Monday, April 19, 2010

Parenting: A Deer Staring into the Headlights -- PART 1

It was a thrilling time in my life. 

I found out that I was expecting my first child, and eventually I learned it was a baby girl! The time of arrival was soon approaching. So much anticipation about all the wonderful upcoming changes in my life!

During the last months of my pregnancy, I consistently had dreams about what my baby looked like once she was here. Sometimes she had blue eyes. Sometimes brown eyes. In one dream, she looked like a 1-year-old right after being delivered. In all my dreams, she was always bald and chubby. Well, except for that repetitive anxiety dream when I delivered frogs instead of a baby. (I still have that dream. Please don’t analyze me, at least not in front of my face. ha)  FYI- When my daughter was born, she was long, skinny with a head full of dark hair!

I remember meeting with a friend/former co-worker for lunch during one of those last months of pregnancy. She had recently had a baby and we were talking “shop” about babies. Then she threw me for a loop. She innocently asked, “So, what parenting style are you going to use?” I’m sure I must have looked at her like a deer staring into headlights. “What? Uh… Err… Huh?” I stuttered, “Uh, maybe common sense?”

She proceeded to fill me in on various parenting books and styles. By the way, she was  not condemning or trying to “convert” me to a style. But she did make me think about a whole new world of “parenting thought” I never knew existed!

I consider myself a pretty laid-back, practical person. And that’s how I envisioned myself as a parent. But my friend did get me thinking. I started reading and simply paying attention a little more. I watched some of my mommy friends and how they handled things. I liked a lot of what I saw. 

I learned quickly that parenting is a very sticky, sensitive topic for many people.  No one wants to be told how to raise his or her own family.  It’s almost like talking about money! 

I settled in on a book called “Babywise” by Dr. Ezzo.  I loved how his ideas matched up and built upon the practical philosophy I already had envisioned.  I soon got hooked on his series -- Babywise II, ToddlerWise, Childwise, and it keeps going but I haven’t read that far yet!  I cannot rave enough about how this book series helped Matt and I as parents!!!  I got so many practical ideas about how to handle every day life with my child.  I also learned that I needed to know WHY I was doing things, not just doing things as a parent.  I love Dr. Ezzo’s ideas on how parents can create an atmosphere of love, respect and family wholeness.  I learned (and am still learning) how to do things to encourage my child to respect herself, respect others and become a healthy, happy, independent person.  
SIDE NOTE to those who are continuing to read after the last paragraph – I eventually found out that some people HATE “Babywise” series for various reasons such as schedules, structure, perhaps lack of comfort to the child, and other things.  And my two cents is – you can still comfort your child & have a flexible life as a Babywiser.  It’s been awesome resource to help Matt & I.  Don’t worry, I’ll still love you if you be hatin’ Ezzo-- seriously!  There are so many great parenting resources out there.   My point is how wonderful it is to have a plan and a purpose for what I’m doing with my children on a daily basis.  It definitely helps keep me sane (mostly) and consistent.  Another way to be pro-active instead of re-active.  Gotta love this adventure!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm still trying to figure out the "kinks" to this blog stuff... sorry the last couple paragraphs blend together. Darn HTML tag errors. No clue! hahaha
Have a great day, everyone!

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