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!

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