Before I became a parent I was very spontaneous. I once quit my job and flew to Italy to surprise my sister on her 30th birthday. Once there, after the celebrations, I impulsively extended my trip and travelled on to Switzerland and Turkey. It was spontaneous fun! In my early years of marriage, weekends were filled with similar spontaneity; day drives out of town, spur of the moment social outings and many spontaneous Sunday sessions at the pub. Although do they classify as “spontaneous” when you just happen to end up in a beer garden every weekend?
Being a parent and spontaneity don’t sit easily together, at least not for me anyway. When Miss A was born I read Robin Barker’s famed Baby Love, in which she extols the virtues of routines for babies. It seemed to make sense and Miss A easily adapted into a routine. I fed every 3-4 hours, she slept for another 3, and so the cycle continued. This structure held appeal for me, too. I liked knowing what was coming next. I liked being in control, and routines make you feel supremely in control….