You'll hear two lines of thinking when it comes to parenting: parent-led and baby-led. Do you incorporate your child into YOUR life or do you incorporate your life into your CHILD'S? Whose schedule rules? And now that Abe is 6 months old, what would I even put into my schedule?? I just started leaving the house again a month ago and to be honest, human interaction is still a little foreign. The other day a woman asked me how old Abe was and I said, "Thank you."
Most people who aren't yet parents will tell you that your child should fold into your life. They should do what you do. The world isn't going to bend for them. I hear this all the time and I, myself, preached this line of thinking B.A. (Before Abe). These people have clearly never lived with a 6 month old. It's true, if I want to go to Target, we are GOING to Target. However, I can't guarantee we'll be able to stay more than 15 minutes before nap time starts calling and the mission is aborted.
I agree that you should teach your child to go with your flow. A child cannot be in charge, that's way too much pressure. As Abe's mom, it's my job to plan our days. However, as a parent, it is also my job to give my son what he needs. Abe needs 2 naps a day. For some kids it will make no difference, but for him it will ruin 2 or 3 days of happiness. And if he needs 2 naps a day, I don't get to go to the mall during one of those naps just because Old Navy is having a 50% off sale on winter coats. (This is why, I believe, God is a woman and she invented the Internet.) Earlier this week my husband tried to get me to take Abe on a whirlwind trip to NYC for 2 days. For a split second I thought about it, and then I envisioned lugging a breastpump onto an airplane, trying to get a carseat into a cab, sitting in a hotel room at 1pm waiting for Abe to wake up from a nap, and brushing my teeth at 8:30pm before bed while the rest of New York was just putting on lipstick. I quickly lost interest.
So what's a fashion conscious Broadway-loving girl to do? My conclusion at the end of the day is if it's truly important to you to keep it a part of your life, you will be willing to suffer the consequences of a skipped nap or an early bedtime. And you get to weigh whether or not it's worth it to you individually.
Yeah, if it's really important to you, your baby should follow your schedule. But I find that after having a kid, a lot of things that used to be important just aren't anymore. And that's why I don't mind bending my schedule around. I can usually get everything done everyday that I need to without interrupting a nap or pushing bedtime back too far. It's become like a multi-tasking game called Motherhood, similar to Jenga, except all the wooden pieces have been rolled in a sticky and/or crumbly unknown substance and 7 of the pieces are missing altogether. Oh, and if you lose the game, you don't get to sleep more then 2 hours for several days. Take your time. Play it right. I hear it's over pretty fast anyway.