How On Becoming Babywise Saved My Motherhood. Babywise helped me love motherhood and thrive in it.
When I had my first baby, I was sure motherhood would be easy and natural. I would have no problems, my baby would sleep like a baby, and we would live in bliss. I had imagined my life as a mother of babies my whole life. I had spent many hours playing babies and I knew just what to do. Motherhood was going to be perfection.
Well, some babies come into this world and give their mothers that idealistic experience, but not my first baby! And not even most babies. Real life meant my baby slept like a baby…but the real way a baby sleeps like a baby when he has no guidance–not the sweet phrase way people imagine. He slept while I fed him. We had nights he didn’t sleep a single minute all night long, which meant I didn’t either. While I loved being a mom, I wondered why we had done this to ourselves already. Things had been so nice before a baby! I had slept. Life was drastically different and I missed sleep and freedom. I missed me. I had imagined having a large family, but now wasn’t sure I would have a second child.
Why We Chose the Babywise Method
Fortunately, I remembered a friend from church telling me about Babywise while I was pregnant. I had asked her how she had such a great baby. The answer was On Becoming Babywise (affiliate link). I had politely nodded at the time. That sure sounded nice, but it sounded like work and seemed silly since babies slept like babies anyway. Hadn’t she ever played dolls? I didn’t pay it much heed and forgot about it.
In my hour of need, I remembered the term of Babywise and headed for the bookstore (that is how we got books 14 years ago). My baby was only 3 weeks old but it felt like significantly longer than that since I had slept. Time crawls when you are up for most of it.
I read the entire book that night. I put things into practice right away.
Babywise Worked for Us
And things got better.
So much better.
Brayden started sleeping. Actually sleeping! He immediately went to waking only once each night. Things weren’t “by the book” perfect immediately–that didn’t even happen until he was six months old–but they were significantly better.
When Brayden was six months old, I found out I was pregnant with baby number two. This was surprising and seemed a bit scary, but I said it was something you either laugh or cry about and laughing seemed much happier. Now, if it had not been for Babywise, I am sure that would have been a cry moment instead. Because Babywise was a part of our lives, we were nervously excited rather than crying.
We sadly lost that boy to stillbirth. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I was able to be excited for his addition rather than sad. I would have had immense guilt otherwise. It is another small and simple way Babywise saved my motherhood. It saved it for that sweet boy I lost.
We immediately decided to try to have another child and expand our family. We had 3 more daughters over the years.
Our next baby had silent reflux. Oh the reflux babies! They are so very hard. Again, Babywise saved my motherhood. While my reflux baby didn’t sleep as well as the non-reflux baby, she slept incredibly well for a reflux baby. I was able to take care of my two sweet children as a fully-rested mother of two. I was also willing to have a third child.
Read: Babywise and Reflux
Baby three was finally that easy baby I had dreamed of. Amazing sleeper. She would sleep anywhere any time. Now, this is in large part thanks to me having a great understanding and grasp of Babywise, but she definitely was a natural when it came to sleep.
As she got older and her personality emerged, it became clear she was a strong-willed soul. It again was a moment Babywise saved my motherhood. She was hard. But I had great foundations for discipline to get me through those hard moments. I knew what to expect and that it was okay to expect it. We made it through and have been able to help focus on the positives of being strong-willed and use it as the great strength it can be.
Baby four was another easy sleeper. As a mom of four, I was able to give her the sleep she needed and still let my older three children have lives and be involved in things. I had predictability and was able to arrange schedules and manage the family so things were as smooth as can be with four children to manage.
Babywise Brought Great Benefits
I am not being dramatic when I say Babywise saved my motherhood.
Babywise made it possible for me to sleep. I think that right there is enough evidence to say, “yep, motherhood saved,” but let’s go on.
Babywise gave me time each day when naps happened. With that time, I was able to sew, clean, cook, prepare learning activities, visit with people, and do things like blog.
Babywise gave me time each day when independent playtime happened. I was able to do everything listed above and then some. This was an extra break each day. I was able to read. Shower, Exercise. Brush my teeth.
Get the whole series
Babywise gave me predictability and order to my days. This added to my sanity and moral. The predictability allowed me to arrange playdates with friends, which kept me socializing. As an extrovert, that was invaluable to my happiness.
Babywise allowed me to focus on things beyond my child’s sleep. It allowed me to focus on teaching my kids responsibilities. I was able to work chores into our days. I was able to teach morals and character traits. When I had a baby, I still had time to focus on the older children. I was even able to consistently write this blog.
All of the things I was able to focus on when my children were young has paid off as they have gotten older. The time we spent doing learning time has made it so school has been easier, meaning less homework at home and no issues with school. The responsibilities they learned have helped them to have personal responsibility now and not expect me to track and organize their school work. My oldest has his first job and completely tracks where he should be when without me having to think about it.
Because of On Becoming Babywise and the books beyond, I have been able to have the large family I wanted and still be involved in my children’s lives. It allowed me to be the mother I always wanted to be. Sure, it is still harder than it was when I played dolls, but manageable enough to be what I had always dreamed of and then some.
Do you want to do Babywise? See my post on How to Do Babywise.