We live in a world that tries to cater to everyone. It's all about convenience. We want the quickest and easiest way to do something, whether it be eating, shopping, sleeping, going to church, making money, etc. There's a drive-thru for everything! We've gotten so used to this world of convenience that we don't know what to do when we can't just snap our fingers and have what we want.
I've learned something since I became a mother. Parenting and children are not always convenient. They cry when we wish they would sleep, they want to eat when we'd like to be doing things around the house, they get into things they shouldn't get into, they make messes we have to clean up, they throw up, sneeze, cough, wipe boogers, and get poop and pee on you.
Parenting is hard.
I know/know of all kinds of soon-to-be mothers right now, and I beg you not to be a drive-thru parent.
You didn't carry a baby for 9 months just to make sure it gets fed, diapered, clothed, and off to pre-K by 3 years old.
God (whether you believe in Him or not) gave you the ultimate privilege of being a parent to the cutest, smartest baby in the world. It is a privilege AND it is a responsibility.
Listen to your instincts and not to the advice of every Tom, Dick, Harry, and even grandma who tells you what is "best" for your baby.
Just a couple things:
Some mothers honestly are not able to breastfeed, but others "try" for a day or so, until a nurse or some well meaning friend or relative says, "It's okay to use formula. It's exactly the same as breastmilk." Breastfeeding is hard. Everyone who does it is in pain at first. In the beginning, it often feels as if your whole life is being spent on the couch with a baby attached to you. It is inconvenient. Sometimes babies want to eat when you are out in public and you have to either find a quiet place to nurse or go home. It's a sacrifice.
Guess what, though? After awhile, the pain goes away and the baby doesn't eat as often. You've given him/her an incredible gift as far as health and immunity and you get to enjoy quiet moments of looking down at your precious baby and knowing that you are the one nourishing him/her and helping him/her grow.
A well known fact about babies is that they cry. They cry when they're hungry, wet, dirty, sleepy, bored, and restless. They might even just want you to hold them. They don't have any other way to communicate with you. If you can't figure out what it is they want, just hold them. Don't lay them down in their cribs to figure themselves out. When you do that, and they go to sleep, it's not because they're ok. They're emotionally defeated. They've given up on you. After a few nights of that, why even cry for you? They know you're not going to come back.
"Good," you might say, "that's what I wanted. Now, we can all get some sleep."
Here's my way of thinking. They're not in Wal-Mart, throwing a fit because they want a toy and you won't buy it for them. We're talking about infants here. They just want you. Or maybe they don't know what they want. It's not a sin to hold them. You won't "spoil" them. One day, you may even regret not holding them as often as you could.
It's really easy to use Ferber or some other method to make your baby go to sleep by himself/herself. Real convenient. I just can't do it to my 10 month old son.
Someday, my son will sleep in a bed, he won't nurse, and he will be too big to hold.
For now, he is my baby. Even when Kade is having the roughest of nights, even when it's 12 am and he's awake for the third time, Michael and I look at each other over his head with tears in our eyes and say, "I love him!"
Psalm 127:3 says, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward."
They are gifts. Precious, tiny, guileless, guiltless gifts.
Treat them as such.
They're not trying to manipulate you.
Don't do the easiest thing just to get by.