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Best parenting advice: It’s NOT in the book!

This post originally published June 22, 2011. But given that the parenting advice contained within it is applicable not only for newborn babies, but also for children, tweens and teens, I thought I might share it again today. 

When I was pregnant with Thing One, I read every book I could get my hands on to know what to expect during my pregnancy and delivery. It’s my way.

I’m a book fiend anyway, so when I have something I need to know

I research it.

To. Death.

And I did the same to prepare for a newborn.

That very first night that our very intense little newborn baby boy was home, he screamed. And he screamed and he screamed some more.

When the basic holding and rocking didn’t seem to be working, I dove into my usual “research it” mode.

I handed the baby to the then-husband, and began flipping frantically through the books.

Yes, he rolled his eyes at me. And probably said a few choice words.

I tried the index.

I tried the Table of Contents.

I tried the “pray and open to a random page” method.


There’s nothing in any book that will really tell you how to stop a screaming baby from crying.

It’s not something that’s easily transcribed.

It takes heart.

And love.

And tenderness.



And the best swaddling techniques known to man.

That night I learned that the best parenting comes from the heart, not from an expert in parenting.

Sure, they try.

And they probably have some nuggets of wisdom in their pages somewhere.

But I have learned to listen to my heart.

To listen to my child.

from the heart To listen.

And love.

So far, things keep finding a way to work themselves out.

I think it’s because I know who the expert on my kids is.

And I listen to her.

She’s me.

 Photo Credit: ba1969 on Sxc.hu

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • raquel June 22, 2011, 11:00 am

    So very true

  • Alison@Mama Wants This June 23, 2011, 3:43 am

    Omigod, yes.

    I’m the same way, I read, research, read some more.

    Then, I had a child. Heh.

    • RChicken June 23, 2011, 6:47 am

      They’re a tiny bit hard to research, no?

      And as soon as I think I know the answer, they grow up a little more and the answer isn’t the same. Gah!

  • Ilene June 20, 2013, 12:47 pm

    This could not be more perfect or more true. It all comes down to trusting our gut and keeping our hearts open. You sum it up perfectly and eloquently and with heart.
    Ilene recently posted..I Looked Up

    • RChicken June 22, 2013, 8:21 am

      Thank you. I have found that it’s working. It may not always be perfect, but following a cookie cutter formula to raise my kids that came from some book didn’t seem to make sense. :)

  • Kir June 21, 2013, 7:36 am

    I have always been a seat of my pants kind of person (and still am)
    I do enough research to calm the voices in my head , and I have to say that I did more digging about infertility than I did about parenting.

    Once the boys were finally here, I was so grateful, I just let go and mothered them….in the ways that worked for all of us. It’s not an exact science but then again, my children aren’t experiments they are little amazing human beings. :)

    Loved this (Shared on twitter and Pinterest)
    Kir recently posted..A Copper Sphere in a Bright Blue Sky : {Write at the Merge/Ligo Haibun Challenge}

    • RChicken June 22, 2013, 8:22 am

      You are SO right — our children are not experiments…they are little amazing human beings. (Although mine are not so little anymore!)

      Thank you for sharing it!

  • Jasbeeray June 21, 2013, 8:58 am

    Totally agree. I too dig very deep to find answers but lately it’s referring to Mr. Google a lot
    Jasbeeray recently posted..Reflection

  • The Dose of Reality June 22, 2013, 10:16 am

    Absolutely LOVE this post. Everything you said here is SO TRUE. Well done. Stopping by from the SITS Sharefest on Twitter.-The Dose Girls
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Hunger Is Something We Take Personally

  • Shannon@MishmashMama June 22, 2013, 7:17 pm

    I also tend to research things to death. I love me some book learnin’! However, my 4 have taken it upon themselves to prove every single “parenting expert” wrong. It is their life’s mission. And mine is to accept it, I guess! There isn’t much that kisses and cuddles don’t fix. And maybe vodka.
    Shannon@MishmashMama recently posted..Worst Mom in the World

    • RChicken June 23, 2013, 8:54 am

      I still research everything (which car to buy, dog food ingredients, how to pickle beets)….but so glad I learned to listen to my heart when it comes to those boys :) And you’re so right, they’ll prove every expert wrong!

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