Respecting a New Parent's Schedule

The Redditor brought up an important point about how little regard some people have for new parents' schedules.

As any new parent knows, sticking to your baby's schedule—or not—can mean the difference between a well-rested child and a cranky one. It can also mean the difference between getting a well-deserved break or finding yourself feeling cranky without one. But all too often, loved ones and friends disregard the schedule you set, thinking it's penciled in rather than written in stone. One mom in the Baby Bumps subreddit, writing under the handle pechymcpeach, explains her frustration with others shrugging off her baby's sleep schedule.

In a post titled, "Why doesn't anyone respect my time?" the original poster (OP) shares that her 1-year-old has "a very set schedule when it comes to naps." "He's up for two hours then he naps, wake up, up for three hours another nap, and he's good till bed time," she explains. "It keeps him happy, it keeps me sane. But no one seems to care!"

She continues, "Grandma coming over? Oh yeah, I'm just getting dressed, 40 minutes later, gotta walk the dogs, 30 minutes later I'm leaving soon! Well, great, because by the time you get here he'll be ready for a nap! But no, you'll want to play with him! And I'll get to deal with an angry baby."

Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

Then the same day, she says another parent said she didn't know when they'd be available for a playdate. So the OP translated that to "just sit around all day waiting for me to text you!"

The OP concludes, "Cause I have nothing else I could be doing on the one day this week there might be someone around to help me run errands."

Fellow Redditors empathized with the mom, similarly frustrated by people who don't seem to understand that the baby's schedule is not just a suggestion. They also acknowledged that it can be tough to put your foot down but that it's necessary.

u/PopTartAfficionado said she's "very recently grown more of a backbone to say no" when her baby needs to sleep. "There was a final straw incident where I let people twist my arm into taking my baby to a restaurant when I knew she was too tired (we were on vacation, and it was near her bedtime). It was a nightmare." Though she was mad at the friends who pushed her to go, she noted that it was ultimately her fault for agreeing.

Other commenters pointed out that the OP—and any stressed parent's—best bet for dealing with this situation is setting boundaries.

u/LordChanticleer shares, "Then [Grandma] doesn't get to play with the baby. That's on her. If she wants to make sure she arrives earlier or wait until he's done napping, then she can play with him. Don't let anyone bully you into interrupting this schedule that works for you and your baby. Set clear boundaries, and stick to them."

u/MrsBobber adds, "Nap time is nap time is nap time in my house. Don't like it? Too bad! I'm open about what time it is when people ask to visit—can't make it when they're up? Too bad, come another time. Set some boundaries!"

The fact is that the OP is far from alone in struggling with this, especially when it comes to inconsiderate family members. Fellow Redditor u/Sagzmir puts it perfectly: "I have struggled for years with the word 'no' and family, but motherhood has pushed me to my breaking point." The bottom line: "Be firm yet fair."

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