I woke up yesterday morning, fed my sweet baby girl, snuggled with my other two girls, got up and fixed them all breakfast while we listened to worship music and chatted away about the day. I grabbed my cup of coffee and took the girls upstairs for our morning routine of books/sight words/a little Sid the Science Kid/bed making/getting dressed, etc... and opened my computer to find a message which said "You are a heartless beast of a mother" followed by several other posts/comments/facebook feeds/blog articles, etc.. calling me similar names along with telling me I am abusive and should have my children taken away. WOAH. At this point in my fun little blogging "hobby" I thought- is this really worth it? I am happy as can be, hanging with my precious gifts from the Lord and open my crazy computer to be attacked by strangers who do not even know me. (In case you have no idea why people would be saying these things about me, I have an article I wrote back in February called "Newborn: Sleeping Through the Night"). I went about my day, in an obvious funk, which I told my husband- "if those things would not upset me, there is something wrong with me"- and had some time to really think through this whole "thing". The article is the sole reason why I receive 4000+ hits a day as opposed to my previous 100 hits- so that is a blessing. I receive precious comments all of the time from moms who really seem to be helped by that article- another blessing. I love getting comments from other moms who used the same plan and they really loved it as well- fabulous! It is always flattering and a blessing when moms ask my advice and I am able to help them with a little issue- so fun! SO...am I going to let some "haters" get me down and make me second guess the decisions that I have made and continue to make for my family...ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! However, this being said, there has been a lesson in all of this madness and I wanted to share it with you. All of this "hate" has inspired me to really look over the article and my article on naps and evaluate how it would sound to someone who does not know me or who is a first time mom trying to figure it all out. I will humbly admit that I needed to soften my nap article- I must have been on fire that day :) It was also meant, at the time, for my 50 followers who know me and know my "tone". I also have read some of these other blogs who strongly "disagree" with me and comments of moms on those sites and I feel like I need to clarify a few things (maybe get a few things off my chest, haahaa)...not for them...but for you moms who read my blog and trust my advice. I am speaking to you- but I am speaking to myself as well! Since I ADORE bullet points, here you go!
- MY CHILDREN ARE NOT PERFECT...they do not sleep through the night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, if my babies need me in the middle of the night...truly need me..I am there! I think we have been given beautiful instincts as parents to know when our babies need us vs when our babies need to be left for more sleep.
- I want to re-state I do not think you should be really rigid with this or any plan- take one day at a time and do what YOU think is best- YOU were born with amazing mothering skills and instincts- use them!
- I absolutely believe in research- if scheduling and parent-directed feeding feels yucky to you- there are so many plans out there. I simply believe you will be more relaxed if you have a plan- even if it is to wake up and do what the baby says all day long- that is a plan!
- Check out "Attachment Parenting" I promise if that sounds delightful to you, you will not like my ideas. HOWEVER, I honestly believe we can still be friends. I frankly don't care what plan you use with your babies- there is just more to life! I am not going to tell you all of the reasons why I disagree with that type of parenting plan- YOU do your thing!
- YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT...you know who is? The many many many mothers who are getting their children taken away from them because they choose drugs over there babies. Or the moms who smoke and drink (I am talking more than 1 glass of wine) while pregnant knowing they are harming their babies. You get the idea- YOU are not a bad mom if your baby doesn't sleep at 8 weeks or if you don't want to "wear your baby" or if you don't want to breastfeed. Be confident that God chose you to parent your babies.
- If you try Baby Wise or Attachment Parenting or my little version of BW- or another idea and you do not feel at peace and comfortable with what you are doing- STOP! You have been given the freedom to stop and change directions. Babies are very resilient. You will know when you are at peace with the style of mothering you choose. Does that mean every day is peaceful and easy...um, absolutely not. But you will stick through those days knowing you are doing the right thing for your family.
- Do not feel like you have to follow every tiny detail in any plan you use- I think that is when people go crazy- they think there is a formula. There is no formula, every baby is different, every mother is different and every day is different!
