Mommy Time Monday: Instinctive Parenting

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Dump that parenting book on your night table! It just may be driving you and your kids batty. Perhaps it's time to trust our guts and stop second-guessing ourselves. At least that's what Ada Calhoun, author ofInstinctive Parenting, thinks. Mommy Time Monday is spent catching up with Ada and taking on the topic of type-A parents.

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Ada was my editor when wrote for Babble.com (a slightly snarky site for parents that find the levity in the parenting situation). When I learned Ada had a new book out, I quickly added it to my "must read" list. Anything from Ada was sure to have a bit of Babble's take-no-prisoners tone. And sure enough, this book is big on opinions.

Ada cleared exposes the camp she is in (working, breastfeeding, minimal baby gear, TV), while doing a pretty good job of not ruffling the maternal feathers of those of us who may not be in the same camp (sorry Ada we do have a pricey stroller and we don't think TV is a good idea). She does a wonderful job of letting us into her little corner (and I do mean little--she packs three people into 500 s.f.) of the parenting universe.

The best part of the book? The complete lack of parenting advice. Amen. We've have enough good information already. Instead the gifted mom gives us personal essays on why she made the choices she made and how she lives her life. She believes the best choices come "organically."

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Thank you Ada for your honesty. At times, I admit to getting defensive to portions of the book (yes, I am guilty of being an "amped-up" nester). But then I took a step back. Ada wasn't telling me was wrong, she was simply saying the only "right" way to do things is the way that feels best.

After finishing the book, I reached out to Ada with my questions:

Are you still with Babble?
No. I left in August 2009 and spent the fall and winter writing a book with Tim Gunn, which was pure heaven. Every time I went to his house, he baked me cookies!

Are you still in 500 s.f.?
Yes, but we got my son a loft bed at Ikea, so now his room at least feels a little less crowded!

You seemed ahem, opinionated about the pricey strollers, yet Babble did feature plenty of pricey rides. How did you justify your position? I think if it's fun for someone to buy a $1,000 stroller and they have that much money handy, more power to them. I just think it's crazy to think you HAVE to spend that much. If I had $1,000 to burn I'd blow it on baseball tickets, heels, books, takeout, and dress-up costumes for my kid.

Where was your writing nook when banging out your chapters? I was working full-time, so I'd get home, have dinner with the family, put my son to bed and then write from 9 p.m. to midnight in bed with my laptop on my lap and CNN on in the background.

What is next on the to-do list? More books and more freelancing. Also a lot of summer playground sprinkler action.

Any advice for working moms trying to have it all?Lower your overhead as much as possible so you're not under so much pressure to make tons of money. And take any opportunity whatsoever to have fun.

In the end I think Ada is on to something when she concludes, the surest way to happiness is to let go of a rigid view of "how your life is supposed to be." You won't find any revelations, but you may find a renewed faith in your own abilities. Buy Instinctive Parenting on Amazon.com $15.64.


Momtrends was not paid for this post. A copy was sent to facilitate the review. 

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