Systems. It’s a word that has a very versatile set of meanings. An IT guy will have a much different gut reaction when he or she hears the word “system” than a football coach will. A lawyer or judge will have a 180 degree differing reaction when they hear the word uttered. The other night Steph and I got into a discussion about our kids, our “system” and how – for us – it’s made our lives easier.
Having a young child is hard and having twins, well, I can’t say it’s twice the work because I’ve never just had a single baby, but if I had to guess, I’d say twins are at least twice as hard. I can’t speak for Steph, but I believe that we both obviously knew changes were afoot when the twins arrived. We wanted to avoid those situations where you wake up in the morning and bicker about who’s going to take care of the babies or get them up, dressed, etc. So we devised a system. When the kids were too young too have an established sleeping pattern, Steph and I would just pick one child before we went to bed and stay with them through the night. It was kind of like a lottery of sorts. Some nights you might only get one wake-up call. Others, well, you know. Several. For the record, Steph was the first one to sleep a whole night uninterrupted.
After we (and they) got themselves into a sleeping pattern where they made it through the night (at about 4-5 months old), we then established certain days of the week where we’d get up and take care of their business. So since then and still today we do it this way: on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, I get up with the boys, get ’em dressed, feed them, etc. Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday are Steph’s days. For Wednesdays, we just take turns each week. For us, it works. There’s no waking up and deciding who will get them. If it’s your day, you’re up. It completely removes what could be a negative source of stress.
So how did we choose the days? If you don’t care, you can skip to the next paragraph. Steph works three days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and those are the days our kids are at daycare. That means she spends the whole day with them on Mondays and Fridays. So it only makes sense for me to get up with the boys on Mondays and Fridays since she has to spend the whole day with them those days. It also allows her to sleep in a little bit on those two days and also on Saturdays, which she very much deserves. Pretty simple. I do the day care runs during the week because she’s at work. So at 8:00am and 5:30pm, I’m dropping off and picking up. We always put them to bed together, except on Mondays, when Steph goes off for some free time.
Anyway, some look at this and may think there’s a regiment. Well, there is. But each household makes their marriage work in different ways. We decided that this system was better for us than the system of waking up, staring at each other and then figuring out who was going to get up. For others, that might work and that’s just fine. I am by no means saying that our way is the only way. It just works for us, that’s all. So all you parents out there, how do you work it? I’m very curious to hear……
When Holly was on maternity leave, during the week if Luke woke up at night (or before he was sleeping through the night, he needed a bottle), she got him, no questions asked. Her reasoning — which I didn’t argue with — was that since I had to get up and go to work, I needed to sleep. Eh. She needed the sleep as much as I did, but hey, I was down with it. On the weekend, I would generally get up with him in the middle of the night since I wasn’t doing it during the week. Once he started sleeping through the night, it became no issue at all, as he rarely wakes up. When he does now, it’s more of who hears it first.
Holly goes to bed earlier than I do and wakes up earlier, so she generally tends to Luke when he wakes up in the morning. If he wakes up while she’s getting ready, then I have to get up. Sucks for me, but too bad. She likes to leave work as early as possible so that she can pick Luke up from daycare as early as possible, so she generally takes him to daycare also, though I go with if I’m ready in time. I put him to bed every night except for Mondays, when I play softball or basketball. Occasionally if I go see a band or a Cubs game, she’ll put him to bed, but I’ll do it if I don’t have to leave until after he’s down.
Not as strict as your system but a system nonetheless.
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