Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Society places a lot of pressure on Mom's...about how you are "supposed" to raise your children. I am very jealous of stay at home moms, but I know it's not all roses for them either.

I have read and still read tons of child development and self help books, but I've also realized that the rules don't work for ALL kids. I wish there was a rule book that could give me all the "right" ways to do things (with guarantees), but since there isn't, I'm writing my book one day at a time. Advice from, and observation of, trusted friends and family has been more beneficial then anything. I have no idea what I am doing, but all that matters is my son loves me. Here are some things that society may have an opinion about, but I did it my way, none-the-less:

* I had every intention of making my own baby food and I even bought the necessary equipment to do just that (months later sold on Craig's List), but then I realized, what with me working full time, that wanted to spend my weekends going to the duck pond, playing at the park, reading "I Love You, Stinky Face" and visiting family, I decided, why try to reinvent the wheel. I love you Gerber.

* I do not bathe my son every day and I even forget to brush his teeth sometimes.

* My son was on a feeding and sleep schedule within the first 2 months of life. 

* We do not have school every day, but the concepts that Sam understands are amazing.

* I use M&M's to bribe my son, so he'll let me clip his toenails.

* I do not spend every waking moment entertaining him.

* Was never an "oral" kid (except for food he NEVER puts anything in his mouth) and is allowed to play with marbles.

* PBS is not the only channel we watch.

* I let Sam CRY IT OUT at 4 months and within a week he was going down with ease and now sleeps through the night with no problems.

* He doesn't attend a baby gym or play groups every week.

* My son doesn't go to a day care and is still not in preschool.

* I do not use cloth diapers.

* He is 28 months old and is not potty-trained.

* He still has his pacifier.

* I do not believe in co-sleeping.

* I never breast fed.

* I don't stress over food. I offer him healthy choices and our goal is a balanced weekly diet. 

* My son was circumcised and has had all his vaccines since birth.

* Even if Sam doesn't want to nap, every afternoon we have "rest time" because, honestly, I need a break. He is given books and he can sleep or read in his crib.

And yet, with all this, Sam is still happy, healthy and amazes me by what he is learning. He loves animals, music, books, cars, flirting with women, being tickled and playing in water. He hates to have his diaper changed, wearing coats, having his face wiped and vegetables. He is a great traveler, knows how to dust, holds Na-Na's hand when he walks her to the car and takes off his shoes when he enters the house. He has the sweetest smile, the most ear-splitting scream and a giggle that melts my heart. It is a blessing to be his Mommy!

Are you following a rule book or are you writing your own?


birthmothertalks said...

I just make my own rule book. I used to bribe my son with chocolate shakes for him to get a haircut!!

Connie said...

I was thinking about "The Total Transformation"...a program I heard advertised on the radio. And I thought "Wait a minute. You had a teenager who was giving you fits, tried something different, and now you sell a book? How does your situation prove your hypothesis that your technique applies to all situations? Do I have to do your bad parenting first to get the same effect?" I do still read it all. One of my favorites was "Parking Lot Rules". We also occasionally spank.

Courtney said...

Great post! I could have written practically the same list.

stART said...

I think we all write our own books. Motivated moms have always looked at the perceived flaws in their own upbringing and, in attempting to do better, make their own mistakes. As long as we are truly interested in the outcome being a happy, healthy, contributing citizen we can't go too far astray. And yes, I did the breast fed, homemade food, cloth diaper route despite being a full-time working and commuting mom - I feel strongly we are ALL entitled to make the choices that work best for ourselves and our families. It's in trying to force our parenting into a mold someone else has decided is "right" that the most unforgiveable things occur - neglect being the most passive form of harm. In making a conscious choice to PARENT we make the first, best step toward doing a good job.

Jessica said...

I'm right there with you on almost everything! Colt is 28 months like Sam, and Owen is 14 months. I don't read parenting books anymore. I ask for advice on blogs or Twitter but that's about it!

Colt has a mouth full of teeth that are lucky to get brushed 3 times a week. I only bathe when needed and summertime it's needed every night because of sunscreen but winter...we can go several days with no baths!

We do our best with food, it's never perfect. And our kids are not denied fruit snacks or ice cream or even candy as a treat. We bribe. We vaccinate.

We are crazy about sleep. Sleep schedules, cry it out early on, early betimes, rest times during the day. Our kids watch TV (lots of Disney).

And the biggest thing I'm supposed to feel guilty about is working and daycare. But guess what? I don't! I love my job, my kids LOVE school and learning, our schedule works and they are thriving!

No advice books here...we're doing it on our own!

happymomof2 said...

Beautiful well said post! AMEN!!! I am writing my own books (two different ones, one for my daughter and one for my son because they are complete opposites!). However there are many a day with my son that I wish there was a manual or book to follow in how to deal with his behavior, especially lately. I am a stay at home mom and it is not all roses! My son is 3 and won't start preschool till this fall (that is what we did with my daughter etc...). I think to each his own. Just hope that my kids know how much I love them!

Jacksmom said...

I make my own. We all have to make decisions on what is right for our family, and I'm not an extremist about anything (except when it comes to his food allergies because that is vital to his health). My kid sometimes has bad things for breakfast, and he naps with us (when he naps), and he sleeps with us a couple of nights a week and by himself the rest of the time. We just have to do what is right for OUR own families, and that's not always what works for everyone else. It's awful to have Mommy guilt and even more awful when we judge each other so harshly.