I am part of a parenting support group on Facebook, and one mum recently asked “…if you could recommend 1 good parenting book, what would it be?”
I quickly wanted to type… “Mine!”
Not that I’m an author mind you or an authority on parenting but I am a mother of 2 beautiful boys and thanks to them, I’ve been able to “write” my own parenting books. I have not done it alone of course and I’ve used other published well-renowned authors as references but my babies have been too unique to follow one particular book.
My oldest son is 2 and a half and I’m still writing his book. His brother is 11 months and I’m also writing his! Why 2 different books? Well it turned out that whatever I’d written about “The Boss” wasn’t really applicable to “The Deputy”. The latter had his own routine, his own likes and wants, his own quirks and irritations, therefore I needed to write a whole new book for him and use completely different reference points. Out went the “What to Expect” series and in came “The Great Oracle” a.k.a Google. It was un-nerving because my issue was no longer how to get him to sleep through the night by 8 weeks, I now just needed him to sleep for at least 2 hours on his own, out of my hands. Boy! What a book it has been!
I really wish my boys came with manuals… right after delivering the placenta, I wouldn’t have minded a neatly wrapped book that explained what each one needed and what I should do in certain situations but since that’s not the case, I’ve come to realise that’s why the parenting books are so many… because every parent does it differently and if what they do works for their children and their friends’ children then Hey, Presto! you can write it all down and have it published.
Don’t get me wrong, I have the books… 2 of Gina Ford’s, the What To Expects, Dr. Sears and thanks to Kindle and iBook, I can start a library filled with parenting books. Somehow, however, one book hasn’t been sufficient because it is “too strict, too lax, too confusing, or too unrealistic”, always “too something”, until I realised that I can pick and mix! I can pick what I feel works and what baby/toddler responds to and mix it in. And there folks is how I started writing my own well-referenced book!
Will I publish my books? I don’t think so but I can use them to help those around me. Most importantly, they’re a lovely reminder of how far I’ve come with my boys and I know I’ll constantly be adding new chapters to them. If my mum is anything to go by, I pray that I’ll still be writing my parenting book for the next 50 years and beyond!
Happy Parenting and Writing!
Josie Karoki originally published this post in 2012 on her personal blog. It has been edited and used with her permission.