- I am not in any way, shape, or form perfect. Neither are you. Neither is Mrs. Duggar. Neither is Octomom. Neither is Dr. Sears. Neither is Gary Ezzo. Every mom has an issue- maybe yours is sleep- mine is food- you will never catch me writing an article on "how to get your kids to eat fish and veggies" there is no book, online seminar, blog, etc.. on the planet that has helpful wisdom for me on my #2 eating! I bet you cant find a mom who doesn't have an issue!
In conclusion, cant we all just get along? I mean really- there is just more to life than how we view infant sleep. It is a REALLY BIG DEAL when you are in the "season" but it is no reason to be mean or judgmental toward others. Another thing this has taught me is that I probably have been a little judgmental of others. I might have looked at the "Attachment Parenting" people and had all sorts of "opinions". I am blessed to learn this lesson, me being hateful or arguing with someone over a mothering issue is ineffective!
Finally, I am glad I memorized this verse last Easter- it has been ringing in my head!
1 John 4:7-12, 19-21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
I PROMISE you- that we will be moving on from this madness- I truly hope this is my last "article" like this- thank you for letting me get it off of my mind. I hope that any guilt or defeat you might have felt from my "tidy" little article has been diminished a bit from this. Have a great rest of the week!
You are a wonderful mother. :)ReplyDelete
I use a little of your article, and a little AP, and a little "Me." It works for us. As a mother of an adopted baby, I can't do certain aspects of AP. And I'd rather not sleep with my child. My child has been sleeping like a rockstar because of you and AP elements combined. It can be done...Keep your chin up and rest assured that you are loved by an almighty God who has blessed you with beautiful children. How awesome is that????
Thank you Kara!Delete
I'm so sorry that people said such mean things! It seems like they must really not know what they're talking about - any mommy knows that different things work for different people, that each baby is different and will respond best to different methods, and that you absolutely NEVER call a woman a "bad mother" simply because you don't agree with the method(s) she has chosen to follow. Snuggle up with your precious little ones and just remember that as long as they're happy and well-adjusted you're doing exactly the right thing!ReplyDelete
Thank you Heather- I appreciate you taking the time to encourage!Delete
I'm SO sorry for the haters! You are a wonderful mother and God has used that article (and you) to confirm what I was doing and my baby is such a happy baby now that she sleeps. What Satan has meant for harm, God can turn to good!!! Keep going sister!ReplyDelete
Thank you Candice!!Delete
Hi Jenica, I've been reading your blog for a while. I'm a pediatric speech therapist in a children's hospital. I'm not a mom yet, so I do as much research as I can to help the moms and babies I work with. I love reading your thoughts and the wisdom that you share. Every baby I see in my office is different, parenting styles are all different, and the most important thing that you have reminded us is that it's important to follow a plan and to trust in the Lord! You were simply sharing what has worked well for you and your family and for moms out there who are LOOKING FOR advice, I think you have really helped! I just wanted to encourage you, you inspire me to be a great mom someday!! Also, for your mealtime miseries, I use this book a lot in feeding therapy, the authors are simply amazing, real, smart women like yourself! Your blog is delightful! Thank you!! http://www.amazon.com/Food-Chaining-Feeding-Problems-Child%C2%92s/dp/1600940161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351777561&sr=8-1&keywords=food+chaining+the+proven+6-step+plan+to+stop+picky+eatingReplyDelete
SO sweet Mandy- thank you for saying that! AND..thank you for the book idea, I am excited to check it out! Blessings to you!Delete
I shared your article the other day on formula/breastfeeding the other day and one of my friends had a perfect response to it. She said something along the lines of she loved it and moms need more encouragement and less judgement. I think that is a perfect thought and if moms can benefit from your article (which I did, by the way, thank you thank you :-)) then that's great, if they don't agree with it then they should keep their negative thoughts to themselves and know it doesn't work for them. There are always going to be those people that have to put their two cents out there, but I think you should keep on doing what you're doing. I love your blog! I too do what I need to do and I use a little bit of everything to get my parenting done. Thanks for your help!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Bella- I really appreciate that encouragement!Delete
