Well, this blog is most definitely going to take a turn from solely orphan care and missions to be a little more personal. After all, my personal life does not center around orphan care and traveling internationally on missions every other month now. The orphan crisis is still heavy on my heart and always will be and we may or may not be bringing home a certain little girl from Africa (more on this in a future blog) one of these days, but my world and reality today is learning how to now be a full time mom to a precious baby boy.
By far, I've never had what I call "so much turning within". I'm usually someone who can make a decision and stick with it. If you know the Myers Briggs test, I was a J which stood for Judging. I could judge a situation and make a fairly quick decision and stand by my conviction. However, mommyhood, as I like to call it, has brought a whole new element and emotional stress of doubting my decisions.
The most recent turning within is about his napping and "sleep training". I was a nanny once for an infant boy and I read Baby Wise and this little one worked perfectly with this type of schedule. I let him cry it out one day and it only lasted for 20 minutes...and then next day, we were on our schedule. It seemed to be so easy! He was also formula fed. So, I went into this mommyhood thing completely convinced I would do Babywise with my son. And then I fell deeply in love with him and the idea of letting him cry when he hardly ever cried any way broke my heart. So, I decided I now agreed more with the attachment parenting style. Except, I am so not a "hippie" in the sense that I'm honestly not a real flexible gal. So, there were things about attachment parenting that I did agree with but I still felt convicted in my heart that there was something to this Babywise/scheduling stuff.
Recently, once Jordan was 4 months old and now about 17 pounds, my back was really aching all day long. Mainly because now he had preferences about how he wanted to fall asleep. My wonderful husband, who loves to help out with Jordan, liked to walk him around and "jiggle" him until he fell asleep, and this is what he enjoyed the most. I could do this before each nap normally, but in the afternoons, when he was more stimulated, he would not sleep past 30 minutes, unless I got him out of his crib and once again carried him back to sleep. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the idea that my future might entail putting a 25 pound toddler to bed this way and what if God decided to bless us with another child? I knew physically and mentally this was not going to be easy. So, I wanted to "prepare the way" in some sense for our future and one day after "carrying" him three different times for the same nap, I just "clicked" and was ready to let him cry it out. And cry it out he did. I didn't have a clock with me, but I think it was for like 40 minutes or so. But once he fell asleep, he was asleep for 2.5 hours! I thought, well, great, now just one more day of this and most likely we have arrived and he will no longer wake after 30 minutes and need me to go back to sleep.
However, that was like 3 weeks ago and since then, if left to cry it out, will continue to cry for 45 minutes or more and this mommy's heart cannot take it anymore! The idea of letting him cry is worse than the idea of going into surgery for me. I just don't have the heart to do it anymore. So, I am putting all the stupid books down (for the most part) and going only to the Lord and asking HIM what He wants me to do to parent Jordan. I'm trusting Him with the future of it all....I will not borrow worry for tomorrow. So far, the verses He has given me are:
John 14:18 - I will not abandon you as orphans, No, I will come to you. - This is what I feel God has given me to stand on to confirm that for me and Jordan, I am not to let him cry it out anymore. I want Jordan to grow up secure in the love that Simon and i have for him and that we would not give him a spirit of abandonment but one of adoption where he will cry out "Daddy"...You may disagree with me, but this is where I stand.
Zephaniah 3:18 - He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. - This verse was given to me this morning as I rocked baby Jordan to sleep. He tends to fight sleep more now that he's so social and again, I began doubting that rocking him instead of just placing him in the bed was the right thing. But, there are times when Jordan can not calm down and you can tell he is struggling to calm himself to sleep. But when I look at him with love as I sing over him, it calms and quiets him. I am also to show him great joy when he is awake, no matter what the circumstances...
I think God will show each parent how to parent each child as no two will be alike. But for me and Jordan and this time in our lives, this is how He wants me to do it. He is teaching me SO much about His love for me as well through this time and I hope to share some of this in future posts...
I'm looking for the answers, but I'm pretty sure they will fall somewhere between the attachment and babywise theories. After all, the only parenting wisdom I've been able to get from the Lord lately was in Proverbs:
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