more baby thoughts.

this originally started out as a comment to the last post, and as it grew, i thought that i might as well just make a new post. šŸ™‚ not very coherent, just sharing some of my experience.

i think a lot of my issues with babywise were underlying heart issues that made it virtually impossible for me to “use” the book and not feel like a failure.Ā  i learned a TON about myself through it, though — things i had no idea of pre-Jones.Ā  i learned how highly i am motivated by guilt, fear, and perfectionism/performance.Ā  — so much so that a 45 minute nap wasn’t just a 45 minute nap, it was a signal to me of my failure of as a mom and my failure to follow the babywise standards, and my son was going to pay for it. šŸ˜¦ it was most definitely an issue of my heart and my standards on myself that babywise just sort of fell into.Ā  i do have some other issues with the book, but not anything i would go on a crusade for, but perhaps just share if friends were interested. in the end, i realized that i wasn’t following the book because i wanted to or thought that the ideas were good, but because i felt somehow that i had to follow it to be a good mom, that it was the only way to mold a godly, well-behaved child, and that a lot of mom’s i knew were doing it, and so i should probably do it too. once i understood that my line of thinking was unhealthy, i realized that my natural tendencies and desires didn’t really line up at all with the book, and that i disagreed with some of it, making it something i no longer wanted to follow.Ā  i felt as if i were finally free to do what i wanted and felt necessary to do for Jones — i had the freedom from the beginning, but other issues kept me from understanding that.Ā  the babywise book was just a part of my story, and i definitely don’t blame the book or its standards for my problems with guilt, fear, and failure.

those are the thoughts. šŸ™‚Ā  if you have other thoughts, or have an experience with guilt, failure, or some other issue that has been brought to light via motherhood, please share!Ā  i am interested to hear..

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10 thoughts on “more baby thoughts.

  1. Jamie, I find myself wishing there weren’t such labels for parenting strategies. I don’t feel pressure from the Babywise crowd (never truly did), but I do feel pressure from the attachment parenting crowd. This is silly because AP covers a lot of issues and one label certainly can’t describe everything a parent decides to do or not do, but still, I feel some pressure! I don’t like the Babywise books–the very tone of them grates against me, but I do like the scheduling option. I loved being able to put Liv down to bed without having to rock her to sleep or give her a bottle of milk or whatever.

    These days I find myself feeling antagonistic when hipster bloggers describe themselves as breastfeeding, baby-wearing, unschooling, grace-filled mamas. As though I can’t be a grace-filled mama if I didn’t wear my baby much (we did use the Bjorn, does that count? lol!) and let her cry to sleep a number of times. Don’t even get me started on discipline methods!

    All of us need to pray for wisdom. God gives that, we’re told, and will teach us as we teach our kids.

    (I’m wishing we could discuss over cups of coffee! Sometimes leaving a comment feels too concrete for me, like I’ll say something that’s really inaccurate, but it’s recorded here for all time. Argh.)

  2. I think the problem is that moms get so pleased with whatever works for them that they become evangelists for it, which has the ultimate effect of making other moms feel pressured or insufficient if they don’t do things the same way.

    I don’t feel too much pressure yet, per se, but I do find myself already getting defensive anytime someone offers unsolicited advice, even if it’s something I don’t have an opinion on yet. šŸ™‚ I find myself avoiding discussing with other mothers at church “birth plans” or where the baby will sleep or how long I’ll nurse, just because I don’t want to put myself in a situation where someone I don’t know very well will be telling me how I should do it, and create resentment in my heart towards them for their well-meaning advice.

    It’s natural to want to share the things that work for you (the same impulse that makes me tell everyone about a book I read that I love, is probably at work in a mama telling all her mama friends about this sleep/feed/discipline tactic she used that she just loves). But there must be something about mothering that is so personal that makes you extra defensive, and increases the likelihood of guilt or resentment (or smug self-satisfaction) over what choices you make or don’t make.

