My Uncle David passed away this week after an over two year battle with cancer. And although I married into him being my uncle, I cannot even begin to tell you how much he has taught me. Over the past six years of knowing him, he has taught me about marriage, about parenting, about putting God at the center of my life.
And there is one piece of parenting advice he and our Aunt Tami gave us when we first told them I was pregnant. I blogged about it a while back and I am writing about it today again because I believe it is so incredibly important. It's the best piece of parenting advice we ever received and I want to pass it along to you.
I put Ava on a schedule for maybe a week?
And then I called it quits.
You see, I completely understand that getting kids onto a schedule is good for them. We want them to be disciplined and we want them to succeed in life. And being on a schedule is a necessity.
I get that.
But living my life is also a necessity.
It enables me to be happy. It enables me to continue to form friendships and grow the friendships I currently have. Living my own life just as I did before Ava was born helps me keep my sanity and if I'm happy and I'm sane, then I've got a much better chance of being the most grounded, great mom that I can be.
Because no one likes a grouchy, unhappy mama. That's no good for anyone.
So when it came time to scheduling Ava's naps and feeding times, we decided to call it quits.
What if my cousin was having a baby shower right in the middle of nap time? Would we arrive late? Leave early?
What if we had friends in town who we hadn't seen in a year and we wanted to go out to dinner with them but it was past her bedtime. Would we skip our dinner plans and risk losing out on that quality friend time?
What if my sister or brother was getting married. Would we skip out on the wedding ceremony to ensure Ava got a good nap in at the right time?
Our lives are busy because we want them to be. We make plans, visit friends, have play dates, get coffee, get dinner and even get our hair and nails done. And sometimes, we can't schedule naps around our busy lives.
And in my eyes...that's okay!
So we threw out Ava's schedule. She typically eats and naps at around the same time every day based on when she is tired and hungry but there's one big difference...
We live our lives with Ava...not around Ava.
If I have a hair appointment and it goes through her eating AND napping time, she eats and naps right there at my appointment with me.
Just because you have kids doesn't mean that your life has to become boring, as everyone thinks it should. It doesn't mean that your life comes to an end, or that you can't go out to eat anymore or that you lose all of your friends. We've managed to continue doing lots of the fun things we did before Ava came along and of course, there are sacrifices but I think we've done a pretty great job of living our lives with Ava and not letting Ava run our lives.
So if you're a mom or a dad, just know that you CAN live your life. You can do lots of the things you did before your babies came along and that doesn't make you a bad parent.
It makes you a great parent. You're happy and a happy parent means a much happier baby!
Live your lives WITH your kids, rather than living around them.
<< If you need a little inspiration, here you go!
And when you see Ava disappear for a little bit, she's eating + napping under the cover.
Always my little side kick. >>