Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year
I’m so pleased to be a part of the Virtual Book Tour for the release of Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year by Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. At the moment, I’m working on an article on some of the misconceptions that have led to the rise of some awful and destructive parenting practices that are being foisted upon parents who are just looking for help in doing the best possible job of raising their children. Just researching these parenting practices has my stomach tied up in knots and my heart hurting so badly I couldn’t sleep last night.
So waking this morning with an opportunity to share this refreshingly honest and honestly refreshing parenting book is…well, refreshing! Written by two mothers who struggled with that universal need to ‘do parenting right’ and yet felt deeply the inherent wrongness of the advice they found in mainstream books by self-proclaimed parenting ‘experts,’ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year is an account of their struggles and tears on the journey to gentle parenting.
From their profile:
“Over the years, a mainstream approach to Christian parenting has emerged, and it’s one that promotes sleep training and feeding schedules for infants, warns that spoiled children and marital discord are certain by-products of homes where newborns are over-indulged, and promotes these methods as the Biblical way to care for a new baby. Unfortunately, the message of mainstream parenting advice preys… on the universal fear of new parents everywhere: the fear that if they stray from the program, their babies and their marriages will suffer.
In Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year, 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. Spirit-Led Parenting doesn’t encourage a methodology, but rather a mindset. This outlook on parenting is radically different from what has become the trend in Christian circles, and yet the authors believe that it is firmly rooted in and supported by Scripture.
Throughout the book, the authors show how parenting with a spirit-led approach has allowed them to become more peaceful, happy mothers, more intimately connected to their husbands, and closer and more surrendered to Christ. Sharing from their unique experiences as well as their shared philosophy, Megan and Laura play the role of big sisters, wrapping their arms around the shoulder of the new mother trying to navigate the confusing world of life with a baby and answering those important questions: “What if the ‘right’ way doesn’t feel ‘right’?” and “Could there be more than one way to honor God as I care for my baby?” There is another way. That’s what they wish they had been told as new mothers. And it’s the message they are passionate about sharing with new parents everywhere.”
Here’s my virtual author interview with these gentle mamas and lovely writers:
What inspired you to write a parenting book?
Our inspiration and motivation for writing this book came straight from the heart of our own parenting journeys. Each of us entered motherhood with an intense desire to do things the “right way”: the way that would honor God and our marriages and produce well-behaved, well-adjusted children. And we both discovered that there was no shortage of advice to be found on what exactly that way looked like! Once we actually held our children in our arms, though, we each began to feel a huge disconnect between the direction we’d been told was right and the one in which our hearts seemed to be leading us. The problem was that we weren’t ready to trust our hearts.
The crash that resulted in each of our lives as we failed time and time again to meet the expectations of the mainstream infant-parenting methodology is where our stories in Spirit-Led Parenting begin. The core of our book is the redemptive journey of how we went from tears of frustration and disillusionment to peace and fulfillment as God gently revealed to us the truth that there is another way to approach the first year of parenting. That message changed our lives, and we feel an intense passion now to share it with new parents everywhere.
What one person or idea has most impacted your parenting philosophy?
It sounds cliché, of course, but in this case it is fully true: our parenting philosophy has been shaped, stretched, and strengthened by the three-in-one person of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In our book, we tell about how God revealed His ever-present Father heart in our lives as an example to look to as we cared for our babies. We speak of the way that parenting in the infant months became a vividly tangible opportunity to live out Christ’s call to servanthood. And we delve into the often-painful, often-messy, eventually-beautiful process of how we each learned to recognize a new truth: that every mother and father can freely call upon the wisdom of the Spirit to guide them toward the right parenting path for their unique family.
Summarize your book or list the chapters with brief summaries.
Our book is made up of two sections. In Section One, we give an overview of our story and the basic beliefs that comprise our philosophy. In Section Two, we show more about what it looks like when our philosophy meets reality by discussing what Spirit-Led Parenting may look like in the areas of infant feeding, infant sleep, co-sleeping, scheduling, connection, marriage, and sex.
We don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all formula and we steer clear of insisting on any mandates. Instead, we just try to offer encouragement for each family to follow the path illuminated for them by the Spirit of God.
Thank you so much for allowing us to share our hearts and message with you today. Please join us as we continue our blog tour in the upcoming weeks:
- 4/10 Gypsy Mama, Mama Monk, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources
- 4/11 Sarah Bessey
- 4/12 I Take Joy
- 4/13 Love Well
- 4/14 Joy in this Journey
- 4/15 The Stanley Clan
- 4/16 Life Your Way
- 4/17 Lifenut
- 4/18 Fried Okra, Live Renewed
- 4/19 The Pilot’s Wife
- 4/20 Nish Happens
- 4/23 Keeper of the Home
Spirit-Led Parenting is the first release from authors Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. Megan writes about faith, family and natural living at SortaCrunchy and lives in western Oklahoma with her husband and two daughters. Laura blogs her reflections on the real and ridiculous things of life at In The Backyard, and makes her home in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and son.
Award-winnning author, L.R.Knost, is the founder and director of the children's rights advocacy and family consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, and Editor-in-Chief of Holistic Parenting Magazine. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood ; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages ; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline ; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, and children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series.