As soon as I became a parent, everyone (whether they are a parents or not) is lending me their advice on raising children. Being on baby #3, people still feel the need to guide me on the Do's & Don't's and I always find it funny how quickly these people are to point out what I'm "doing wrong" as a Mother. (in their opinion of course)
I'm not saying I've never given any parenting advice because I have, when asked, but I completely understand that taking your child's Fisher Price lawn mower he keeps driving into the back of your heels while you're trying to cook supper and throwing it out the open door of your house on the front lawn and threatening to run over it with the real lawn if he doesn't stop, isn't the approach that most parent's would consider taking.
I get parenting advice ALL THE TIME...(wait... maybe there is a reason people feel obligated to give it to me.....huh *shrug*)...But here are my favorite 'tips'
Their Advice: "Don't let your kid's sleep with you in bed"
My Reality: I need sleep... and I would prefer A LOT of it... but I don't get it... so if having one, two, and sometime three children beside me in bed, gets me any sleep at all... I'm taking it! I understand that putting the effort into settling them back into their own bed will pay off eventually, but that's effort during the night that I need the next day to be able to tolerate these same kids.. I will put the work into getting them in and staying in their own bed when they are old enough to understand
Their Advice: "You need to learn to let them just cry it out, they will learn to settle themselves down"
My Reality: You're right, they will eventually settle themselves down, but you're not the one who has to put up with the screaming and guilty anxiety until they do. When the "Crying it Out" method is in effect in my household it's usually myself being the one crying it out. For now, I'm willing to respond to the crying and do what I can to pacify it.
Their Advice: "When they bite you, you just need to bite them back"
My Reality: Uhm... No...
Their Advice: "You shouldn't keep your TV on ALL the time!!"
My Reality: Why? I prefer to function with noise and am finding my kids do too... Yes, Wesley will sit and watch TV until his eyeballs fall out of his head, but that doesn't mean I let him. But the TV remains on... at all time... It help drown out the sound of fighting, distracts me from being left with my own thoughts, and I find the Housewives great examples of what type of women my son's should try to avoid dating.
Their Advice: "Nap when the kids nap"
My Reality: Wouldn't that be nice, but if I did that how would I catch up on my DVR'd shows, check Facebook, or now write on my Blog? I also get a little burst of energy when I hear the first sounds of someone waking up and realize I haven't done anything productive during their nap which gives me enough adrenaline to race around the house to start the less importantly things such as the laundry, dishes, and general everyday cleaning.
Their Advice: "You're not a short order cook, My kids eat what I made or they didn't eat at all"
My Reality: I have sooooo many other battles through out my day, dinner time is the one time of the day that I enjoy the most. I cook, what I cook, the kids can eat it if they want... if not... I'm definitely not cooking a separate meal, but if it's leftovers, can be poured in a bowl, or thrown in the toaster.... have... at... it!!
Listen... it's not news to me that chances are pretty good that everyday I secure the job of some psychologist who will be having weekly appointment's with my children simple for them having lived through me being their parent, but I can pretty much guarantee I'll make their sessions much more interesting then them being traumatized by being bitten back by their mother.