“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
The Background Story
As a new mom I was given a piece of advice – well, honestly many pieces of advice. This one, however, proved extremely useful. Several people told me to buy the book On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep and try it out. I did. My daughter slept through the night at 9 weeks. It was beautiful.
I was convinced. This is the solution the whole world has been looking for. No more waking up in the middle of the night, no more tired moms. It was perfect. And I told everyone that.
I raved about my baby’s sleep habits and promised everyone that level of success should they follow the outlined protocol. I never considered this was a problem of pride but only that I wanted to help other people have my success.
Then my son was born.
He has never been a rule follower. In his 2 years of life he has slept through the night a total of 2 times and that was only because he had to have medication for an allergic reaction in both cases. No matter how much I tried to schedule his sleeping and eating, he refused.
I have been exhausted and barely functional for 2 years and sometimes when I think back at what I said in those early years with my daughter, I want to puke.
I thought I had all the answers. To any and all the women I probably made feel ridiculous, I’m sorry. Your child is different than mine. Every child is different. Every mom is different. Every life situation is different.
It would be ideal if my son would sleep sometime but that doesn’t mean any home remedy or scheduling trick is going to do it. I promise I have tried every single one of them… Two years is a long time to last sleeping in 1 or 2 hours increments.
Cast Aside Pride
Every family is different.
I’m sick of the natural moms against the laid back moms. I’m sick of the working moms against the stay at home moms. Especially in the church.
This destroys true community. We form little subgroups within the church for those who parent the way we do, look the way we do, or are passionate about the same things we are.
We never consider this a problem of pride. We just figure we are spending time with the people we enjoy.
The essence of the community we should be seeking to encourage, however, is one rooted in the Gospel where Christ is the center and our main point of fellowship and unity.
Let’s be real. Our way is not the only way. Unless we can find something in Scripture that says “Thou shalt schedule your child’s feedings according to my plan” or “Thou shalt only breast feed your babies” or “Thou shalt never allow non-organic food to touch your child’s lips” then maybe we should just chill.
In matters like these we should do what works for us. Share helpful pieces of information with people who are interested and actually want to know (and work to develop a sense for this). But we shouldn’t act like our way is the only way. I promise it isn’t.
Believing our way is the only way is a quiet means of pride sneaking in and destroying potential friendships and opportunities for personal growth as we develop empathy and compassion.
I can promise you, when Scripture says “Pride comes before a fall”, it is telling the truth. For me, the pride I felt for a baby that slept came before the brutal fall into sleepless nights.
We don’t have all the answers. We shouldn’t act like we do. We need to love people. Seek their good. Pray for them. Come alongside them in their questions and struggles. Fellowship around the grace Christ gives all of us in the Gospel and remember the scope of our understanding is small.
Let God be the all-knowing One that He is. We just need to treat others with His kindness and grace and forgiveness.
This is a journey for all of us but I genuinely hope hearing this will save you a few sleepless nights as the Lord impresses this truth upon your heart.