The opportunity to experience your every day routine, happens every singe day. But the opportunity to experience life, comes and it goes.
Most of the advice I receive from other mommies is just plain boring. "Blah blah blah..." nothing I've never heard before. And we all know that everyone who has already been a mom wants to give their advice. Annoying, yes sometimes, but I know they mean the best and just want to help! But still, the advice I receive typically isn't too helpful. But there is one piece of advice that I really have kept at the core of my mommyhood so far and is something my husband and I have vowed to keep at the center of our new lives as parents.
So here it goes...
Frank and I have the most amazing aunt and uncles. Well, in reality I adopted them when I married Frank but I totally consider them my own family now. But moving right along...
We were up in Northern California for a wedding I was coordinating in Chico so, of course, we went to visit them in Sacramento on our way back down here to LA. I was about 20ish weeks along in my pregnancy and so, we got into talking about being parents. We know that they are fabulous parents and raised two amazing kids (who aren't kids anymore) so they are a couple we definitely look up to in that way.
And so, we asked them what their best piece of advice was for parenthood. And there was one piece of advice that is permanently engraved in my brain that I think every new parent needs to know.
"Just live your life and don't let your kids take over."
And they went on to explain further.
"If your child has a 7pm bed time and your friends invite you out for dinner, go to dinner. Your kids can miss their bed time once in a while."
We all learn as parents that we have to stick to a schedule with our kids no matter what. Society has pounded that into my brain since the second I found out I was pregnant. If there isn't a routine, I will never sleep. And she will always be terrible at napping for the rest of her childhood. And that is definitely a big no no for any mommy. Sleepless nights until she becomes a teenager? No thanks!.
While I agree that routine is, of course, a necessity in any child's life, we can break our schedules every once in a while so that we continue to live our lives. And if we do, we will survive. I am sure of it!
Our lives don't stop now that we are parents. And I think that I would go nuts if I didn't see my friends once in a while and go out and have some fun. Just last week we were invited to story time at our local library with a mommy friend and her two adorable girls and guess what? We got home half an hour past Ava's afternoon nap time. Did she survive? YES! Did I survive? YES! Did we stick to the schedule? Nope! And did that change in our daily routine negatively affect her life? Not at all!
Moral of the story: Just because we have kids, doesn't mean that our lives stop. Yes, our lives revolve around our kids now but we cannot let the schedules that we create for them completely engulf our lives. Because that is no way to live.
Stick to your routine but don't let your routine take over your life. Because no matter what society tells you, breaking that routine once in a while is not going to make you a bad parent. It will make you live a much happier life (which in return will make you a better parent) - I'm sure of it!
Break your routine, live your life, and get back on your routine tomorrow. Because a happy mommy means a happy baby :)