i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

it works for me.

hmmm. this post may be controversial to some. to me. it is what works. for me.

as a mom (well rather as parents) i think we are faced with tons of choices. and each choice has an opposite. it seems to me that if you choose one half the world agrees, if you choose the other half the world disagrees.

this post has been forming in my mind for awhile i think. last night/today it has come to light. you see on facebook there was some commenting being done a friends status. she tried having her baby 'cry it out'. it brought to light both ends of the spectrum. people like me who have done it, and it worked. and another who said this:

"It really is normal for babies to wake that often...ones that sleep through the night at his age (the baby is a little younger than dustin) (or, gasp, even younger) have been 'trained' to realize that noone is going to tend to their needs and they give up and sleep though the hunger/pain/lonely/etc...no offense...."

so because i'm me. i was totally offended. and hurt. i'll explain my 'cry it out' style. when amelya was about nine-ish months old we were rocking her to sleep every night. shaun worked late hours and that was 'his' time with her. i was already pregnant with breigh and said that we should probably just start putting her to bed by herself, because in a few short months we'd have two babies. so i learned a 'trick' from super nanny. and it worked for us. the trick was this. the first night i layed amelya in her bed awake. she cried. i didn't pick her up. but i said mommy's right here. rubbed her back. and stood by her crib until she was asleep. which was probably in about five minutes. the next night i did the same thing. except i stood a bit further away from her bed. gradually i moved further away each night and would always re-assure her i was there. by the end of the week, five days really, she was laying in her bed and asleep without crying. for me it was 'easy'. i let her cry, but also let her know i was there.

all four of my kids have slept through the night, or at least til five AM at around six weeks. (i have been SO blessed) around three months old i try to get them on a night time schedule. they're usually eating around eight or nine. so after that feeding while they're tired and still awake i layed them in their bassinet and they fell asleep by themselves. none of them have ever cried actually. (well maybe sometimes, but i would always check on them and comfort them until they stopped) at four months dustin goes to bed the same way. sure some nights he is awake for a bit talking and cooing, but he always ends up asleep with in ten minutes or so after being in bed.

during the night if anyone wakes up i usually wait about 30 seconds. to see if they're really awake or just fussing in their sleep. and to see if shaun gets up first!! lol. i never just 'ignore' it. dustin slept great last night, til almost five. i gave him his duck and nuk and he cuddled the duck and went right back to sleep. i never ignore my children. i do let them 'fuss' but never for a super long time. because 'it works for me'.

i choose to cloth diaper. because it works for me. do i judge you because you use disposables? nope. i don't care. i used them. cloth has been working for me, and now i am truly addicted. do i talk too much about them sometimes? mmm. probably. for that i will apologize! but i will not apologize for the choice i've made to do cloth. does my mil pretty much let me know non-verbally how much she disagrees? yep. but i don't let that affect MY choice.

i choose to breastfeed. it works for me. do i judge you for bottle feeding? for not trying to breastfeed? for supplementing? nope. i don't care. i've supplemented. i've bottle fed. i've only nursed my oldest for nine months, and the others less because i was pregnant and exhausted. do i care if you want to breastfeed your two year old? nope. i don't. i do what works for me. you do what works for you.

i choose to vaccinate my kids. it works for me. do i judge you for not vaccinating yours? no. it works for me.

i choose to give birth in a hospital without epidurals. it works for me. do i judge you for being {so brave} to have a home birth? no. with an epidural? never. i considered it with two of my labors. it work(ed) for me.

i choose to raise my babies in a christian household. i choose to share christ with them. it works for me. do i judge you for not? no. do i wonder why not? yes.

i am choosing to homeschool my children. do i judge you for sending yours to school? nope. it {lord willing} will work for me. ((my plan is to homeschool all the way through high school))

i choose to not co-sleep. do i care if you share a bed? no. do i think it may make good birth control for us? maybe. :0) our babies sleep in the bassinet next to our bed until they get too big for it. {{so apparently being in the same room isn't good bc}} and then move on into their rooms. which speaking of dustin's room hasn't even been started! yikes. he's getting to be almost too big for the bassinet already!!

i choose to be sometimes strict with my rules for my kiddos. it works for me. do i judge you for letting your child rule you? no. do i think it's a bit silly? yes. but it's your choice.

we all have choices. all choices have consequences. i think we have to be 'parent' enough to make those choices and take the consequences. good or bad. i think we also have to learn to not judge others. i do my best not to. if your choices don't affect me personally...make them. if your choices are going to affect me...i may have a say in it. only because i need to look out for me.

the bible has a scripture about 'training' your child. it's the way i want to parent.

