you oughta knowI go back and forth with parenting newsletters that are e-mailed to me. I either love and hang on to every word or glance at their headlines and delete them in a huff. As diverse and quirky and original as our kids are – well so are we, the parents. Odds are that how I decide to act or react in a situation may not be how you do it. Odds are that our kids don’t behave the same way when they are over-tired. The one-size fits all shirts NEVER fit me so it is amusing that I sometimes find myself trying to make one-size-fits all parenting work.

There are, of course, some instances (many) where the overlap is obvious. As parents we all want our kids to eat a nutritious meal. We want them to sleep well. And I’m pretty sure we are all in agreement that we’d rather not have certain things smeared on the walls.

When I wrote about chivalry it was interesting to see how and when some of us are approaching manners. I think our end goals are all the same – to have kind and thoughtful children that grow up into kind and thoughtful adults but our approaches are different.

Approach is different with nutritious meals as well. There are some families that are getting veggies and fruits and whole grains into their kids by putting them into baked goods. And then there are some families that don’t want to “hide” these foods.

The parenting newsletters are good in that they highlight some of these “and here is how some families are doing it” topics. Then there are areas where they have really let me down.

This Wasn’t In The Newsletter

• Three months after you give birth you will not look like the celebrity that also gave birth three months ago. You may never look like her. This is ok. The magazines will ALWAYS want to show you how great {celebrity} looks in a bikini X weeks after giving birth and you have my permission to always doodle away on the photo.

• Milestones are not an exact science. Your baby is X weeks and the newsletter says he should be able to be doing X already. Maybe. There is wiggle room here. Your doctor will always have the more accurate milestone checklist for you over a newsletter.

• Anything in a newsletter that begins with, “It’s time to start…” you can skim.

• There will not be anything in the newsletters about raisin poop. Sorry. There just won’t be. But you need to know.

• There will not be anything in the newsletters about toddler feet stink. There should have been. I had no warning.

• There is nothing in these newsletters about dealing with comments from other parents about the size or appearance of your child. (“WOW! Big guy!” or “He’s so tiny. Does he eat?” or “Do you curl her hair?”)

• Obviously nothing in these letters about how to talk to doctors and teachers about donor sperm. I always thought it wouldn’t be an issue until I got asked at a doctor’s appointment about my son’s father and I wasn’t ready. I should have been.

• There will be a moment where every parenting newsletter is quite certain that it is TIME for you to have another baby. And from that point on there will be at least one article in every newsletter about how to plan for baby #2, how to tell your toddler about baby #2, how to design a room for baby #2 or how to arrange for childcare while you are birthing baby #2. Brace yourself. It will happen.

• Also no mention that your sweet little baby boy will get erections. Regularly. WELL before puberty. (via @simplyaimeeb)

• There will be no mention about the acrobatics and adventures involved in trying to floss a five-year old’s teeth. (via @LauraVandeputte)

• I have yet to see an article about what to do when your toddler suddenly, and without warning, begins to hate Adam Sandler.

• I would love to see a series of articles on negotiating with toddlers. I am seriously failing battles involving the number of toys/objects that can be dragged into the bath, the number of times we HAVE to read Olivia each night, the supreme need to have the blue hotwheel at the grocery NOT THE ORANGE ONE.

• And wouldn’t it be great to read articles about backup plans? I’d love to know what parents do that can’t get to school in time to pick up their kids. (for example…)

• What is the deal with destruction and rage? Please someone tell me!

What do you feel is missing from these parenting newsletters?

What subjects make you cringe and what topics do you wish were covered more?

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