?” The more times it’s asked, the more resisting the urge to reply “no, I sit on my ass all day”, becomes difficult! Yes, I work! I started this new job March 16th 2011 and I’m yet to have a day off. The hours are flexible but full-time; I’m always on call. There are no set lunch hours and the perks very day-to-day. It’s the most challenging job I’ve ever attempted and without a doubt the most rewarding. I wash, feed, teach, entertain, safeguard and love this little dude 24 hours a day – yes, I most definitely work!
The above isn’t enough, the cleaning and feeding and stuff – I want to stimulate our baby, encourage him, show him the world, so we go out and about and include Montessori play in our days. Life with M keeps me busy, and on its’ own it fills my days, but as well as being a Mum, my job is being a wife and maintaining our home so in between the ping-pong ball mobiles and sewing balls on his sock toes, I hanker after that Martha Stewart thing, too – you know, the spotless house, homemade crafts decorating the windowsills and a seven-layer-sponge cake sitting on the counter. And to add to those, the plan for the next twelve months includes marathon training (EuroAsia 2012, inshallah) and opening up a business. So, while I’d love to be a shoe-less earth mama who never checks the clock and skips from day-to-day, I know, realistically to do it all and to keep emotional health in check, that’s not going to work for me.
Scheduling we need, so while M naps, I’m printing off weekly calendars and trying to figure out how to stretch the hours in our days.
Luckily, we already have an order of such defined not just by M’s feeds, but also by prayer time. The five daily prayer times work with the sun and daylight hours, so by going with these, our schedules should stay somewhat on track as the seasons change. M tends to wake not long after fajr prayers then we have a full morning which his naps split neatly. After lunch, there’s an hour or so until dhuhr, then a two(ish) hour gap until asr prayers. At the moment, evening prayer (maghrib) time is 7.45ish coinciding nicely with bedtime.
I hope that having some kind of routine will help get M’s betimes back on track, too. During Ramadan, we lost his bedtime routine of bath, story bed because iftar was smackbang in the middle of when we should have been doing that. For a month, it was more important to feed a man who’d been fasting all day, than faff with a bedtime. And M’s a great baby for adapting and goes to sleep easily mashallah, but still, I’d like a routine back for him – albeit a flexible one.
Now he sleeps. I’ve mopped the floors and got a load of washing on. Baby’s breakfasted and bathed (figs are messy!) and I’ve just realised that if we’re going to stick with the babyled weaning thing, which we most certainly are, extra bath times had better be alloted. So I’m off, armed with a pen and a list and a dream of a clean and organised chaotic routined home, life, baby. Wishful thinking??