Friday, November 04, 2005

The Schedule that Saved Us

Even though I’m a schedule freak, I would consider it hyperbole to say that a schedule saved my marriage and sanity. But it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, either. The first two days Jada was home, she was still on China time: sleeping during the day, awake and wired at night. The next two days, she was on nobody’s time: never sleeping for more than an hour at a time, awake and fussy the rest of the time. Neither Amy nor I could see past our sleep-deprived delirium to a window of freedom from watching Jada, worrying about her, or wrangling over her.

We decided to set a schedule, both of what she was to do and when, as well as which of the two of us would take the lead on watching her when. It took a little bit to get there, and we stay have to be very flexible and call lots of audibles, but slowly Jada got into a good rhythm of sleeping and eating, and Amy and I also got into a good rhythm of when we were on call and when we could steal away to take care of ourselves.

Most people say a regular schedule is good for a baby. No one told us how much of a life-saver it would be for us. The hard part of not being on a schedule was not knowing when we would ever have time to do all the other stuff on our plates besides directly watching over Jada: sleep, laundry/cleaning, studying, exercise, personal time, and the list goes on. Now that we have a schedule, we have some semblance of when we can feel guilt-free about letting the other person take charge while we take care of ourselves.

So as I’ve alluded, our schedule has two parts: what Jada’s doing, and who’s in charge when. Here’s what we work off of:

Part I: Jada’s schedule
8p-5a sleep
5a-6a quiet play
6a-7a breakfast
7a-8a quiet play
8a-9a active play
9a-10a snack, nap
10a-11a quiet play
11a-12p active play
12p-1p lunch
1p-2p quiet play
2p-3p active play
3p-4p snack, nap
4p-5p quiet play
5p-6p active play
6p-7p dinner
7p-8p quiet play

Part II: Amy and Lee’s schedule
Mon – Amy 12a-6a, Lee 6a-12p, Amy 12p-6p, Lee 6p-12a
Tue – Amy 12a-6a, Lee 6a-12p, Amy 12p-6p, Lee 6p-12a
Wed – Amy 12a-8a, Lee 8a-4p, Amy 4p-12a
Thu – Lee 12a-6a, Amy 6a-6p, Lee 6p-12a
Fri – Lee 12a-6a, Amy 6a-6p, Lee 6p-12a
Sat – Lee 12a-6a, Amy 6a-2p, Lee 2p-12a
Sun – Amy 12a-6a, Lee 6a-6p, Amy 6p-12a
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