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I Love Schedules

January 1, 2010

When Maya was born I had no idea how to even change a diaper.  Hers was the first and I did it while an impatient nurse looked on telling me to fold here and fold there.  I could almost hear her thinking, “Can someone who waits until their child is born to learn how to change a diaper really be qualified to be a parent?”  Well the answer, of course, is no. Oh and Nurse? I am fairly certain that five years later I am still not qualified to be a parent.

I had no idea just what I was getting myself into with a newborn.  In fact, it was about one million times more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.  The hardest part of all?  The constant sleeplessness.  I was a walking zombie because I was awake every three hours to give Maya a bottle.  I swear, my child would not sleep.  After six weeks our pediatrician took one look at our haphazard clothes, disheveled hair, and dark circles and said that we should try to get Maya on a schedule so that she’d sleep a little longer at night.  By “longer” I think the doctor meant four-hour stretches. At that point four hours seemed like an unimaginable luxury and I was willing to do whatever it took.

She might look innocent but looks can be deceiving...

So like anybody else I turned to my computer for answers.  Thanks to my background in finance, I believe that all problems can be solved with Excel.  Need a pivot table?  I’m your girl.  Need something sorted in ascending or descending order?  You got it.  Can I make you a chart, a graph, or can I concatenate two cells for you?  No problem.  Make a six-week old stop crying and go to sleep?  Not so easy.  But I figured that if I can tackle everything else with Excel, why not a baby?

Don’t laugh, desperate situations call for desperate measures.

I immediately broke out my computer and got to work.  Ali and I made a schedule in Excel complete with empty spaces for check marks, notes, times, and comments.  What time did Maya eat?  How many ounces of formula?  What time was her diaper changed?  How many hours had she slept? I was anxious about leaving Maya with anyone because I was scared they would feed her at a non-designated time. And when they did (which they always did) I went into a tizzy. Ali and I would open up Excel and try to revise the schedule but we soon learned that the domino effect made revisions impossible. That didn’t stop up from trying though, and the two of us stuck to the schedule like glue.  We prayed for a miracle that would show us a relationship between something, anything, and Maya sleeping longer.  We stared at the schedule trying to correlate.  We begged the schedule to help us correlate.  

The schedule never correlated.

So Maya is almost five and you’d think that I would have mellowed out a bit with the scheduling. And while some would disagree I have when it comes to Maya (lucky her), I find that I cannot stop myself from scheduling other aspects of my life. For example, even when I know I don’t have to go to work, I still wake up at 5:30 or 6 am to get to the gym. Why? Well I get nervous that if I don’t then the rest of the day will be off.  Off what, you ask?  I have no idea.

I am at the gym by 6 am (at the latest). Hot water with lemon at 8 am. Oatmeal at 9 am (and God help us all if we run out of oatmeal). Lunch at 1 pm. Dinner at 7 pm. Maya in bed at 8:30 pm. Tea at 9 pm. Bed by 10 pm (at the latest). You can mark my day by watching the clock. It is pretty sad, isn’t it? This is the schedule I stick to even if I have an entirely empty day stretching ahead of me. 

While scheduling isn’t the worst habit to have, I would love to be considered one of those “fly by the seat of my pants” kinds of people. I’d love to be able to roll with the day and not worry about what the clock says, especially when I don’t have any reason to (i.e. a weekend or when I’m on vacation). But I cannot do it no matter how hard I try.  And I have tried.  I am old and set in my ways I guess. 

I could write on this topic endlessly but it’s about time for tea and some chocolate so I better go.  I have a schedule to stick to, you know. But before I do, I wonder, does anyone else have as close a relationship with their schedule as I do?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2010 9:57 pm

    I completely understand! It’s SO hard for me to (a) sleep in, (b) stay up late and (c) not do things according to my sort of structured time frame. Really. I think it’s the Type A in me 😉

  2. January 1, 2010 10:31 pm

    I would say I am more particular than on a schedule. I do the same things everyday but not at the same time if that makes sense…

  3. January 1, 2010 11:43 pm

    I don’t know how you get to the gym by 6am. Kudos to you!! I suppose when I have a family I’ll have to make those sacrafices too. And I know exactly how you feel about running out of oats.Its painful.:)

  4. January 2, 2010 12:16 am

    I can totally relate! I put J on a sleep schedule at about 6 weeks and I haven’t looked back! Although I am still trying to figure out his schedule to co-exist with mine it has gotten a lot easier! I am much more flexible when it comes to my own schedule but I am very nit picky when it comes to his. A happy baby = a happy mama! =)

  5. January 2, 2010 5:58 am

    This is such a good post. I smiled at your attempts at excel. Your question actually is hard for me to answer. I do need a schedule big-time, but also not. Hard to explain. Beautiful pics.

  6. Danielle permalink
    January 2, 2010 6:24 am

    I can definitely relate- I need a schedule. I have to write down a “to-do” list before I go to bed otherwise I can’t sleep. I didn’t even think about what it would be like if I had kids (!)

