Let me just warn you that I am writing this on very little sleep. Last night was one of the worst nights I have had in my parenting history — and that is saying something, considering that my first child woke up every few hours around the clock until he was almost two years old. The 11-month-old baby woke up around midnight, and alternated crying, fussing, and loud babbling until 5:00 AM. As she is still in our room, this meant that neither my husband nor I slept at all last night.
Anyone who tells me to savor these moments because they go by so fast will have their IP address summarily banned and a virus downloaded to their computer that causes it to catch on fire.
The baby’s sleep has been drifting from “very good” to “not great” over the past few weeks, and I am extremely ready to get this under control. I believe in gentle parenting: My babies need to be gentle on me, and let me sleep. And so I wouldn’t mind a little intermittent Kim West-style “crying it out” to send the message that no, seriously, we sleep at night in this family. But the problem is that I don’t have the kind of house where I can do that. Just imagine this…
…in the crib with the baby. I wouldn’t be able to let her cry for ten seconds without imagining that she’s crying not because she’s frustrated about falling asleep, but because she is being STUNG OVER AND OVER AGAIN BY A VENOMOUS ARACHNID THAT IS ATTACKING HER IN HER CRIB!!!!!!
Let me bring some balance into this post by telling you about Megan Tietz’s new book, Spirit-Led Parenting. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with her, Megan blogs at Sorta Crunchy and has been joining us in Quick Takes for years. She and co-author Laura Oyer wrote the book with this mission:
In Spirit-Led Parenting, two mothers share their stories. They tell of a journey that began in fear-soaked, tear-stained days marked by an overwhelming fear of failure that eventually found redemption in discovering the freedom to ignore the wisdom of man and follow the direction of the Spirit. This gentle path looks toward the example of God the Father, seeks after Christ’s unequivocal call to servanthood, and leans upon the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in determining and meeting the individual needs of each unique child.
I had a chance to glance at an early copy of the book, and it’s delightful. Though my own parenting style differs slightly from that of Megan and Laura (read: I recently mused to a friend that my parenting book would be called Mommy Is Going to Die if You Don’t Stop Being Bad and Go to Sleep: A Guide to Draconian Parenting Methods), I appreciated how honest they were about their journeys, as well as their passion for helping moms and babies find peace during that intense first year.
One big issue we’re having is that the baby really needs her own space. But with seven people in a three-bedroom house, there is not a lot of space to be had. And so I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from the local Ikea, which has all sorts of model living spaces set up for people who live in tiny spaces. Check out this video to see what I mean:
Whenever I go to our local store, I am always fascinated by their little “Living in 550 Square Feet” model home things they have set up. All my efficiency-loving German genes come alive, and I stand in awe as I look up and down the wall and behold an area where not a single square inch is wasted. I am convinced that if I could just get hooked up with a ten thousand dollar Ikea gift card, I could transform my house into a model of efficiently used space.
From my homeowner’s association:
When I saw the peppy clipart of that zany little snake, I did not expect it to be a warning about rattlesnakes sighted within the neighborhood. That image goes with an announcement like, Lost pet snake – answers to ‘Snookums’. That is not the appropriate artwork for a communique that says, in so many words, “Hey, there are venomous creatures lurking in the neighborhood! Unlike the scorpions that fill your houses, these things can actually kill you! Have fun when you go for your next jog — hope you don’t die!” (I’m paraphrasing, but that is how I interpreted it.)
The best part was what came next, which I unfortunately could not capture in the screenshot: An admonishment that read “DO NOT PANIC!!!” (copied in the exact style it was written). OF COURSE!!! WHY WOULD I PANIC WHEN YOU ARE TELLING ME NOT TO, USING A BOLDED FONT AND THREE EXCLAMATION POINTS?!?!?!?! SOUNDS LIKE A LAID BACK SITUATION TO ME!!!
I recently downloaded a great album called The Covers, in which Christian artists cover classic popular songs. To get an idea of the effort that went into putting these songs together, check out Audrey Assad’s post about the song she chose to cover, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. This is one of my favorite albums I’ve bought in a long time.
(Which I discovered thanks to Marc Barnes, who, as far as I can tell, is becoming one of the most popular bloggers in the solar system.)
Don’t forget to take some time to read others’ Quick Takes posts on the list below. There’s always some great stuff there! It’s always a bright spot in my weekend to grab a cup of coffee and see what everyone else has to say.
I’m off to not sleep while not thinking about the scorpions and rattlesnakes that surround my house. Have a great weekend!