Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcoming Baby to the Family

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A facet of Babywise that most people who use it love is that baby is a part of the family rather than being the center of it. You welcome baby into the family. The family doesn't stop life completely because there is now a baby.

There are many benefits to this. One is that your child will have less risk of being self-centered. Another is that as the parent, you still get to have your other relationships. You still get to be a sister, a daughter, and a friend. You can still join that choir. You can still do the service activities you enjoy. You can still exercise. Most importantly, you and your spouse can maintain a strong relationship. Looking down the road, you can imagine the difficulty that would arise if you plan to have more than one child. It is hard to have more than one center of the universe. You want your children to all be a part of a family.

I want to offer a word of caution with this idea, though. When welcoming baby to the family, be sure you welcome baby to the family. What do I mean by this? If this is your first child, you welcome baby to the family, not to the "couple." The idea of welcoming to the family does not mean that you as the other family members do not have to make any sacrifices. It simply means the world does not revolve around the baby.

There will be many sacrifices to make. At first, you might go all day without getting out of your pajamas. You might get to lunch, or dinner, and realize you have yet to brush your teeth that day. These are sacrifices that come as you get used to juggling your time. Just as the world does not revolve around baby, it does not revolve around you.

You will still be able to entertain friends and go places, but you might cut your evening short in order to care for your child. Life cannot continue on as it was before baby came. Things must change. This is true even when you are welcoming a second or third child (etc) into your home. Everyone sacrifices. Everyone gives a little. Some times call for more sacrifice from some than others. A newborn benefits greatly from consistency to get things established. During the weeks it takes to get established, others might need to sacrifice more. Once baby is established, less sacrifice will be necessary from the other family members.

As you welcome your new baby into your home, be sure the world revolves around the family as a whole rather than around an individual member. Life changes with a baby, just as it changed when you got married. Adding a person to the mix will always change things. Through implementing the principles of Babywise, you can make these changes easier on the entire family unit.

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8 comments:

Em @ Bunch of Scrap said...

Congratulations on your new family member... I have been a mother of three for about two months now and thanks to your tips and the babywise book, things couldn't be going smoother!

Becca said...

Great post! You would think this is just an understood concept, but I have found that it's always good to be reminded... and to take double look at our actions in the light of this.

Kristin said...

Very well put! I love the reminder that while the world doesn't revolve around baby, it also doesn't revolve around you. Thanks.

LC said...

Thank you for the post. I need such reminders.......so glad you are diligent with your blog. I find it more helpful than the book..lol...probably b/c it is practical application of theory and a live human being moderating. I have a 7 yr old son and a 3wk daughter. Did BW with the boy and he's great....forgot how tough the first few wks are..reading the book again and I'm so happy I found your blog!!! Congrats on your new baby...makes me feel better that you too are going through what many of us with new hatchling are going through!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Em! I am glad things are going well for you. They are good for us, too, so far :)

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Becca! It is interesting how many things are really common sense, but it takes someone putting it in black and white for us to really be able to verbalize it. I find that BW does this so much; it is all common sense, but not necessarily anything we think about until we read it.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Kristin! And you are welcome. I like the reminder that it doesn't revolve around you, also. I think many moms who love BW tend to be "high-power" moms who are busy and like to accomplish a lot in life. It can be hard to slow down for a new baby :)

Plowmanators said...

Thanks LC! The first few weeks are hard. The first few months are hard!

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