Motherhood is beautiful. It is also overwhelming. You pop out a baby and they send you home to keep it alive. I, of course, did hours of research and reading on all things parenting. I looked at everything I could on the internet on what was best. To be honest, though, a lot of what was currently trendy in parenting went against my natural instincts. I wanted to be an attentive mother, but I didn’t want to be a helicopter mom. I wanted to give my all to my child, but I didn’t want to lose myself. And I wanted to find a sense of order to our days while still prioritizing my child’s needs. Was it possible to do it all? Fortunately, yes. I found a book that supported what my gut was telling me. Here is how Babywise confirmed my parenting instincts.
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Schedules Can Work
I thrive on routine. Babywise reassured me that schedules make sense and are not cruel. I eat around the same time every day. I wake up and go to bed around the same time. Why wouldn’t a baby follow a general routine too? It just made sense to me to wake my babies up at the same time every day to help increase consistency in when they ate and slept. I felt a schedule allowed me to better meet the needs of my baby while still being able to get out in the world.
This isn’t a selfish notion, wanting to still get out at times. It is a practical one. I wanted to be able to take Ben to doctor’s appointments without him getting over tired. I wanted to be able to really focus on feeding him when it was time, not be rushing through it because we were out or had other things to do. Embracing the idea that a schedule doesn’t mean you are trying to avoid caring for your child and instead are trying to meet the needs of your child was freeing. I no longer felt like I was doing something cruel. Instead, I had confirmation that this method of daily life could work and does work for a lot of families.
Independent Playtime Teaches Life Skills
I love spending time with my kids. It is a joy. But I also love getting other things done during the day, like cooking, cleaning, and doing my own work. (Okay, I love when they get done. I might not always love doing them.) I knew when I had kids I wanted to teach them to play on their own, I didn’t view it as my job to entertain them all the time. Being able to be alone and entertain yourself is a life skill. It is also a very practical one for kids to practice.
It might be because I took Ben to work with me starting when he was just 2 weeks old, but I needed him to be content playing alone from a young age. This doesn’t mean he was left alone for hours, but he could amuse himself for a few minutes here and there from a young age. Babywise embraced the idea of independent playtime and reassured me that I was doing the right thing. I didn’t have to be in my child’s face every waking moment they had. All of my children have thrived on independent play, and I think it is even more important with my twins. They spend so much of their young lives together, and they need that time to learn to be on their own.
Pausing Before Acting is a Valuable Tool
As a new mom, I felt like I had to run to my baby every time he cried. And in the early weeks you want to do that to build up trust and meet the needs of your child. But as babies grow they start to cry for reasons that don’t always need immediate attention, like out of frustration. These are learning opportunities for our children. Now that my children are older I know the cry that means get in here right this second. I also know the cries that mean look in and see what is going on, but it might be best to leave the situation as it is.
Pausing before rushing into my children’s room in the middle of the night also helps teach sleep skills. Babies can be restless during changes in their sleep cycle, but that doesn’t mean they are fully awake and needing help. When my children would cry out at night I would take a second to pause in the doorway and see if they really needed me or if they could get back to sleep on their own. The last thing I wanted to do was wake them up by coming to their aid unnecessarily. Knowing that pausing is a tool and not the wrong thing to do helped me be more confident in utilizing it.
Overall, Babywise confirmed my parenting instincts. Scheduling is a good way of prioritizing my baby’s needs while still being able to function in the world. Teaching my children to play on their own is a life is a way of building lifelong problem-solving skills. And taking the time to evaluate situations before rushing in prevents me from being a helicopter mom who won’t let her children do anything on their own. It was refreshing to find a school of thought that emphasized the family as a whole and the idea that we are raising future adults. It gave me the confidence I needed to be the best mom for my family.
Here is some more information on Babywise to help you out!
The ladies of the BFBN are talking about how Babywise has helped their mothering today. Check out all the posts!
Christine Keys: 3 Ways Babywise Can Give You Confidence as a New Mama
Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: How On Becoming Babywise Saved My Motherhood
The Journey of Parenthood: How Babywise Allows Me to Have a Life Outside of Motherhood
Mama’s Organized Chaos: How Babywise Makes Me a Better Mom
Twin Mom and More: Things All Babywise Moms Know To Be True