It's not you, it's me.
I wrote my first post in the Confessions of a former Babywise loving Mom series a couple weeks ago, but when I recently read chapter 3 of Desperate, I fully realized just what bothered me about Babywise.
Sarah Mae writes "Formulas don't create guilt, but failing to get the desired result from following formulas most certainly can lead to horrible feelings of inadequacy and guilt. 'I must not be doing it enough.' 'I must not be doing it right.' 'What am I doing wrong?'"
To be honest, one of the main reasons I've fallen out of love with Babywise is because of me. It's my personality that's the problem.
I'm a by the book kind of person. Give me an instruction manual and I'll follow it. My husband teases me about adhering to recipes religiously. I usually err on the side of legalism. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's something I struggle with and I'm honestly sharing with you.
So when you give me THE book on infant sleep, I'll follow it. And it worked. For my first. But it didn't for my second. And even with my first baby, I questioned everything.
I wasn't "doing it" right because my daughter didn't nap at the same time every day when she was 2 months old.
I looked up sample schedules of online to find out what other people's children were doing at certain ages. As if this matters!
I let her fall asleep in the car sometimes.
And I finally decided that I didn't care what the dumb book says, I'm rocking my baby before bedtime, thankyouverymuch! We followed the advice of The Baby Whisperer and built a gentle sleep routine for her that included a minute or two of singing and rocking before putting her into her crib, awake, but ready to drift off to slumberland. This fit my style of parenting.
Key phrase: my style.
Not yours. Mine.
And now that I've reached this glorious point of life in which I have three precious kiddos, I finally know that this is what matters. I can read up on various techniques and pick what works for me. Leave the other junk behind without guilt!
The other problem is that I worry too much about what other people think. Quite frankly, I'm not worrying so much about that anymore. I don't worry if my Babywise adhering friends disagree with these posts. They'll see my heart and if they don't, that's their problem. I don't worry if my cloth diapering friends think it's irresponsible of me to put my baby in disposables much of the time. It's my sanity that's on the line here, not theirs.
So I now have the confidence to look back at the past several years of parenting and say that's a wonderful thing to take what works from one parenting technique and leave the other junk behind. That's exactly what good parents do all the time.
As Sally Clarkson writes, "It is vitally important for women to learn how to think biblically for themselves instead of being enslaved to other people's thoughts and opinions. To truly follow God with everything in our lives, we must learn to develop discernment."
And "A happy mom who is secure in herself and at ease in her life is a rare gift that children love and appreciate."
We have to develop our own style of mothering, using first the guidelines laid out by scripture, relying on the wisdom of other moms who have gone before us, and keeping in mind our family dynamics and our own personalities. Through taking this approach to motherhood instead of latching ferociously onto a method to save us, we become the confident, happy, godly mothers that the Lord intended us to be.
Have you ever found yourself clinging to a parenting label or heaping judgment upon yourself for breaking "the rules?"