Yesterday James asked me how bedtime went on Friday night. This is when it really hit me how little information I retain from day to day. Because I could not answer that question. I didn’t remember if he had cried a little or a lot. If we had gone to bed early or late. If he was quickly settled or squirmed for awhile. I’m sure it was a mix of all of the above, but exactly how much? Your guess is as good as mine.
So, as much as I resist keeping charts and logs, today I’ve started doing just that. I have a hunch that despite the fact that the boy seems to have developed a mysterious rash which might be making him a touch out of sorts (unless he is actually teething), we are heading toward a routine after all. So. I’m writing it down. At least the sleeping part. The feeding tends to follow the sleeping, so even though I’ve already forgotten his exact mealtimes today, I do still have a general idea of when he ate last. Perhaps this will help me and the daddy get on the same page and figure out a better plan for bed time.
You know, I never really got that complete mind-muddle that they claim pregnancy hormones bring, but now that I’m in the thick of new motherhood, it’s hard to remember things. I misplace stuff all the time (fortunately no one has to know that because by the end of my day spent around the house, whatever I was looking for usually turns up), and I often forget what day it is. Like it completely baffles me that it is St. Patrick’s Day today. Not like I had any wild plans, but if I’d remembered, maybe we’d have some beer in the house, or whiskey or even Bailey’s instead of just some tequila left from the last time Mom was here.
Seeing as how I often forget what I should be doing, what I am in the middle of doing, what day it is today or what tomorrow’s plans are, it should be surprising that I don’t remember things that are going on with my son’s day. But it kind of does surprise me, though, because moms are supposed to know how many dirty diapers there were, how long the naps took, how often the kid ate and all that junk. Moms tend to obsess over those things. Moms who have never charted anything since tenth-grade math will be able to tell you how much their kid weighs and what their age is in weeks as well as what color, consistency and quantity of waste appeared in the last diaper. Not me, though. I don’t worry. As long as my kid seems fine, I’m not going to analyze every little fluid that comes flying out either end of him.
But even though my approach to parenthood thus far has been of the “go with the flow” variety (pun totally intended), I do think some structure is a good thing. So not only have I written down the details of the day so far, but I have also been writing down upcoming events in my Outlook calendar. And actually checking it regularly to see what’s coming up.
Using this calendar is a very good thing. It helps me know that today is Monday and that I have certain places I’d like to go, things I want to do. Even if I don’t make it to every event I have written down, at least I know that this week there’s a meeting of the local arts society. There’s a mixer on Thursday.
And as I look at my calendar of events, I try to think about what else I can put on there. I’m thinking of joining an exercise class for new moms and their babies over at the rec center. James and I are planning to go into DC for the cherry blossom festival in a couple weeks. Me and M are going to take a swimming class this summer. So my calendar is helping me get out of the house, meet new people and maybe, eventually make some friends I can invite over sometime so that my days aren’t so quiet all the time.
It will also make things more interesting now that I’m starting my part-time job tonight. Part of me is really excited because I get to go out of the house and do something on my own, but the other part of me is nervous about losing even the smallest amount of structure we’ve managed to get into our days. I guess it will be fine, though, because there will be a different sort of structure there. And we’re all still learning. We’ll be learning our way around new things for a good long time, I’m sure.