Admit it, you've always had this burning question blazing in your neurons when you've finally managed to get all of your cubs happily sleeping (ie, their energy level switched to the blessed "OFF" position!).
I mean, let's get serious, shall we?
How many parenting experts have *you* listened to?
I well-remember when HD1 was just born. Having devoured approximately 23 library's worth of "How To Raise A Brilliant Einstein With The Soul of a Ghandi and The Heart of Aslan who Possesses A Deep Dislike of Teletubbies", I was ready to dive right into:
(experienced parents, you know what's coming next)
Waking up a sleeping baby every 2 hours for feeding!
My mother, bless her heart, was mighty bemused indeed.
"The baby is actually sleeping and not screaming her head off at levels that would frighten charging wildebeest, Barbara," she would imply. "Why on earth would you *wake* her up? Wouldn't she wake up when hungry anyways?"
Of course I, as the know-it-all 31 year old first-time brand spanking new mother, sniffed pityingly at her; after all, all the parenting experts *know* babies need to get up every 2 hours!
Well, you know something? When HD2 and HS1 and HS2 rolled around, I decided to actually test out that theory of (gasp!) feeding my babies when they (gasp #2!) actually *cried*.
And would you believe it…kids #2 to #4 started sleeping through the night at around, oh, hmmm…. 2 or 3 weeks.
It's kinda sorta difficult to sleep through the night if you're awakened every freakin' 2 hours, you know. 🙂
And sleeping on one's side as opposed to one's back!!
OMG, someone please distill pure valium in my coffee, I beg you. Back when HD1 was an infant, you were *always* supposed to put babies to sleep on their sides to reduce sudden infant death.
Can you believe that nowadays?
And that, of course, brings me to a topic near and dear to MamaBear's heart.
In many cases, parenting experts are just plain worthless except….
When their advice can actually be applied not only to your children, but also to your style of raising kids.
Oooooo, what I said!
There *is* no one-size-fits all when it comes to parenting, because if you subscribe to attachment parenting, you will never ever listen to parenting experts who swear by letting babies cry themselves out (it's a very effective technique, I might add).
And if you're one of those god-forsaken "Let's reason with little Timmy about how it's not nice to kick the other child in the balls!" but never spell out, "Hey you little twit, you *hurt* someone deliberately and now you're going to pay the consequences!", parents, you'll never agree with spanking, the dreaded 52 pickup or other consequences that make an eye-for-an-eye impression.
So, I honestly do *not* care about what parenting *experts* pontificate from the rooftops of their blogs or Dr. Phil or the Death Star or whatever.
You, yourself, as a parent…have to first *buy into* a particular way of raising your child.
- Once bought in…you need to continuously re-evaluate to see what is working for your kids…and what yields less blood, sweat and tears than a frozen turnip.
You see, I firmly believe that parenting is a hero's journey.
Growing up is also a hero's journey.
Heck, surviving until your heart stops beating….it's the most critical hero's journey of them all.
And when the situation changes (ie, your next child turns out to be not only the Black Sheep of the family, but a bonafide Space Alien), you simply *have* to give yourself permission to throw out whatever book you've been using for parenting….and create a new one from scratch.
But if you give away your parenting power to the so-called experts, you'll have nary a chance of success in situations like that.
Never be afraid to question what the parenting experts say.
They might be right for other parents, but horribly wrong for you.
And it's up to you to make that decision. Always question; your children are depending upon you for that.