Monday, April 16, 2012

"Spirit-Led Parenting"

Does that title grab your attention?! It did for me! A friend recommended this book and though I haven't read it, I fully intend to! Here's one of the quotes from the description that made me think.

"The right way to parent a new baby was one that could never be fully captured in a set of instructions; rather, it was a way that meant stepping out into the freedom of following what we know to be best for our own children." 

I wasn't one that worried much about the different 'styles' or 'theories' of raising babies. I just felt that God had me exactly where HE wanted me and have always felt like I was made to be a Mommy. I felt those natural instincts without hesitation.... until I would get well meaning advice from others :). 
Aubrie was a very 'easy' baby. She always has had such a sweet spirit. Never fussed or cried much, took on nursing without problems, was happy pretty much as long as she was with me! I wore her or held her constantly, secretly I had a very hard time sharing her when others came to visit and wanted to hold her, I just couldn't get close enough to my sweet girl! I will be forever grateful for every second I spent snuggling her! I will never get that time back with her and I don't regret not having a super organized house/dinners/laundry/ blah blah blah for those first few months. 
Our only problem was sleeping. That girl did not want to sleep.. ever! :) At first I just assumed it was normal, which it was for a time. We co-slept most of the time and I loved it! (So did she. This was the only way her and I could get sleep so I took advantage of it!) If we weren't co sleeping it was just never ending trips across the house to her room, pretty much every 1-3 hours. Man was I tired! I felt like a zombie most of the time and now I can't even remember a lot from those months! You know why I endured those miserable nights a lot of the time? Because others around me told me their babies were in their cribs in their own rooms by ___ months and Aubrie was older than them so she should be able to do it. If I didn't do it now she would be in our bed until she was 5 and it would be detrimental to our marriage. I should read Baby-Wise, I should let her cry it out, I should wean her, I should start solids or quit solids, I should get more 'me' time and get her used to comforting herself, get her on a different more strict schedule, ... the list goes on and on and on... and on.
While I know people were trying to help when their advice didn't work or I didn't feel comfortable taking it, I had moments of feeling like a failure. Why did it seem like every other baby I knew slept so well? Why did they take bottles and she refused?
I started reading articles from Dr. Sears about Attachment Parenting and felt so much more at ease. He said it was ok and actually encouraged wearing baby as much as possible, baby led nursing, co-sleeping, not letting them cry it out etc.. all of the things I realized felt natural to me. (I don't know why reading these things in a book validated what God had already laid on my heart, but self-assurance is hard work!)
Once I realized/worked these things out with God, so much pressure was lifted off! Who cares what works for so and so? If I don't feel it's best for us then o well. You know your baby better than anyone... no matter how much experience/kids they have. Trust your instincts. Ask for help when you need it from those you trust, but don't feel like a failure if it doesn't work for you! God made each of us different with different needs, different ways to love, different ways to parent. That doesn't mean something different is wrong, just not for you.
Update to now at 16 months- Aubrie sleeps strictly in her own bed, doesn't ever want to co sleep which I miss, but am also so happy she's well rested! At 13 months I started putting her to bed at 6pm.. so early right? But guess what.. she started sleeping through the night (like 13 hours straight) and naturally started taking one nap at the same time every day. Amazing that once I started trusting the mommy instincts God gave me and stopped caring about what others thought about it or did that my biggest obstacle was out of my way.
Don't be afraid to embrace the freedom of 'Spirit Led Parenting'... it's amazing to take the confidence you know you have and not be afraid of it.

*Title taken from the book Spirit Led Parenting:Overcoming the Fear of Freedom by Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. You can buy it here


  1. Sounds awesome, def want to check the book out. The pics of you and your babe are gorgeous!!

  2. Found your blog through Casey's and I feel like I could have written it myself. How I wish I had more like minded mommy friends where I live. I feel like I missed out on so much of my little ones early days because I was so stressed about the "right" way to parent, until I found dr sears and realized my instincts WERE right! Anywho, I heart this post and your girl is precious!

    1. Thank you! It's so nice to find other moms who are going through the same things and feel the same way. I checked out your blog and love it :)