Is it time to re write parenting books?

Those of you with small children, tonight I ask you this question. Are we over parenting? Is it time we dumped all those parenting books and tried a little less hard, worried less, trusted ourselves more, and sat back and enjoyed our children just as they are…

When our first two children were babies,
We sat propped up against the baby monitor,
and listened to their every breath.
We photographed each mini milestone,small__4883412296
and filled out baby books in great detail.

Every day we ensured they were,
immaculately turned out,
Hair brushed, teeth cleaned
and clothes chosen with care.

We bought organic food,
and sterilized everything,
until they were a year old.

We sat down and made jigsaws with them,
and “helped” them to
put square and round pegs,
into the correct holes.

They went to school,small__8363733790
with the healthiest of lunches,
and sweet treats at home were well regulated.

It came to bedtime,
7pm when they were tiny,
and then 8pm and 8.30pm as they got older.
Always on time,
bedtime story read,
and “Good night!”

Then we had a third child,
standards began to slip!

We would hear her cry on the monitor,
but turn it off,
giving her a few minutes,
in the hope she would settle.

We still took some photographs,
but only once a month,
and usually noticed how,
our darling baby number three,
always seemed a bit unkept!
Hair sticking out,small__6519470395
and socks missing.

Things fell on the floor,
and were returned to her mouth,
Her food rarely came from jars,
and if it did it was the cheapest!

She sat in the playroom,
and watched the others play.
They sat and did the square peg toys,
and helped her do the jigsaws.

Bedtime was still on time,
Thank God the day was over.

Then came number four!
Who is that child?
We only have a handful of photos,
documenting her existence.
We do know her name,
but usually call her by her sisters names.

By the time she was born,
We had lost the baby monitor,
and had no room for a sterilizer.
She ate all sorts of forbidden foods,
at very inappropriate ages.
Sometimes we even “forgot”,
that she was due a feed,
but luckily she cried,
or banged on the appropriate cupboard!

She was dressed by her siblings,
in what they liked.
And on more than one occasion,
we arrived to do the grocery shopping,small__8020597843
only to discover we had forgotten
to put shoes on her.

By the time she was three,
we had no jigsaws left,
well none with all the pieces.
She spent all her time,
in the company of her older siblings.
Usually brilliantly acting,
as the “baby in their game”.

She is eleven years old now,
and many nights we look at her,
and say in astonishment,
“Are you not in bed yet?”.
As we have forgotten to send her.

Writing this,
it is clear to me,
that our older three children
were reared to a high standard.
We had many rows,
ensuring they stuck by our rules,
and lived up to these standards.
As we look at them now,
we take the credit for them,
turning out so well.
Routine and discipline worked.

As for our youngest child.
It is clear to see,
we have greatly slipped in our parenting standards!
She lives a carefree,small__2495641588
stress free life,
spending most days,
doing what she wants,
when she wants.

If I were to be honest here,
I would have to say,
this happy go lucky,
charming, loving child
has reared herself,
with very little input from us.
And guess what…

She has done a fantastic job!


I wrote this post last year, before quite a number of you began to read my blog. Since then my daughter has continued to blossom from a child of eleven to a tween of almost thirteen. Regularly I look at her and think, how easy life is for her and us, yet she is everything we could wish for.

Leading me to wonder was parenting less the way to parent successfully all along?ย 

photo credit: niawag via photopin cc
photo credit: sherimiya โ™ฅ via photopin cc
photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc
photo credit: Close to Home via photopin cc
photo credit: Express Monorail via photopin


30 thoughts on “Is it time to re write parenting books?

    1. Thank you. I think it is true for so many parents.
      I remember saying to my gynae at my six week check up how much I was enjoying my second child. He replied, ‘No one should have to have a first’. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Yes, I thought this was familiar! Still very apt in my mind ๐Ÿ™‚ I have learnt to relax a little. At first I was super mummy – I tried very hard because I’d heard of all these problems that can occur with twins, like slower speech development and slow to reach other milestones etc. Reading and being aware is great, as long as you take it with a pinch of salt. I wish I’d trusted my own instincts a little more. I worried so much about little things which turned out to be nothing. I reckon throw the parenting books away. Ask your mum, your GP or other parents ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. This is a good way to check how long you have ‘followed’ my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yes I agree those books were really only good for lessening what I instinctively knew, not strengthening it.
      I think if I’d had twins on my first I might have exploded.

  2. I thoroughly enjoy not participating in the must-do’s of parenting, (mainly because they don’t apply to us) then realising that they don’t apply to most parents either!

    1. I think it is only after we have bought them, tried them and failed that we learn we had all the answers all along.
      Hope all is good in your world.

  3. Great post, Tric. Having an only ‘child’, I often wonder how it would be if things had been different. I certainly rebelled about a fair bit, especially the pink and blue ‘stuff.’

    1. Oh I didn’t I loved the pink in particular, even though I am far from pink. However I should have dumped a whole lot of the other rubbish and conflicting information I read.
      Ah well at least I got there in the end, as do we all.

    1. Yes how true. There is a will to survive and in the end they all grow up, sleep the night, are toilet trained, get an education and live their lives. I’m not sure how helpful we are really.:)

    1. When I met you I thought ‘I bet we’d get on great if we lived nearer’. Maybe it was that relaxed air I sensed, (or maybe it was because you were mad craic)
      I don’t think you are too relaxed, I read your posts and I think you are ahead of many. Lucky for your little ones.

        1. Oh wouldn’t it be great, and you would have to bring your buddy too. Especially now I know you well enough to share your novel accommodation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think you are right the fact we have other children taking up our time has a lot to do with it. We are just too tired and have less time, as well as more experienced.
      However I would have had a stroke if I thought I was going to be the mother I have become. I don’t think I could have had four if I was going to be as ‘mad’ as I was with my first. Happy days.
      Never say never. Four is magic!

  4. Looking back, this is what I see. Our firstborn, who had the sterilized everything, all my time and attention, and kept to the rules we set, has become not as confident as I would have wished, but he’s working on it. Our daughter, the second, informed me at the age of 3 that she was her own person. We let her be that person within limits, but we still fussed over rules of someone else’s idea of what makes a good parent. She was a rule follower though. The third, with the barren baby photo book learned manipulation at a young age. Not so much a rule follower and knew how to talk his way out of having to follow one. He is a very intuitive individual, extremely laid back, and still hates following rules. I wish I had not read the baby books and simply went with my instincts.

  5. Ahh yes. I think my Tween (Teen in two weeks) has had the best of both worlds in having us there for her all the time but being so relaxed about things that I believe she has sometimes reared herself to this point. lol

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