Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Real Parenting Experts

As a parent, and especially as a parent on message boards, I'm aware of parenting contests. The whole 'my kid's walking' or 'mine can say mama' or 'mine has 6 teeth' etc etc etc. All this at only a few weeks old sometimes! Just as every parent has their own situation, they also have their own parenting philosophy. A big issue is sleeping through the night. Every parent has their own way to solve that 'problem', which to some, isn't even always a problem. Just as every parent has their own solution, they also have a book. Some 'experts' say you should let the baby cry. Other's offer a no crying solution, or any number of methods in between. You can find a book that will offer you a solution that is exactly what you're comfortable with, what you're willing to do, and how much time you're willing to put in.

Now, I've read many of these books, and they are very well written. The solutions make sense, they are evidence backed, and are filled with testimonials. And I could get into how it's easy to find evidence that supports any hypothesis or theory that you want to prove, or that you have to look at how the tests were done, or manipulated, etc, but I won't. Or maybe I just did a little bit, oops. Instead, here's what I'm going to say:

YOU are the perfect parenting expert for your children.

There. Said and done. It's super easy. Basically, after reading all those parenting books, I feel that I could write my own. Take ideas from the ones that worked for me, and leave out the parts that didn't work, or that I don't feel are necessary. Enter the (not so) clean mommy parenting solution. I know my children fairly well, and am aware of what will work for them. I know what my husband and I are willing to do. This is why M was sleep trained using 'cry-it-out' at 7 months old, and baby K, at 10 months old, is still waking up 2-3 times to eat every night. I know the kids, I know our household and our situation and I've figured out the best way to be a parent for my kids.

Come to think of it, I AM writing my own parenting book. It's hard work, and will take YEARS, but it's totally worth it. I'm actually writing two books. They are at different levels of completeness. One is almost 3 and a half years in, and loves to swim, jump and play. The other one is 10 months old, and melts my heart when he smiles at me. Each book takes 18 years to write and then is off to the world to test my parenting theories. If they work, I will be the mother of two smart, confident, successful children and the world will ask me for help with their own parenting books (I can hope).

Now, just because I've decided to write my own books doesn't always mean that I know what I'm writing. Sometimes I get writers block. Sometimes I have to try out new ideas and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But my failures can be a testament to my readers. Tell them what worked and what didn't. And of course they can test my ideas in their own books. My failures might work for someone else and what works for me might fail miserably elsewhere. It's all part of being a writer, and is what will make all our books unique and special.

I must now leave you all and get back to writing my books. Well, not writing, but preparing the supplies. I'm out of paper and need to sharpen my pencils--or just laundry and vacuuming. But it's all necessary for a great book.

I can't wait to read your books, I'm sure they will be fantastic!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Kids Need (and want)

I read a fantastic article this morning and now know why sometimes I consider myself a crappy blogger. While I'm sure you faithful readers are constantly on your toes waiting for my next post, I'm either busy DOING the things I write about, or, more importantly, I'm ignoring the house and spending time enjoying my children.

Last week, a good friend and fellow mommy blogger wrote about this on her blog, She Will Amaze You. There are days when I'm online all day, or downstairs sewing. And then there are other days when I ignore the work piling up, and ignore the house and just spend time with my kids, and those days go so smoothly.

Then today, I read another article written by The Power Of Moms. Another great reminder that our kids need, and want us. The house isn't going anywhere. The dishes and laundry will be right where I left them. But kids will grow up, and this is the time to just enjoy them. This is the time where being with them will shape who they become.

So now I'm signing off and will get to the house later. Baby K is napping and M needs some mom time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

WOW, I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've written in here. I really go through stages where I'm ON IT and post often, and also, interestingly, my house is cleaner, and then there are periods where I don't post very much, and my house is an overwhelming disaster. Interesting correlation. I guess when I post more, I feel more accountable for the state of my house. We did have a few weekends with a bunch of visitors, and that definitely helps me keep it tidy, but I hate that I can't just do it for myself. I deserve to have a neat and tidy house, don't I? Why do I only clean up for other people?

So what's gone on over here in the last few weeks? Well I tried the vinegar and blue dawn shower cleaner trick. People claim that this kills soap scum. I heated up 1/2 cup vinegar in the microwave and them mixed it in a spray bottle with 1/2 cup blue dawn. As claimed, it did turn into a gel. I sprayed it in my shower, waited a few hours and then wiped it off. Well, the glass parts didn't come THAT clean. I mean they did, but I could still see water marks when I squeegeed them. I was more impressed with the baking soda paste I used a few months ago on the glass walls. But what this mixture did do was kill the pink stuff that grows in the grout. It's been well over a week since I cleaned it and the pink stuff is NOT coming back yet. THAT impresses me. The fumes were a little overwhelming, so I had the fan on and stayed out of that bathroom while it was soaking.

To continue my spring cleaning, I've been purging some of our household items. I went through my kitchen cupboards last week and got rid of some bakeware we don't use. I have some pregnant friends and will be lending/selling/giving them some of the old baby stuff to clean out our playroom and the kids closets. It's crazy the pile of clothes I have in baby K's room that he's grown out of already. I've also gotten together some of M's art from the last year and will be putting it in a scrapbook to keep it organized. No more random paintings floating around the house.

On top of all the deep cleaning that I've been doing, the most important part of keeping the house organized is really simple. Tidy every day and STAY ON TOP OF LAUNDRY. The most overwhelming task is catching up on overflowing laundry baskets, dirty clothes all over the house, etc. Even if it's one load every day, something to keep it going.

Hope you are all enjoying nice spring weather where you are. Here's a cute sign I need to make for my entryway.

courtesy of Etsy via Pinterest.