Sadly, Parenting Books CAN'T Actually Raise Your Child
|This small child even thinks that letting a book raise your child would be stupid.|
Ahhh.... the "I have on kid and they are about one and now I am an expert on everything and I know that my way is working swimmingly because my one year old is happy" parenting advice. I just LOVE to HATE it!
I read an article by a mom like this yesterday in the Huffington Post. I only found it because of this article by one of my top five favorite bloggers. (She says not to get mad about stupid articles like this because it won't make us mad if we are doing what is right for our kids. I think she is right, but I still HAVE to respond to the Huff Post article! I can't help myself!)
So go read them both.
So isn't that one in the Huff Post about Detachment parenting just hilarious/awful?! Except....
Except I was the same way! (Not in a "good thing I let my tiny infant self soothe and never see their father because they are asleep before he gets home from work" kind of way.) Let me explain.
When I had my first baby I read Dr Sears' book, "The Baby Book" about parenting (attachment parenting to be exact) and I set off to do the same. He was a harder sleeper. Actually, he was probably pretty normal, I just didn't know what I was doing. He had a touch of colic for a few months and it was difficult for me to stay sane, recover from a long birth, breastfeed constantly, and adjust to life as a non-wage earner.
I was always going to be a breastfeeding, natural birth kinda woman. But at some point I wanted to set that book on fire. I wanted to get the matches when he (the baby) screamed for no reason even when I was nursing on cue my naturally born, co-sleeping, sling happy baby. (You know- I was doing everything RIGHT!)
I wanted to get out the gasoline and pour it on the "Baby Book" when he was one and I realized that when you sign up for co-sleeping you are in for the LONG HAUL and the baby may want to keep on going long after you (the parent) are done.
Then I had my second baby.
And I discovered Dr Harvey Karp and his 5 S's.
And she slept BEAUTIFULLY.
I couldn't wait to tell everybody how they too could have a perfect sleeper!!!! Lucky for them I found the BOOK/DVD that could cure all parenting woes EVER.
She slept for about 10 hours straight every night by the time she was two months old. I didn't let her cry. I just did what Harvey said.
Then we had number three.
You guessed it. It SUCKED. Royally. FOR YEARS.
Sleep was just kind of an "extra" thing that she didn't have time for.
But wait! I thought I figured it all out! The 5 S's! Why weren't they working! And the attachment stuff I was doing all day long! Why wasn't THAT working! Shall I admit it- I EVEN TRIED CRY IT OUT. I was that frustrated.
Guess what? That didn't work either. Nothing worked. I had failed to read the most important parenting memo of all:
Books don't raise kids. Parents do. And books are just paper and ink. They don't live in real life. They don't respond to stimuli. They don't get tired, go broke, freak out, have close birth spacing, siblings, bad days, good days, genetics, teeth, personalities or anything else that you or your child have. They are just books and books don't raise babies (or kids).
The "detached" mom in that Huff post article...well, I am not sure what happened there. Maybe she got an easy baby. Maybe she found the right book for that baby. Maybe the baby would have slept like that anyway. I don't know, and I am pretty sure I don't care. I hope it works for her. I am glad she is happy and I hope her child is too.
But I can pretty much guarantee that it WON'T work for every baby or every family every time. I can GUARANTEE that. Babies are babies- and they are HUMAN. They are all different. And books are just paper.
My book would be short-
"Take the best part from each book. Think of yourself and your child and your family. Find something that is kind and loving and that works. Realize that even that won't work all the time. Breathe in and breathe out. And please- try to ENJOY some of it. The End."
Peace out mamas-
We will figure this out. But it takes time.