Being a not-by-the-book Mom

In a tightly closed box, nestled in the corner of my dark basement is every parenting book I own. Babywise, Happiest Baby on the Block, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby, What to Expect the First year; and the list goes on and on and, well you get the point.

Wanting to live up to Dr. Phil’s idea of an exemplary parent, I read every single book, cover to cover and sometimes twice. I have cliff notes on my phone and pages bleed with the bright yellow markings of highlighters. I had all I needed to fortify a well rounded, foolproof baby.

After 3 months of exhausting the pages in my well worn books, I realized how inconsequential this is for my family. These brilliant authors, while full of medical advice, do nothing but add stress to an already exasperating experience. “Oh no, Marshall is crying at 4:00am for no reason!” Cue page 56 of book 5 on the shelf. This process doesn’t make sense, this process doesn’t work and you’re forgetting to just connect with your baby.

Some of you may be well versed in this areas, but for me, it took a few months to realize that I can’t do it this way. I can’t put pressure on myself, my husband and my precious baby (who is beautiful, sweet, happy and healthy). Today I woke up from a stressful night and decided to take it one day at a time. Everyday is sweeter than the last and these days do fly by. I don’t want to spend my time buried in a book, wasting my hours. I want to hold my baby, cuddle him, cradle him and figure things out on our own.

Our generation is hindered by its devices, we find comfort in our best friend Google, we ask questions on mommy blogs and forumns. If you’re lucky enough to be a mother, to be a father, take this advice from me: Throw out your books, disconnect from Google and figure this out as a family. If you want to cuddle you baby in bed, DO IT! If you want to play with him right before nap time, BE SILLY! Just live your life the best way your family knows how, trust me, it will all magically and beautifully fall into place.

Published by Jacqueline Leigh Boeheim

Jacqueline Leigh is a children's author based in Georgia. She spent many years working alongside advertising executives, producing inspirational and ground break print, web and television ads. Jacqueline later put her focus on journalism, doing what she loves, writing stories for the general public. She has been published in multiple print and digital publications. She’s interviewed big-name bands and small-town businesses, both contributing to her understanding and joy of writing. Jacqueline has now taken her experiences and focused on becoming a children’s author, a lifetime dream.

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