This week has been a difficult one! Caden was so sick on Tuesday that he just wanted to sleep on Mommy and Daddy all day. When he was awake he didn’t want to move, he just wanted to lay around. He had a bit of a fever and a crusty crust nose, all green and yellow! Yuck! This week started with a bang. Tuesday morning I could hear him talking to himself around 4:30am. I later went into his room around 6:30am to him crying. Something didn’t seem right, right away. He spit up some clear stuff and feel asleep on our bed (Jonathan was already gone to an early morning men’s bible study) he woke up not long after that tossing and turning and the rest of the day was history. He laid around all day like a sick little bug.
Tuesday night he woke up at 2:15am all sweaty, so his fever must have broke and he stayed awake until after 4:00am which means that Mommy was Sleepy! Wednesday night was similar and then last night was the kicker. Starting at 8pm he woke up every couple of hours. He didn’t seem sick but he continued to wake up all night long. It’s possible that he’s getting some more teeth in and mommy and daddy are battling being so sleepy.
Anyway, all that to say that I began questioning our parenting philosophy because of course we don’t want to harm Caden in any way. It’s crazy how many different ways to parents are out there. We have friends that believe in Babywise and Parent directed parenting, friends that believe in scheduled parenting and friends that are equally excited about attachment parenting. I am thankful for different parenting styles, I am thankful for different people and different personalities. And friends of mine that know the Lord I’m sure that they’ve gone before the Lord with their own parenting styles. So let that be the disclaimer before I continue with the following convictions of mine own…
It feels as though we have been letting Caden cry quite a bit lately. (Not when he was really sick, I don’t think he cried at all that day.) We are both tired and we believe that he is in need of sleeping. I am so thankful that we live in a country where we are able to parent the way we chose and make decisions based on our beliefs. As I began to question my own parenting philosophy and putting it before God I am more sure that he is honored by our decisions. Not that we do everything right but that we are doing what is best for our baby and our marriage.
I don’t believe that your child should co-sleep with you. I believe that my marriage to Jonathan is most important. Not to say that the marriage isn’t important to those that co-sleep but I do believe that we won’t sleep as well with our baby in our bed as well as our personal time together would suffer (if you know what I mean :). I don’t want to be a crabby mom. I do want to have a baby that sleeps through the night because though I do believe that you need to make certain sacrifices as a parent they also need to be in reason. (Sleeping is not one of them, at least all the time.) A child does not need to rule the home. I do believe that the needs of my children are very very important but I also believe that children can easily manipulate their parents because they are naturally sinful and can do so by crying at times. I believe in a balance between letting them cry it out and soothing them when they need it. I do believe in having a schedule because it makes children more comfortable but I also think that there is a such thing as over scheduling. I don’t believe in feeding on demand because it isn’t necessary. A child doesn’t have to learn how to I, me, mine, it is already inherently there. I think this method among others that we can allow our children to do can foster that. I’ve heard and read by several experts that the first 5 years of life is extremely important in shaping a child’s foundation, we already live in a culture of instant gratification for example credit cards (which I had an extremely hard time cutting up by the way), I don’t believe that I need to teach my children how to continue to live in the sin of instant gratification. I do believe in a healthy happy child. I have one most of the time.
As I was praying and asking the Lord if I’m messing my child up by letting him cry I feel like the Lord brought to mind the times that we’ve felt like he’s left us. We’ve felt like he wasn’t there but we know that he is. He sometimes disciplines us in love and sometimes lets us cry. There are other times when he wraps us in his loving arms and speaks tenderly to us. He encourages us when we need it. He reveals his love to us in specific ways when we need it. I feel like the Lord will give us this wisdom in parenting our children when we ask for it. He treats us like children and just as he treats us like children we are to use his model to parent our own children as well as asking the help of the holy spirit to intercede. Parenting isn’t easy but it’s a joy. I love my child and I do want the best for him. I want to be a happy healthy mom as well. So along with other choices that we are choosing for our family like trying to get and stay out of debt, exploring more homeopathic choices in medicine, eating more healthful food, teaching him spiritual lessons, and about finances etc we are praying that we will be parents that have been blessed by God’s grace and ones that train up a child in the way he should go just as scripture teaches beginning with the early stages of life.