Monday, May 19, 2008

Can you hear me now?

Let me see if I can start over: there are principles in a book about child-rearing that I like. I am passing those ideas on to a group of ladies. I am recommending they work to keep their marriages a top priority. I am hoping to help them see the importance of being family-centered as opposed to child-centered. My desire is they will learn to understand their baby’s cries and instead of instantly offering food will begin deciphering what the cry could mean. I am also going to tell them how much having a routine helped me as I raised my babies.

I am NOT telling them to ignore their babies. I am NOT saying to leave a crying baby in a crib indefinitely. I am NOT telling them to starve a hungry baby. I am NOT telling them to be a slave to the clock. And I am most certainly NOT saying a mom who chooses a different path is stupid or lacking in common sense.

I am taking these guidelines from a book written by a man who is polarizing; you either love him or hate him. (Actually, there is a middle ground: I appreciate his book but am not a fan of him as a person.) I wish there were another book with these principles I could use; thus far I have not found one.

One of my greatest concerns about the Ezzo material is its propensity to divide moms. As I have said many times before, if you choose to implement some Ezzo material, great. If not, great. No one has the corner on the market of child-raising. I am all about doing what works. This worked for us. And by that I mean it reminded us to continually work on our marriage. We learned how to watch our babies’ diapers (six to eight a day!) to make sure they were eating enough. We used the growth charts to monitor their growing bodies. And it helped us teach our children to sleep independently, which was important to us.

Again, let me say, this was a book that I found extremely beneficial. If another mom doesn’t, I can only encourage her to find her own way. I will applaud her efforts. I will welcome her advice to me. I will not tell her she is wrong or less Christian or a bad mother. Because I don’t believe that not following a book can make you any of those things. (Well, not following the Bible can make you less Christian, but that’s another thing entirely.)

My greatest desire in this can be summed up by this familiar quote: In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things, charity.

I sincerely hope this explanation can put to rest any claims that I think non-Babywise moms are stupid or ignorant or any of the other things some commentators have written. And if not, I welcome respectful questions so I can more adequately address those concerns. We are all moms! We have common ground; let's build on that.