Monday, August 18, 2008

(Not) By the Book

I have always had an issue with parenting books. It's not that I don't like them....the problem is that I love them. I read A LOT of them. I have ever since I was pregnant. And, the real problem comes in because I don't know how to take what I need out of the book and forget about the rest. I tend to take it all to heart and try to follow every letter. This becomes a big problem. Especially because every "expert" has a different approach to "fixing" your child. I am horribly inconsistent with discipline and structure. I am constantly questioning myself and my actions.

I had an epiphany this weekend.

First, I realized that it's not my job to "fix" Jack. He is a unique individual and I can't change who he is. Yes, it is our job to "train [him] in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6), but it is not our job to force him into the mold of who our ideal child should be. I struggle with this because Jack and I have different personalities - or maybe our personalities are too similar. Either way, I am beginning to understand that life will be a little bit easier if I stop trying to fix my son and learn to accept him the way he is.

Second, the pacifier is back. Hallelujah, we can all sleep again! Jack took a 2 hour nap yesterday and slept 12 hours last night (8 pm - 8 am). I am so much more relaxed and Jack is in such a better mood. I (we) debated about giving him back his pacifier for quite awhile. I was worried that it would make me a "bad" mom and that I would be viewed as a "push-over." Well, after a good night's rest and a happier child...I don't care anymore! I don't care what "they" say in regards to this. I made a decision based on my mommy-instinct and it has been the right one for our family.


Sara said...

Hey Steph! I totally know how you feel about this. I'm very similar with the parenting books and am always questioning my parenting choices too.

Yay, for a full night's sleep! I know how precious those are!

Mrs. Tantrum said...

Parenting books stink...and I only know this because they make me a neurotic mess. (Well more than usual anyway.) Mommy instinct is best, and you KNOW what is right for your child. Go with it.

Your job is to teach them how to stay safe, right from wrong, and how to be the best person they can be. Who cares if they have a blankie or pacifier until they are 53? As long as they are happy that is all that matters!