I am truly grateful for all of the influences and gifts that have allowed me to parent in a way that truly feels right. Job opportunities, finances, and education have come together to provide a pretty ideal circumstance to raise a little one. However, there is one commodity that I could not possibly do without: the internet.
Before Miles was born, I spent hours scouring the blogosphere for ideas. I bookmarked, I pinned, I sprang, and I generally devoured all I could find on the subject. My first focus was Montessori for babies (check out my earlier post on Montessori for Infants Resources). Everything I read resonated with me, a relief since my experience with babies was quite limited before having one of my own. Part of me (and my wallet) was just plain old relieved that we needn’t be plagued with oodles of plastic toys, a light up musical swing, and a designer crib.
Now that Miles is here, I have found that the Montessori techniques have been a natural fit for all of us. From the beginning, my husband and I delighted in watching Miles discover his first mobile and make friends with his reflection in the mirror. I am practicing my skills of observation every day as I try to follow my son’s lead. Now that we are three months in, I don’t know what parenting would look like without the guidance of the Montessori method.
Although a perfect routine is not at all realistic (or ideal), we do follow a sequence of activities every day. This will help Miles feel secure because he knows what to expect, with a bonus effect of keeping Mama on the straight and narrow so I can get everything done!
5:30 am – Miles nurses in bed until Mama is ready to get up. Baby goes to “school” (his tripod equipped with mobile) while Mama and Daddy hang out and eat breakfast.
7:00 am – Mama and Miles say goodbye to Daddy, then we get dressed and roll out the yoga mat! Baby has tummy time while Mama stretches, breathes deeply, and chants.
8:00 am – Mama starts work. Miles alternates between nursing, mobile time, and needing many, many fresh diapers. Mama hopes that this early dislike of being wet will translate into quick potty training!
10:00 am – Mama (should) take a break from her computer to do some cleaning while singing, talking, and pausing to play with Miles. Then we go back to our work: I at my computer, he under his mobile. Sometimes we listen to music (Bill Frisell is his favorite, and mine too). Sometimes the tv is on for Mama’s benefit. He can’t see the tv, but he can hear it, so I make sure that I am ok with the content of the program. (ie: Buffy OK, SVU not so much). But really, sometimes I need me a little SMG to get through the day.
12:00 pm – Lunch time! Mama steals away to heat something up while Miles chills out. Afterwards, Mama and Miles go for a walk for about a half an hour. Then we come back and – guess what – more work!
3:30 pm – Miles hears Daddy’s truck coming down the driveway and gets all excited. After lots of hugs and snuggles, Miles has some tummy time while Mama and Daddy connect after a long day.
5:00 pm – Mama or Daddy starts dinner while the other plays with the baby. Miles starts to get a bit cranky as the day is winding down – notice that he takes no naps! This is not by design. He seems to only be interested in sleeping when the sun goes down. Sometimes Daddy and Miles take a bath to wind down.
7:00 pm – Bedtime for Miles! Daddy does one last diaper change and gets baby in his pjs, then Mama and Miles snuggle and nurse in Miles’ bed while Daddy reads the bedtime story or poem he has picked out. Miles is usually asleep by 7:15 pm, although sometimes he is asleep before we put him in bed and sometimes it takes a bit longer. Mama does some breathing and/or meditation while Miles nurses to sleep.
7:30 pm – Mama and Daddy finish the dishes, clean up the kitchen, and relax.
10:00 pm – Daddy gently brings Miles to the changing station for one last freshie before bed, then lays him down between us so we can all go to sleep. Miles usually needs a diaper and a quick nurse in the middle of the night, but otherwise he is a great sleeper.
So that is the simple yet busy life that we lead. How about you?