My #1 Lesson on Parenting

Monday, June 27, 2016

When my first baby was born, I was determined to do the very best job of parenting him I could do.
I had had the opportunity to see lots of different ways to parent from growing up among big families and babysitting/nannying said families.

But being mom is really different from being nanny. Mostly because you are never off duty, and now all the pressure for making decisions falls on you.

So I read LOTS AND LOTS of parenting books, and articles, and blogs. I found some really good ones that were helpful for answering things like "will my baby ever sleep off me?!" and "oh my gosh, potty training does eventually work, right?!"

But all of it ultimately came down to this:

The vast majority of parenting is dumb luck and being the most stubborn person in the house.


When things work easily, it has more to do with lucking out with a kid who just reacted in a socially encouraged way than any real work on my part.

Case in point - this kid.

Girl loves people. And food. And sleeping.

So yes, she is very friendly at parties, will eat most anything you put in front of her, and will run off to bed shouting "yea!!!"
But is it from my awesome parenting? Not really.

When things don't go easily (I'm looking at you potty training and nap strikes) the parenting mostly involves just being more stubborn than the toddler.

I have an obnoxious amount of confidence in the fact I'm always going to win.

Because I do.

No I can't make them sleep, but I can insist they stay in their rooms and on the bed. 
Typically, they end up sleeping anyway (because they needed sleep whether or not they wanted sleep.)

Example of a nap stike won by mommy. :)
So you can find advice for all sorts of parenting questions on the internet, but it's really going to come down to deciding if it's something you care about (and thus just keep insisting on doing whatever it is) or if it's something you don't care about (and you just get to ignore that little quirk.)

Simplified parenting for the win!


  1. This is awesome!! I don't have the same kind of parenting experience as you do, but from my observations throughout life, I think you're onto something here. If a parent is stubborn, strong and unbending in certain matters, that can do a lot more for the child than a person who spends all of his or her time obsessing over what "all the books" say. And I know I mentioned this before, but really-"Bringing up Bebe" may be a boring read for you because you seem to embody some of the parenting stuff it talks about, but it could also be a really fun, validating read :)

    1. Officially requested Bringing up Bebe from the library. If it's in by Thursday I'm planning on bringing it on the flights with me and will report back!

    2. Most excellent :) I hope you enjoy it, whenever it comes in-and I'm excited to see what you think of it!

  2. This is great! It's about picking and choosing your battles, and recognizing that some of their "resistance" comes down to personality! This was an article I found myself nodding along with. Thanks for linking it!

  3. Right on! I've totally discovered that parenting is just about deciding what principles you really care about and sticking to those, and going into survival mode on everything else. ;)

    1. Right though?! There are just so many things that are not my hill to die on. I really like my kids to be able to dress themselves, but that also means my toddler will wear ALL of her clothes backwards for months. I just really don't mind, but I know it would drive some people up the wall.


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