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Here is a story from my friend Kristi Harris (friend through my blog, but friend no less!). It is beautifully written!
Before I became a mother, I taught first grade for three wonderful years. I loved teaching children, and I loved seeing the look of wonder and excitement when my students learned something new. I learned from books, classes, others, and my own experience that structure and routine combined with knowledge of subject and love of my students were the foundations of learning. Those ideas greatly shaped my teaching philosophy. When I found out that I was pregnant, I wanted to apply what I had learned as a school teacher to my new, even greater calling of mother.
When I was still pregnant with my twins, I knew I wanted my boys to grow up to be kind, respectful, hard working, loving, and good. I also wanted them to know that I loved them more than anything, and that our family is central to their lives and to mine. I had all kinds of ideas of how to help older children learn those things, but I had no idea how to apply my goals to babies.
Then one day while visiting a friend (who was also expecting), I picked up the book “On Becoming Baby Wise” from her coffee table. As I started to read, I realized that the ideas in the book matched my parenting philosophy perfectly. Here was a way to apply my goals to infants.
We started using the ideas from “On Becoming Baby Wise” from the day we brought David and Erik home at 4 days old. At first we just focused on getting full feedings. For sleepy premature babies (they were born at 36 weeks), that was a challenge. But soon the boys started nursing better and even wanted to have some time awake. Our routine was going pretty well by the time the boys were a month old, but feeding two babies every 2-3 hours around the clock had me completely exhausted and in desperate need of some long stretches of sleep. My mom (who had been helping us with the boys) was headed home, and I needed to be alert enough to take care of my boys by myself. I remembered the book had said that most babywise babies will sleep 7-8 hours by 12 weeks, and I thought “I’ve got to try this because if it works, it will be amazing!”
So I reread some parts of the book and looked online for some ideas. I stumbled across the blog babywisemom.blogspot.com, and I felt like a prayer had been answered. I started having a set time to start the day, and then just let our routine follow from that. By the time my boys were 12 weeks old (8 weeks adjusted), they were both consistently sleeping 7-8 hours at night. My boys were a babywise success story, and I was a new woman!
But our babywise success doesn’t end there. Sleeping through the night is a wonderful milestone for any new baby and mother (doubly so when you have twins), but it is not the end goal in parenting. It is a step towards something much greater. By reading more books in the “wise” serious and other parenting books, watching others, and learning from my own experiences, I have begun the journey of helping my sweet babies become good men.
Now my twins are approaching their second birthday. I can’t believe how fast they have grown up. Their smiles and laughter bring me more joy than I would have thought possible. They are still wonderful sleepers, but more importantly, they are starting to learn all those things that I wanted them to know.
They are kind. They touch each other gently. They can softly pet a dog. They share toys.
They are respectful. They say “please” and “thank you.” They are learning to pray and be respectful to God.
They are hard working. They pick up their toys. They help me with the laundry. They help put away the groceries.
They are loving. They freely give out hugs and kisses. They smile all the time.
They are good. They are learning to obey their mommy and daddy. They are learning to make good choices.
I hope they know how much I love them, although, they might not know completely until they become parents themselves.
Each night when I kiss David and Erik good night and put them to bed, I am so thankful for Babywise. It helped me become the mother I am today.
Our blog is steveandkristiharris.blogspot.com