with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
Ever noticed how many how-to books there are about babies and raising kids? Seriously. Go to any bookstore right now. There must be bazillions. And everybody’s an expert. Doctors are experts, psychologists are experts, people who think they know stuff are experts. Your neighbors, your in-laws, random people on the street, they’re all experts too. All of them are experts on your kids. On YOUR family.
Hello?! What’s wrong with this picture?
We’ve forgotten how to trust ourselves, to trust our own instincts, to even acknowledge our instincts. Instead, we’ve become, collectively, a pack of drones raising identically-parented robot-kids who are destined to become identical robot-adults. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of this. We deserve better, and our kids deserve better. It’s time to stop.
Hey! I know! Are any of you pregnant? Have an infant/toddler/preschooler? Then you TOTALLY have my permission, the very next time some person comes up to you and touches your pregnant belly or chucks your baby under the chin or gives your tantrumy toddler the stink eye or gives you random unsolicited parenting advice, to choose any of the following (important: have FUN with this, because it’s all pretty much in your imagination anyway):
1. Drop-kick said person into the next county. Whee! Look at them go!
2. Get their address and mail them a surprise. (I am so kidding! Mostly.)
3. Look at them in horror over the head of your tantrumy kid and tell them that “Junior never acted this way in public before; do you have that effect on all children?” Then walk away, sadly shaking your head.
This column is about throwing away the manual, about trusting our own intuition and instincts as parents, and about honoring the huge spectrum of differences among us rather than celebrating our sameness. We are not all alike! Neither are our kids. And so many of us have become disconnected from who we are as parents and as people—it’s time to find ourselves again and stop trying to make our round families fit into neat, identical square holes.
So we’ll discuss doing things differently. We’ll talk about pressure in the media and socially to create sameness among us even when none exists. And we’ll talk about families that don’t fit the white-picket-fence two-parents-and-2.1-kids mold. Because, when you think about it, none of us really fits that anyway. We’re all unique and distinct in some way, and our parenting has the potential to reflect our unique and wonderful perspective. That is, if we have the courage to stand alone and let our voice be heard.
Comments here are ABSOLUTELY welcome. This is a place where you can sound off on how you feel, on what you do that’s different, on what you feel passionate about as a parent. This is a place to create conversation and to learn from one another. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say!
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