PROVERBS 22:6::Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.::

if anything at all...i want to train my child in the way he should go. god's way.

maybe you don't agree with my choices. but how about this? let's just agree to diagree. and still be friends. because that my friends is how this place works.

thanks for reading. feel free to share. just be nice. i don't care if you disagree...i do care if you aren't nice.

20 loving words from you.:

He And Me + 3 said...

I think your post was perfect. I totally agree. We cannot all follow the parenting books, and there are so many out there with so many different opinions, who would want to try. We have to do what works best for our family and we have to be OK with our choices, because as parents we cannot feel guilty or beat ourselves up about every decision we make...Thank God our kids know we love them, even if some of the things we do are trial and error. You don't give up you keep trying until "it" works for you.
Great post!

Anonymous said...

I give you props for speaking out on this issue, too many people hide their true feelings about their parenting style.

When my son was a baby (not a newborn)... I fed him, changed him, bathed him, and tucked him in every single night. I made sure there was absolutely no reason why he would be crying. When he cried in the middle of the night, I stood by the door hidden from his view and watched him for a few minutes. He was safe and well fed so I did not pick him up and give him the attention he was crying for. It took a few weeks, but it worked perfectly!

He is three now and he never cries for attention in the middle of the night, he knows his mom would not put up with it. He falls sleep and is showered with attention in the morning. Because of that, I respond to his every cry during bedtime. I know that when he cries, it's something serious such as throwing up, feverish, or a really dreadful nightmare.

It's a load off my mind and my nights were always peaceful since he was a baby :) Obviously that method WORKED FOR ME.

You have children and you are the only one who raises them, they are obviously HAPPY (I can see it in their eyes) and you love the Lord. I know whatever you decide on will be the best for your children, because like I said earlier, Mommies know Best!

Ashley said...

GREAT POST! I think people tend to forget that everyone has their own 'parenting' style and what works for one person/family might very well not work for another. Well, that pretty much goes for any choice people make and we are too quick to judge. Very well said!!! Hope you and the kids were able to enjoy the nice weather these past few days, looks like its going to be colder tomorrow.

Jessie's Girls said...

I entirely agree with your approach.
I've never had to let a baby "cry it out" because I have been incredibly blessed that each one has been quite willing about bedtime.
I will say that for many breastfeeding women, letting their baby "cry it out" when they wake up during the night is not a good idea. I lost my milk with my first two when they were only 4 and 5 months old. They both began sleeping through the night weeks before that. I do not have an easy time with lactation and need the stimulation during the night, apparently. I am still nursing my Ingrid at 7 months, and I attribute it to the fact that she wakes me up at least twice a night, sometimes three or even four, to nurse. Does it drive me crazy? Yes!! But I much prefer it over bottle feeding, because that did NOT work (for me:) very well.

Alicia said...

You're so right, Amanda! There are so many opinions out there, and even very self righteous ones. I'm sure there would be many people that wouldn't agree w/ the way I'm raising my kids either, but that's between us and the Lord! That's all that matters!! :)

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Awesome post, Amanda. It just says it all. We do what works for us as parents. Great job!

Stephanie said...

This was a wonderful post. It is too bad everyone can't have that attitude. As moms we need to support each other and encourage each other instead of judging. There is more than one "right" way to do things. I love that scripture that you shared as well.

Mary said...

Proud Mommy of Four-

While I appreciate your passion for such topics, I am a bit concerned that a facebook status sparked a nerve in you. You have four beautiful children and while you proclaim to own your blog and you can say what you wish to say, I have some comments. I want to first say that I believe baby’s are self-soothers, hence attachments to soft blankets, cuddly animals and thumb sucking. However, when a baby is hungry, hurting, or in need of a cuddle, their cries tend to be different than going to bed without a rocking or back rub. Now, although I do not condone what you friend said about “ignoring” her child, I do have to question the context of whish she stated her expressions. Because if you are going merely on stated words, you could be accused of “ignoring” your child as well. For example, this is what you posted in your previous post about spring, “i ignore him as long as i can”. Now, going based on words, you typed the same thing. Now, the context of which you stated those words, and the mindset you expressed those words in was not “harmful” as you are merely trying to figure out his schedule. Therefore, you may feel that it is expressed in a manner which “works” for you, even though you expressed the same words as your friend did. Therefore, I beg for you to be watchful of what you say, because while you are “pointing the finger” in the direction of someone, you could be looking into the mirror as you do it. And as a mother who is trying to “train” her children to be followers of God, maybe their “trainer” should be more conscious of the context in which words are expressed and value a person’s efforts in trying to be the best person they can be with or without the watchful eye of God. Many blessings to you and yours!

