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Parents get cranky about naptime schedule

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife and I have a 14-month-old daughter. We often clash on our parenting styles.

Our daughter is on a very strict schedule. This has worked out well for us -- she naps well and sleeps through the night.

I'm all for the schedule, but sometimes life should come first. This weekend my wife and I are going to a wedding. My parents love to watch our daughter, but they had already made plans to go to the local homecoming parade.

After my wife sent my mom our daughter's schedule, my mom said that they would take our daughter to the parade, and bring her back for her nap, about an hour later than normal. She said that if my wife wasn't comfortable with that, it was OK to try and find another option.

My wife thought this was rude and that my mom wasn't respecting her wishes. I feel like my parents are doing us a favor, and putting our daughter down for her nap a little later isn't a big deal. I want my wife to realize that we can deviate from the schedule on occasion.

I feel like my wife's issue is more about controlling everything, rather than being about what is best for us and for our daughter.

Grandparent babysitting is free -- we would have to pay the sitter $150 or more to watch our daughter all day. We got into a huge fight about this, and now I am not sure what to do or say.

-- Dad Needs Help

Dear Dad: I am with you on this. Your mother, also, has handled this well.

Your wife's reaction is not only unkind, but it also doesn't bode well for future free babysitting gigs (or for her relationship with her in-laws). Additionally, she needs to realize that when she isn't present, caregivers will not necessarily adhere strictly to her schedule.

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