I found your blog at the perfect time! With the birth of my second beautiful daughter, I just needed the reinforcement of a plan (I use a mix of Baby Whisperer and Baby Wise), and your advice was EXACTLY what I needed when I needed it. Your generosity and love ooozes from your blog! Thank you for serving the way that you do - the world is a better place. :)ReplyDelete
Melissa- thank you so much- that was a precious message to receive! I appreciate you taking the time to write that! Blessings to you!Delete
Your post has helped us so much! I was really beginning to think I just had a baby who doesn't sleep but using your condensed version of Baby Wise has been a lifesaver! My 3 month old now sleeps much better and we are all much happier! It's important to take everyones advice and tweak it to be your own, you know your baby best. Focus on the comments left here as every one of them shows how you have positively influenced people. Thank you again!ReplyDelete
Thank you I appreciate you taking the time to encourage me!Delete
Thank you for the reminder that judgment goes both ways. We've been a Baby Wise family since my first child was less than a week old and we have never looked back. We feel bad for parents who don't schedule their children and don't understand why they don't sleep. And, to be honest, I have judged. But you are so right - everyone needs to do what works for them because in the grand scheme of life, there are so many greater issues than whose children sleep through the night and why. Thanks for the encouragement! There are a lot of mommies out there who agree with you 100%! (Coming from a Momma of three 90th percentile chunkies!)ReplyDelete
I have never read Baby Wise (skimmed it after my kids were past that stage), but my husband and I did take Growing Kids Gods Way. Overall, they have great ideas - as long as you make them work for your family. I like your more gentle take on it. My 2nd child naturally scheduled herself into a 3 hour pattern (I think it helped having a toddler around) and life was so much easier with a Plan.ReplyDelete
We currently have a 4 week old foster preemie who came to us on a 3 hour schedule. Everyone thought I was mad for setting my alarm to wake her up and feed her. But, it works! I'm not going to fix something that isn't broken. I'm starting to let her sleep until she wakes at night, and she is already going about 4-4.5 hours. She is the easiest baby ever and never cries. Even she seems to like knowing when she's going to be eating. :)
I feel like I could have written this post. My son is a little over two years old, and I loosely followed the Baby Wise method with him. I loved the results, but I too received comments similar to the ones you talk about here and they hurt. I don't really discuss my parenting choices with many people nowadays for that very reason. I have friends on both sides of the fence, and I can tell you that every mother I know is simply doing what she thinks is best for her child. I love the conclusion of this post - can't we all just get along? I've said that so many times. I have friends who are strict attachment parenters and I've seen them be attacked for their choices, just as I have been attacked for mine. Why can't we all just agree to do what is best for our children, and not judge other mothers for doing the same?ReplyDelete
Thanks for your posts! I've really enjoyed them! Especially since I have a newborn again :)
Wow so glad I came across your website! I'm pregnant with our 1st (yay). And have had SO many questions about this subject! I'm definitely using this website as a resource!ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that you received such negative feedback. I just wanted to send you some positive feedback to let you know how much I appreciated your advice. I am a new mom and when I read your blog about newborns sleeping through the night, my 9 week old was getting up every 2.5 hours at night and I was exhausted, depressed and felt like I was not meeting the needs of my son or my husband. I followed your advice and that night we started our new bedtime routine to get him ready for the "long sleep." He took a bath, we read a story, my husband and I put him in his bed and prayed over him and then he slept ALL NIGHT!! I woke up a new woman! While we are still having some problems with the naps, he has been doing great sleeping at night. Next week he will be 13 weeks and I will do the transition of the 2 hours awake, 2 hours asleep. I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been such a blessing to me, my husband and most importantly, my son, who had the ability to sleep through the night the whole time! Thank you!!ReplyDelete