This parenting thing is hard work.
Children are truly the greatest blessing, and at the same time, the biggest handful and hard work a mama will ever experience: mentally and physically.
Looking back, I’ve learned quite a few things about being a mom: I believe it’s called wisdom.
As a woman of faith, I know it’s my job to pass some of these lessons learned to the next generation of moms. Sometimes, I wish I’d been a Babywise mama.
I was an attachment parenting “crunchy” mom in the early 2000’s, before it was even the “cool” thing to do. There was no social media with which to share viral posts about parenting, the ups or the downs.
I carried my boys in a sling nearly everywhere we went: breastfeeding, awakening and holding on demand until they were two years old. We didn’t have a set sleep schedule. I didn’t even own a stroller until my first son was nearly a year old, and I only bought that because we moved to Europe and were walking miles every day.
Is Crunchy Good?
I didn’t even know the term “crunchy” mama existed until Facebook exploded. Or, that it meant “more focused on the earth and what's good for it, and what's "natural"...you do things like eat organic, make/grow your own food, eat healthier, cloth diaper, recycle, breastfeed, babywear and a slew of other things.” I was just a Dr. Sears following mom because he was a trusted voice by the American Association of Pediatrics, and my homebirth midwife recommended I read his books. Besides, those are all good things, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve formed an incredible bond with my boys, for sure. I wouldn’t change my memories with them as babies, or my birth stories. I wouldn’t change many of my “crunchy” attributes, but I may have slept more if I’d been a Babywise mom. I know much of the strength of our bond is from homeschooling them based around our faith, and some of it came from my attachment parenting years. My boys thrive as young men growing into their potential, and they thrived as babies, too.
Looking back, even amongst the incredible blessings of the first years as a mom, I can see many “life hacks” I missed by being so attached to my babies.
If I’d been following the Babywise method, I still could’ve fed on demand for a few weeks and then had more rhythm in my home. Being a mom who had a bit more structure and a little more time to myself (and with my husband alone) rather than having a baby constantly at my breast would have been a tremendous blessing.
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Ten Reasons I Wish I’d Been a Babywise Mom:
- I struggled with constant thoughts of detachment from my babies and became almost dependant on having them with me. My emotions were all over the place at times.
- I was sometimes fearful when we’d leave them with a sitter, even if it was my mom.
- Although I practiced elimination communication / “diaper-free” and I loved using cloth diapers and homemade baby wipes, being more lenient on myself about the ease and convenience of regular diapers would have been liberating.
- My husband and I would’ve taken more date nights, without baby attached. I do have cherished memories, though, of my boys at weddings and fine dining experiences!
- I would’ve had more free time, maybe to get back to writing or in shape earlier and even just time without baby on my back or chest to do laundry and grocery shopping. Yes, I did laundry with baby attached.
- I never swaddled. I sometimes wish I had wrapped my babes in swaddling cloth, especially this tie-dye swaddle cloth. Too cool!
- We never had pre sleep rituals. In fact, bed-times are still often a challenge for our youngest. (Though my boys are super flexible!)
- My babies never had nurseries, or the sweet decor that goes along with it. They always co-slept with us. I didn’t really have a “nesting” season. And, we didn’t have much privacy in our bedroom- wink, wink! (A very much needed successful marriage practice!)
- Creating structure and routines is super hard work. I think if I’d practiced this with my babies, it would’ve been great training for my life, too.
- If I had been a Babywise mom, I would’ve “let go and let God” more.
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Do you know any expecting or new moms with whom you need to share the Babywise method? I wish a wise friend had shared it with me. Be that friend and share this post with her. It’ll bless her journey into motherhood.
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