Just because I write about parenting topics on Disney’s BabyZone and on my blog doesn’t mean I know better than you. It doesn’t mean I am better than you. It just means I like to write about my experiences and some people like to read them. Basically it just means I kind of have a big virtual mouth. Oh, and writing talent. Yeah, that probably supersedes my parenting expertise by a long shot.
I don’t think I do anything totally out there, but I know everyone does not parent the same way I do. Heck, I don’t always keep up the same decisions with myself (cloth diaper flunkie, anyone?). I chuckled when I saw Slate refer to celebrity mom quacks and how they are a bad influence on everyday moms. I’m a quack too… aren’t we all? Are any of us really qualified to give advice? Maybe it’s okay since I’m not really a celebrity (I’m not even considered big on Twitter). Or maybe because I don’t tend to push an agenda?
I certainly don’t agree with all of the parenting tidbits shared in celebrity parenting books. Hell, I don’t agree with everything I’ve read in a lot of parenting books, but I don’t declare them as quacks (most of the time). There are some really bad books out there just like there are some really bad advice giving friends and family. It’s a fine line when it comes to perpetuating misinformation. On the one hand I’d love to see all sorts of uninformed/misguided/whathaveyou people stop giving advice to new moms and parents who don’t know more. Yet, we have to let people make up their own minds on what advice they are going to listen too.
Confession: I read Babywise while I was pregnant with my daughter. I actually thought it made some sense at that time…. until I had an actual baby in front of me. The whole notion of forcing a schedule onto her flew out the window and seemed absurd to me. Yet, others swear by it. I would never recommend it to anyone. I’ve also read Mayim Bialik’s Beyond the Sling. I really enjoyed her book since I could relate to several aspects of her attachment parenting style. There are few things I don’t agree with and would never recommend to another mom, but I still liked reading her perspective.
(Also, the Slate article states that Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik and Jenny McCarthy don’t have medical degrees thereby not qualifying them to talk about parenting advice. Bialik at least holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Don’t get me started on McCarthy though. That’s the only one that I totally agree is quacky. Spreading misinformation in the way she has is different than talking about potty training a 6-month-old, in my opinion.)
It’s doubtful I’ll write a parenting book anytime soon (or ever). If I did, my whole secret to share would be that I have no clue what I’m doing. I just kind of make it up as I go along. Okay, maybe that’s not quite accurate either, but I’d probably be viewed as a quack by someone too.