when our first born was just a few weeks old i remember devouring baby books and trying to do the parenting thing the "right" way. i read all kinds of books just looking for the perfect way to be the perfect mommy. one night i was in tears because i had finished two different books that had two complete different philosophies. if you have ever read babywise or any book by dr. sears, you will agree the two couldn't be more different. i was very stressed out because both books offered two different prescriptions for the perfect mommy i was looking to be. which one was right, which would work best?
it has been quite a journey, but i have learned that being a parent, being a mommy, is doing what works best for you and for your family. what works for one family may not work for yours. what works for your first born may not work for your fourth born. over the years, i have developed my own style for how we live our life and raise our family. we do what works best for us. i have knitted together an eclectic style of child rearing. i do a little of this and a little of that.
i wear my baby in a sling, and i love it, but sometimes if it works better for where we are i put her in her stroller.
i try to let her cry it out at night and if it doesn't seem to work, i bring her to bed with me and we co-sleep, because a rested mommy is what works best.
i used disposable diapers with my first three and now i am using cloth diapers, because they are best for her.
when it comes to school, my first born did two years of preschool, my second did a half of a year, my third did a few weeks and my fourth will do none. my first born did kindergarten at a public school and then first and second grade at a charter school. my second did kindergarten at the same charter school, next year they will both be homeschooled. it is just what works best for us.
when my first three were younger, i did everything and went everywhere, my schedule was busy and hectic, i had a lot of commitments. my fourth has slowed me down and i am taking time now to focus and build our family on a slow paced schedule, and it is working better. better for us.
as for discipline, i don't do it by the books, but rather specific to each child and what works best for them. sometimes it is time out, sometimes it is a spanking, sometimes it is both. it just depends on what works best.
i have found out there is no "perfect mommy". i have found out that being a parent is ever changing; constant growing and stretching. as our seasons change and our lives change and our situations change God is molding us to be the parents and people He desires us to be. He is the only constant in our lives. only He is perfect and only He offers to us what is perfect. so i have given up on trying to be something perfect. and wow that takes a lot of pressure off of me.