  3. Jamie,
    I feel your pain as far as feeling like babywise may add to regimented scheduling and that it may not be healthy. I personally really enjoyed the book and really liked some of the principles and after having my little guy I felt stressed for a short time because he didn’t exactly DO what the book said he would do. I am thankful that early on I realized that was unhealthy and that it was an needed source of stress for me where I realized that I wasn’t enjoy my little man nor spending time just holding him like I wanted too. I for one do not do very well at all on little sleep. I most definitely need 8-9 hours to feel fully rested. So at the early stages it was a deep desire of mine to get my little guy to sleep through the night early because much like Miranda those I know that use more attachment parenting methods they little ones didn’t sleep through the night for years. I have even talked to one parent that had a three year old that was not yet sleeping through the night. Ugh! I literally think that I would die. And darn sure I may not ever have any more children if that were the case with my little one. Thankfully he started sleeping through the night for the first time at 10 weeks and then consistently at 12 weeks.

    As I continue to read books to educate myself as well as more in the babywise series and also even as I have parented through the first babywise book I realized how I believed biblical the principles were wonderful but for my own sanity and for the sake of my child I had to learn to be completely flexible and just follow the principles and not the book per se. They did resonate with me much more than attachment parenting styles as well for my sanity and for my child sleeping (for him having good sleep), he is a very healthy happy baby, he’s been so easy going since his birth pretty much and I do believe because he slept through the night early on. (He does almost always sleep through the night unless he’s teething or something. but just for a side note he does fight sleep terribly and doesn’t nap well and part of me thinks that’s because we named him Caden which means fighter šŸ˜‰

    So there’s some of my 2 cents. Thanks for your thoughts! I enjoy your blog!

  4. I do think it’s kind of funny how people tend to slap labels on things and settle down in camps…like its Babywise or Attachment Parenting, and there’s no in-between or other options. If you’re not following Babywise, you must be attachment parenting, and your children are running wild and still sleeping in your bed at age 16. If you’re not hitting all the aspects of AP, you must be an Ezzo devotee and you never hug your baby and it will die of undernourishment. šŸ˜‰

    My historian husband likes to remind me that people have been successfully raising babies long before the Ezzos or the Sears or anyone else wrote books or came up with names for systems, and will continue doing so no matter what mishmash of tactics they use for making it through the day and night. šŸ™‚

  5. I find myself tracking with a lot of these thoughts. It seems like when any personal opinion (that is merely preferential) starts to get in the way of outreach and community building, you have a problem. I have been very surprised and refreshed by the loving attitude of the campus community here at Cov. We’ve got homeschoolers and public schoolers, family bed advocates and enthusiastic schedulers, moms who work and moms who stay home. Everyone seems supportive of the decisions that each family has made on their own, realizing that everyone has a different story. It has been truly refreshing to me and I’m constantly learning from others who do things differently than I do. I hope I can model this attitude as well.

    All that to say, it seems like love for others ought to trump all methods. Fixed theology, flexible methodology (RUF shout out!).

  6. its so sad to me that i’m asleep while all this commenting is happening and can’t chime in till the very end! šŸ˜› a fact of blogging from overseas, i suppose.

    i appreciate all of these thoughts, hearing from all of you. my hubby agreed highly with andrew, the historian, in that people have been raising babies for centuries and will continue to do so. he said, “its nice to see a man’s thoughts in here.” šŸ˜‰ i can’t imagine how much more emotional my mommy-life would be if i didn’t have bryan.

    karen, i hope for the kind of acceptance and love in my heart that you describe in your comment — you said it well with “love for others ought to trump all methods.” help us, Jesus, to let go of what hinders us from loving our neighbors!

  7. Hey jamie,

    I just wanted to refer you to a book I’m readying called Shame-free parenting by Sandra Wilson. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, a friend told me about it and though it may not of course solve all the questions you are battling with it might help you think through some of the guilt kind of stuff.

    Love,
    Becky

  8. Amen to “people have been raising kids long before books told them how.”
    And Amen to love for others. Thanks for providing a forum to discuss, Jamie. Time to get the boy up to eat before I head off to bed!

    Miranda

  9. So fun to read all your thoughts on this topic. You are all doing well to question, instead of surrendering yourself to a certain paradigm for parenting. Blessings to all you young mommies. And I’m not offering a lick of advice. šŸ™‚

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