If you are just now joining us for the Why I'm Not Babywise Series, Welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts, especially my Intro/Disclaimer so you can read the rest of the posts in context. I am seeking to be very sensitive to my readers who may implement Babywise. I pray we can all show one another grace as we seek to parent all of our babies in the way God leads us. I invite considerate comments, whether you agree or disagree.
As I have different moms share their stories about what did or did not work for them from Babywise please be considerate of their thoughts and feelings. This is my best friend's story. I refer to her a lot in my posts as "my best friend that uses Babywise". I wanted her to share her story because I wanted to show that it is possible to disagree about parenting methods and styles and still be the best of friends. You may agree or disagree with what she says, just as I do, but please be kind in your comments. I disagree with several things she says in her story, but it is her story and her thoughts so I am not editing anything out. Annie Leigh and I have the most important thing in common, which is Christ. We disagree about Babywise and eschatology and are still best friends, for which God gets all the glory. :) I know that she loves her kids and I think she is a wonderful mom and woman of God. Without further ado, here is her story:
I don't think the title of this blog should be "Why Annie is Babywise". I think a more suitable title would be "Why Annie likes to have her babies on a schedule". I believe in many of the "ideas" that are addressed in babywise, however I do not agree with everything nor do I practice everythng Gary Ezzo teaches. Gary Ezzo, in my opinio,n wrote a very helpful book for those who like to have their children on a schedule. He; however, like all of us, is a sinner and does not do everything perfectly (ie his time spent at Grace Community Church). I mean just think of some of the things Peter did in the bible...ummm denied Jesus like three times:) I am not babywise, I am a Christian. One who is trying to figure out how in the heck to do this thing called life in a way that glorifies my God. I would not address myself as babywise in the same way I would not address myself as a calvanist. Do I believe in what John Calvin taught? Yes. But I am called a Christian. In the same way, I agree with most of the teachings in babywise, but I do not hold to this title nor any other title other than Christian. I would like to address why being" this" is really not a big deal and for those of you who are interesed, why I like scheduling.
The reason why the "heated" debate on whether one should or should not schedule there child's day is not a big deal is because the Bible does not say it is a big deal. If scripture does not clearly speak to the issue, which I would argue it does not, then one would be wrong or legalistic to enforce such regulation. I am sad to hear that my friend Chalise has experienced ridicule or that others have made her feel like less of a mother for not scheduling her child. Who cares! You know what the bible does care about....the Gospel! God coming to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, living a sinless life and dying on the cross for my sin, being buried and rising from he dead three days later, conquering sin, and now He is in heaven at the Father's right hand interceding for those who are called according to His name. (and praise Him for interceding for me because this life can be hard!!). This is what the bible speaks the most about and this is what I want to spend the majority of my time with others discussing. ...not how long my child sleeps. Now, although God does not address if we should schedule our children's sleeping, some have said that God is loving and would not restrict His children...REALLY? Have ya read the bible? :) Start in Genesis where God places a restriction on Adam and Eve. God is loving and gives grace to me all the time, but he also has planned out before the beginning of time every single second of my life (now that's some intense scheduling for ya) including when I rise, who I marry, when I die, etc. To argue that scheduling is wrong because God our loving Father wouldn't schedule just does not make sense. God is loving and God is structured, these characteristics are not at odds with each other, they perfectly compliment each other.I am so thankful that God in His great love for me, knowing what is best for me planned out every detail of my life. He gave me a certain personality, dreams, etc that have all been used for His specific plan. God is organized so It would not be wrong for me as a mother to want to organize my children's day for God's glory.
As I write this blog I am a little tickled thinking back to how Chalise and I were in college. I was a free spirited, fly by the seat of my pants type of girl, while Chalise (Chaliqua) was Type A all the way if ya know what I mean. She scheduled brushing her teeth! j/k. However Chalise not only kept up with her schedule, she also knew my schedule and helped me on many occassion make it to class and make it to class on time. Chalise is still very organized and scheduled but does not like to schedule "baby" things.
Anyways, I really like the book Babywise, and it has been very helpful to me. When my first child was born, I had very bad post partum depression and I found that knowing what James was going to do helped me cope with what seemed chaotic. All of my 3 children have slept through the night at 9 weeks and I really give God the glory for this. I think that sleep is something that God thinks is important and I want my children to be able to sleep well. I realize that every child is different and has different need,s but one need that they all have is the need for sleep. Some have stated that Gary Ezzo suggests witholding feedings from babies. This is not true. He states several times in his book, for parents to observe hunger signs and to feed that sweet baby when he is hungry. Some have also stated that Gary Ezzo is mean and cruel for letting babies cry it out. I did not find this idea of crying it out to be that bad, and I really don't see what the big deal is. He said to make sure the baby is not hungry, sick, wet, dirty, etc. I do not see a huge problem with this as long as you are checking in on your child. I did not have to do this with mine. I mean, if you have more than 5 kids someone is going to be crying all the time:) What do you do if you have triplets? Are these mothers going to mentally hurt there children because they cannot hold three at one time? I just really do not see the big debate. You cannot say that Babywise is sinful or dishonoring God. I would not say that attacment parenting is sinful because the bible does not address this issue. Now I would say that refusing to spank your child is sinful because I believe the bible clearly speaks to this issue ( I know, I just opened a entire can of worms).
One more thing, I like that babywise teaches parents to think, and if that parents thinks they want to rock their baby to sleep then do it....I love rocking my babies and singing them to sleep. Can you really say that you are never going to schedule your child? So when your child is 8 years old, will he/she not have a bed time? I love sleep and I am so thankful God uses it to restore our bodies. I love sleep and I love to help my children sleep by scheduling their days. I know in college when I did not keep a calendar of things to do, there was an unrest in my heart and mind. When my discipleship leader introduced me to the gift of planning my day, things began to change. I started making it to class, making better grades, etc. There was a peace that came with knowing what was to come. I feel there is a peace in our household when we follow a schedule for feeding, playing and sleeping.