Tuesday, April 9, 2013

i quit.

a long time ago...okay, it really wasn't that long, but it feels that way now.  anyway, before abigail was born, i read a lot of parenting books.  a lot.  they were great.  i got ideas on how to get my kid to sleep, how to discipline, how to..you already know.  the list goes on forever.
i thought reading all the books was a great idea.  take ideas from each one, figure out what i agreed with and didn't, and run with it.  turns out, the first time my daughter didn't do something by 'the book' i was following for this specific part of parenting, i was a hot mess.  i cried.  i knew that i had failed as a parent that day.  our lives were ruined.  she was six weeks old.  she had not been alive for two months yet.
i would love to say that was my wake up call.  but, it wasn't.  instead, i continued to devour books about parenting.  i've read more than i can even recount.  and with each new book and concept i became a little more stressed out.  all i have ever wanted, was to be a great parent to my girls.
kiddo two, i didn't even open the books that were given me on down syndrome.  even if i had wanted to attempt some sort of sleep training method, it wouldn't have mattered since she spent so much time on narcotics during the first year.
i quit reading parenting books.  well, that's not entirely true.  i have one i really like, and read, and re-read.  grace based parenting.  i love that book.  but the rest, no thanks. i'm not even intersted in the newest articles from psychologist really.
i have my thoughts and philosophies on parenting.  i know what has worked for our family to get the most sleep for everyone.  i know what we believe about discipline.  i know how we feel about television watching, eating and health, helping around the house, and on and on.  it's okay if you feel differently.  it's even okay with me if the psychologist have said something different than what we do.  they don't know my kids,nor do they ever offer to come help me out when they expel their newest thought and philosophies on parenting.
i was spending some time with friends the other day when a friend recommended a book she was reading about discipline.  it sounded interesting.  i had no desire to read it.  what we are doing works (most days).  our children seem to feel loved and secure.  i don't want to start over, or add to my long list of parenting guilt.
and somehow, i was able to walk away without even giving the book another thought.  i think knowledge is power.  i think our society has saturated us with parenting information, all of it research based, and all of it saying the opposite of each other.  some say co-sleep.  some say cry it out.  i say, figure out how everyone gets the most sleep, and do it.  some say no television ever.  some say after two.  i say, figure out what you need as a parent to be a great parent.  sometimes, that's putting the children in front of a television show, and taking a break.  it's okay.  some kids respond best to time-outs.  some respond best to a (well controlled, not angry) spanking.  some kids have a 'thing' that they would do anything to keep it from being taken away. figure out which one is your kid, and be consistent.
and most of all, give yourself grace.  it was a hard morning at our house.  i was exasperated at the event that took place, but i also was sort of proud of myself later, for how well i handled the situation.  and so i treated myself to five minutes of hiding alone in the kitchen eating some chocolate, and drinking tea.  i have no idea what a book would've told me to do in the situation.  instead, i did what worked best for our family at that moment.


  1. You are awesome. Advice books are generally bad.

  2. I could not have said it better. Perfect! I wanted to read books, but just didn't have the energy nor the focus. I still don't. lol But I'm ok with that. You are an amazing mother who has the strength, love, and will to fight for your two kids (and Jason too). Keep up the good work! Keep doing what your doing. And when we are no longer quarantined, I'm hoping to make a day trip down there to meet your kiddos (if that's alright with you). Stay strong. Remember the grace that was given to us. <><

  3. I gave up on books fairly early on. I felt they didn't fit our situation or kids. Raising a kid with ADHD is HARD!!! There were days it felt like he had spend a huge portion of it in time out so it definitely wasn't working. We always followed thru, always said what we meant/meant what we said, but things were not getting better. Taking away toys didn't work because he didn't possess the impulse control to think about his actions. He would even say with tears in his eyes, "I don't know why I keep doing these things mommy." :*( Our pediatrician said I would just need to let things go, overlook things that maybe he shouldn't do, and accept that he wouldn't be as well behaved as I would like him too. That didn't sound like good advice at all. A friend of mine with an ADHD kiddo recommended doing "time ins" rather than time outs for Max. When I could tell we were heading down the road to a bad day with lots of time outs, instead I would throw him outside and make him run around the yard 5 times (10, 15 times - whatever it took) to burn off the negative energy. If its snowy/wet outside, we do jump rope or jumping jacks inside. So rather than being a punishment, it was what I did when I could see we were starting to come off the rails. He would always have more self control after an burn-off. We did opt for ADHD meds about 2 months into kindy for Max. For us personally, it was LIFE CHANGING in ways I hadn't even imagined. Every day is a good day with Max for the most part Now we do "consequences" and loosely follow the principles in the book "Boundaries with Kids" since Max now has the self control to behave accordingly to, if I do A) then B) will happen. If he gets in trouble he owns up and says, "yeah, that was a bad choice I made. I'll chose better next time" Ike... man... that kid is a hot mess. He is so much more ADHD than Max was at this age. Lots and lots and lots of "time-ins" for that kiddo. We won't do ADHD meds until school age as long as he isn't harmful to himself (I do have to turn off the breaker to the stove at night now since I found him cooking scrambled eggs at 2am), but its going to be a loooong 2 years since we aren't sending him until 6. :) My new thing is "quiet practice." He didn't do anything wrong with asking a million questions and singing the same song over and over, but mommy needs some quiet time or I just might lose it, so we practice being quiet. It gives me the peace I need to pull it together for the rest of the day. Nobody tells you this before kids, but its a war out there. :)