I have never gotten so much advice as I did when I got pregnant with my first child. My mom had lots to say, as did my grandmother, and my closest friends. I expected that. I didn’t expect it from the lady in the grocery store checkout line at 5 am when I craved sauerkraut on the way to work. I didn’t expect it from parents of students who had discipline, ahem, issues. The hairdresser, mailman, neighbor 5 doors down, the man walking his dog around the lake and the bank teller all gave me advice.
I decided to take a different tact. I looked to the “experts.” In addition to the “What to Expect” books, I began to compile resources. I got the tried and true Dr. Spock’s Guide and the AAP Childcare book. I read Dobson, Sears, AP International, La Leche League, Feed Me I’m Yours, and read Rosemond articles by the dozen. I got the best book I have ever come across, The Mother’s Almanac, from my mom. There were still notes in it from when she was pregnant with me.
I started to worry about school. I found What Did You Learn in School Today? and about 10 books on homeschooling. I started to find my way. I got the Baby Center weekly emails. I joined the local MOPS group. I started to make connections with moms who had similar ideas. Christian moms whom I could learn from. Believe me, I took notes. I wanted to get things right. This was the most important job I would ever do. I was worried that I wasn’t up to the task.
After all of that, what was the best advice I got?
“Listen to advice, read books, research. Pray about it. Then, at the end of the day, remember that no one knows your family like you do. No one knows your children like you do. Do what you know is right for you and your family, even if it doesn’t agree with the ‘experts’ and even if it doesn’t agree with me.”
That advice has taken me through every peak and valley and it’s the only advice I pass along to the pregnant lady in the grocery store line at 5 am.