Julie said...

People have to do what works for them. All kids are different...some things work, some don't. To each their own.

You're doing just fine...don't worry about the other person and what they said. Remember...you've got sleeping children! Me on the other hand...LOL!!

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh sweet mama....first I want to tell you...I LOVE YOU!

You are a fantastic mama.

So yeah, I have always said that I *try* not to judge people and their parenting. But alas, I am human and I do....but I do try to keep my opinions to myself for the most part. It is quite clear (with my advocacy businesses, lol) where I stand on issues and have no problem letting people know.

For the big judging jobs.....I'll leave that up to Our Lord....I am pretty certain He is best qualified! *wink

So I have family and friends who frown upon things I do....and that's OK. We have a family bed....have for the past 17 years....some mornings I find 4 of us in my bed (and they are not toddlers, lol) I breastfed N until she was well over 2.....imagine the looks I got when I informed people that I would not be going to college with her on my boob.

We used cloth......we do select vax. I don't do the CIO deal....but we cosleep so that is not an issue. We "wore" our babies and toddlers like koalas.

I believe in Positive discipline....see my Little Earth Angels (www.littleearthangels.com) site for my take on "sparing the rod". *sorry for the SPAM, lol.

And you already know the opinions we faced when we had Josh's vasectomy reversed. OY!

Point being....we all make choices that we feel are best for our families. We may not always agree with others' choices...and that is OK too. What is not OK (in my opinion) is to criticize others in their choices.

Believe in yourself and your choices/beliefs. I do!

Verna said...

As I was reading your post in my own mind I said "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he willn ot depart from it"
scrolled down to the next sentance and there you have it. I started to chuckle..... How sometimes our minds do work alike and we have never met in person. But we know the same God and wanted what is best for our children.
I chose cloth diapers, but almost had to because my daughter was alergic to the throw aways. Plus back then (29 years ago) we didn't have the money to buy pampers, and to do a load of laundry seemed a much cheaper route, but, I don't condem anybody who uses pampers.
Thanks for sharing this post with us. God Bless you as you train your children in God's way.

Emily said...

Awesome post! I agree with everything you have to say. I wouldn't worry about what someone else said on Facebook that got you to thinking. I personally don't like to let Lincoln cry it out, but I will. I just hate hearing a crying baby and he is my first born and I just want to comfort him.. but I will let him cry it out.

Also I choose not to breastfeed simply because I had no desire and its so much easier to bottle feed. I can let someone else take over feeding when I am tired and not have to be the sole person to feed Lincoln.

Like you said, those things work for you and everyone else has something that works for them. You seem to be doing a great job, other wise I don't think God would have blessed you with 4 beautiful babies!

Kelli said...

This is an awesome post!! I completly agree with you...what works for one family may or may not work for another. I agree with alot of the parenting techniques that you mentioned, but I also disagree with some of them {I could never do cloth diapers or homeschool...just not for me}. But I appreciate that you say you don't judge people for their decisions....and I don't think they should be judged for them!! As long as their children are loved and well cared for, who cared if they breastfeed or homeschool!!

CornFedMama said...

Very well said. i hope tons of people read this post and if they are judging others, i pray that they would have a change of heart, and see that you can do things your own way, and not be judgmental of others who do things differently. Bravo!

The Beaver Bunch said...

I agree so more than you know. But, I agree with ~*Michelle*~ that I do inadvertently judge because I am human.

Now, I'm off to read your most current post and all the "controversy."

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

Very well written, Amanda. I hope that you feel better after writing this post. :)

Jennifer said...

I totally agree with you. That was a wonderful post. Thanks

Anonymous said...

You say you are not judging others but then you say you think their choices are silly. You are very judgmental and it seeps through your post like a poison.

Shawn said...

Hmmm If the word silly triggered this person to call you poison then I feel confident in saying that she or he is ruled by their children and is hating every minute of it.

If I may, a word for anonymous~Get control and while you're at it buy some manners. If you don't like what you're reading try clicking the little red button in the corner. Just in case you're confused its works like a remote control changing the channel or station when you don't like what you're watching or listening to.

Amanda, let this go it's not worth wasting your energy on!

Megan R. said...

You were a lot kinder in your post than I was! Oh, and the "anonymous" asshat, can get bent. I am SO sick of anonymous posters! Grow some cajones, and post with your real name. Until then? GET BENT!