There are tons of books, resources, classes, friends, family, and internet searching that my husband and I turned to when we knew we were expecting our first child. We prepared ourselves by taking childbirth and breastfeeding classes, getting things together for his room, buying clothes, diapers, wipes, and dreaming about what was to come. I think these things only gave us a small glimpse into what parenthood would really be like. Both of us forgot nearly everything from the classes we took, Googled for answers desperately at 3AM, and had to just make things work somehow. Those first few weeks were some of the hardest days in my entire life. I knew raising a child would be difficult, but I felt like I was thrown into the fire with an inadequate amount of training and knowledge to equip me for this very important job. I can only imagine all the challenges and joys ahead as he grows up.
I’m giving you this glimpse into my private life to let you know I get it. Even though my son is only two and a half months old, I empathize that every day can be a challenge and you just want to give up sometimes. My sincerest admiration goes out to single parents who raise children without support from a partner, family, or close friends. I can’t imagine trying to do this by myself. Kudos to you all and I send you a virtual hug!
This post’s other (and main) purpose is also to tell you there is no one way to parent. There is no book that has all the answers you’re looking for; hence the reason I titled this post, “The Imaginary Manual”. Everyone will have their opinions and advice and the best thing you can do is take it all in and pick what really works for you and your family. If you find you are still struggling, you can always check in with your child’s pediatrician or get a parent coach or family therapist to help.
My passion is working with families who are struggling and helping them get along better, fight less, function more effectively, and enjoy each other more. If you find your family is going through a rough patch, I urge you to contact me and we can work together to get your family back on track. I will work with you and your children to create your own customized “Parenting 101” manual that makes sense for everyone in your family. I want to encourage you that you do not have to go through this adventure unsupported. It’s a tough job, but you can do it!