I’m so excited to introduce you, friends and readers (who are friends I just haven’t met yet) to a dear friend and one of the first bloggers I read religiously: Megan Teitz of Sorta Crunchy. I so believe in the message of her and Laura’s book, Spirit-Led Parenting, that I have invited them here to share with you.
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Laura and I are so grateful that Allison has invited us into this sweet space. This is the second stop on our book club discussion of Spirit-Led Parenting. If you haven’t read the book, no worries! I’m confident you’ll be able to relate to the conversation here today.
It’s hard to believe it has been over eight years since I timidly posted a question on a hugely popular message board for parents about a book I had been given.
“This book says if you stick to its program, your baby will be sleeping through the night by eight weeks. Has anyone else read this book? Do you think it could be true?”
I remember asking that, and I remember that I didn’t know I was kicking over a hornet’s nest of controversy when I asked it. All I knew at the time was that I was getting closer and closer to the birth of our oldest daughter, and I was beginning to have that feeling of anticipation and dread that you get near the top of the first hill of a roller coaster.
I was on this ride and there was no getting off now and I just wanted someone to tell me it was all going to be okay.
I was already nervous about what life with a new baby would be like. It’s that fear common to all of humanity, isn’t it? The fear of the unknown.
In the pages of the books on life with a baby I had been given by family and friends, it began to occur to me that I didn’t even know how scared I should be:
Without a schedule for baby’s days, our life would certainly descend into miserable chaos!
Without specific time shared by mommy and daddy on the couch in full view of the baby, our marriage would endure great strain and our baby would try to usurp the natural authority of the parents!
Rocking a baby to sleep meant a lifetime of dealing with sleep issues!
If parents don’t direct baby’s days from birth, they are signing themselves up for parenting a tyrant!
And on and on I read as I began to be filled with more and more fears. And yet, I found the remedy for those fears right there in the pages of the book. In the words of these experts, I found the assurance I desperately sought: follow these directions and everything will be okay.
And then she was born. And we brought her home and she was healthy and big and needy and fragile and we set about working the plan.
And nothing worked.
The fears of what I imagined life with a newborn might be like paled in comparison to the fear that now plagued our very real life with a baby. I began to sink under the weight of failing at every turn.
What was I doing wrong?
What is wrong with me?
What is wrong with my baby?
Those dark months of wrestling against fear and coming up the loser time and time again formed the foundation for this book. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was doing a new thing in my heart, teaching me about the only place I would ever find the confidence to navigate the ups-and-downs of parenting: in Him.
What I find to be especially powerful and interesting is that in the months since our book was published, we’ve heard from parents who read the same books that we did and struggled against the same fears we struggled against … and we’ve heard from parents on the other end of the spectrum who read books touting the importance of natural birth and the necessity of practices like co-sleeping and babywearing in forming attachment to babies, and they, too, struggled under the enormous burden of the advice of the experts.
Tomorrow, we’ll be over at Just Wondering where Laura will share more about how we were able to shake off the fears of the first months of motherhood, and what God showed us as we moved out of that bondage and into a fresh start on our parenting journey.
Today, we invite you to share with us: what fears did you have as you prepared for and welcomed new little ones into your family? What were the source of those fears? Feel free to dig a little deeper and reflect on how fear impacted your relationships with your children, your partner, and with God.
Spirit-Led Parenting is the first release from authors Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. Megan writes about faith, family and natural living at SortaCrunchy and lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two daughters. Laura blogs her reflections on the real and ridiculous things of life at In The Backyard, and makes her home in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and son.