  7. January 2, 2010 6:30 am

    lol– I was a nanny for my friends’ baby last year, and his was the first diaper I’d ever changed. I actually watched a Youtube video on “how to change a diaper” before my first day with the baby 🙂

    I love, love, love to MAKE schedules, but then I have trouble KEEPING them!

  8. January 2, 2010 6:51 am

    i am such a scheduler too!! I am the classical type A personality. I always have a to-do list. I need to work on mellowing.

  9. January 2, 2010 8:12 am

    When I’m working I definitely have a schedule. I mean honestly, to get everything done, it is necessary to have some structure. However, there are times when we need to just relax and go with the flow. I’ve definitely done this over the past 2 weeks since I’ve been off from school (I’m a teacher in case you didn’t know). It’s been nice waking up when I want to, eating when I want to, working out when I want to, etc. I’m sure when I have a baby I won’t be able to have that luxury though so I guess I better live it up now… 😉

  10. January 2, 2010 8:40 am

    This week has been crazy because the girls are so off their schedules. I love schedules and the girls do so much better when they are on them. I can totally relate to this post.

  11. traynharder23 permalink
    January 2, 2010 12:38 pm

    it’s crazy hard for me to sleep in anymore! i’m soo on a time schedule. =D

    hahah hey thanks for hitting up my blog! USC!?!?! no way. i’m UCLA ! we are ENEMIES! just kidding. where you at in LA!? i’m in the valley =D isn’t the weather tday just GORGEOUS?! 72 in january. can’t ask for anything better.

    yeah. my sister is a nut case. which makes me one too since we’re TWINS!

  12. whydeprive permalink
    January 2, 2010 1:37 pm

    I LOVE my schedule too. Ive been off work since Christmas Eve, and Im having a really hard time because its messing up my routine.

  13. January 2, 2010 2:12 pm

    when i’m feeling really hectic i like to keep a close schedule, it helps calm me down.
    great post 🙂
    happy saturday!

  14. January 2, 2010 3:54 pm

    Such a cutie! And I just kind of go with the flow. Its working for me 🙂

  15. January 2, 2010 4:33 pm

    Wow chocolate and tea sounds so tasty right now! I am definitely a schedule person too. I am learning to relax it a bit though. I used to be super regimented but now Im trying to just go with the flow more. But I do wake up at a certain time and fall asleep around the same time. (regardless of whether its a weekend or not) I think our bodies just get used to that. Im a type A personality all the way but my new years resolution is to take it down a few notches=) Gorgeous baby pic btw!! Have a wonderful day!

  16. January 2, 2010 5:50 pm

    Thanks Ameena for the comment on my blog!Hadn’t it been for that comment, I wouldn’t have come across your blog. You have a lovely family!!

    Man, I would kill to be a schedule kinda girl! I am very haphazard and my new year resolution is to be more organized! Anyways…really looking forward to read more from you!

  17. January 2, 2010 7:19 pm

    I’m definitely a schedule kind of person. Like you, I’ll always stick to pretty much the same one… and I get really anxious if I have to deviate from it. It kind of sucks sometimes, because it’s hard to cope when things randomly come up… but I’m workin’ on it 🙂

    Your daughter is so adorable!

  18. January 2, 2010 7:25 pm

    Loved this post. While I am a schedule stickler myself when it comes to work, I am the exact opposite at home. I try to put up a list of things to do, at best, but I never look at it once!

  19. January 2, 2010 9:12 pm

    I hear you ! I am a schedule adict and if it weren’t for my calm and easy going hubs, I would schedule my day by the minute.

    and when my mornings get messed up…I freak.

    I always learn in the end that the sun still rises and sets and life goes on.

    and I Always laugh at myself!

  20. traynharder23 permalink
    January 2, 2010 9:18 pm

    no way! that’s wayyy cool. i was in westwood today. oh man, we should meet up in westwood someday!

    hahah re: gunpoint at usc. my sister’s there at the pharm school.

    i did get accepted into usc but chose ucla. SORRY..=D

  21. January 3, 2010 6:07 pm

    Oh my! I like schedules too and I must say that before I had the baby I was like how you are now, completely regimented and in time slots, but having the kid made me let it all go b/c she has shown me that she cannot be scheduled. Sometimes I miss it though.

  22. January 29, 2010 11:54 am

    I’m bored at work and decided to read some of your old posts. You are hilarious. I very much appreciate the sarcasm (and do not understand the appeal of Mr. Bean). I had to comment on this particular post because I’m a schedule addict. Getting my day planner is the most exciting part of my year. Filling it out is the second most exciting part. When I’m feeling particularly uptight and annoying, I like to put things like “take a shower” on a my schedule. It’s not that I think I’ll forget, but I like to cross it off and feel accomplished. I know, it’s sick. I tend to follow the same schedule on weekends. Sleeping in is 7am or so for me. So, you’re not alone 😉

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