I’ve spent hours pouring over the internet looking for an answer to the parenting question. Is there a right way to parent? I can’t find the answer on Google or Yahoo. I’ve tried to watch my friends because they have things that seem to work for them. When I mimic them, I always end up disappointed. In my quest for the right way to parent, I’ve started to question whether or not it really exists. Have you been looking for the right way to parent? Here’s what I learned in my journey.
Every family is different. Though this may sound like common sense, it is something I found myself overlooking. My children, my husband and I each have different personalities. Not only are they different than one another, but they are different than our neighbors, our friends, and our families. Because our family is unique and there isn’t another like it, we have to find our own way as parents. We can’t mimic anyone else because we aren’t anyone else.
You can do too much reading. I have spent so much time and energy reading books about parenting. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Toddler Taming, Your Baby’s First Year, 1-2-3 Magic, and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer are just a few of the titles that I’ve poured over looking for answers. I’ve spent time at attachment parenting websites, parenting and mothering forums, and looking through what writers at Associated Content have to say about parenting. For every author or parent that claims to have the answer to the parenting question, I’ve found another that says the complete and total opposite. I’ve ended up more confused by all the reading that I’ve done, instead of able to find a clear cut answer to how to parent. In short, I’ve done too much reading.
No parenting philosophy is perfect. Even if you find a parenting philosophy that seems like a perfect match for you there may be things that aren’t a good fit. After I had my youngest daughter and moved overseas, I became interested in the attachment parenting philosophy. I tried to mold myself into the perfect attachment parent. There were some things, however, that just weren’t a good fit for me. Trying to make them work just made me a nervous wreck, and I felt like less of a mother because of it. Once I realized that I can like a parenting philosophy without fitting into every component of that philosophy, I became more comfortable with the type of parent that I was.
No parent is perfect, either. I saw myself making parenting mistakes and wondered why no one around me was making them or having the troubles that I was. I realized that just because I wasn’t seeing other people having bad days or making mistakes didn’t mean that they weren’t doing it. No parent is perfect. Accepting that I will make mistakes and that other parents are making mistakes too can be a very freeing realization.
So, my quest for the right way to parent didn’t turn out as I had expected. I did learn more about parenting than I ever thought that I would. Parenting isn’t about a perfect ideal and a right way. It’s about finding the things that work for each family and sticking to them with consistency. That is the right way to parent.