Over the weekend I attended a seminar with my husband on Toddler Tactics run by Pinky Mckay. I have met Pinky previously at the baby and toddler show and have a great respect for her. I read alot of books when I was pregnant, but not many since I had my boys. Many have been suggested to me, and although I have flipped through some of them I have never really found any that worked with the way I wanted to parent. Then I came across a book by Pinky called Parenting by Heart. To me it was so different to what I had come across. It was just so refreshing. The basis of the book is about trusting your maternal instincts and bonding with your baby, her approach of acknowledging that every parent and baby is different and that one size does not fit all was just what I was looking for.
I have twins so that in itself is unique. Although twins are alot more common now thanks to the wonders of science, there are not alot of experts on twins. And the approach of making what works for single babies work for twins is at times laughable. Personally I have had alot of unsoliciated advice from friends, family, strangers and “experts,” none of whom have had twins. Those first few months of having the boys home were a difficult time for me, my husband had gone back to work the day after we all come home from the hospital, I had no one to help me, I was sleep deprieved and scared. On top of all that I had everyone telling me what I should be doing instead of asking me what help I needed and supporting me. I cried, ALOT! I am not ashamed to say I ended up with post-natal depression.
I wish that I had found Pinky McKays book sooner but instead I found my own way and eventually we all settled into routine and I stood up for myself and my new family and cut people out of my life who would not support the way I was parenting. My boys are now 15 months old and thriving. Sure we have had our ups and downs and there are moments that I am at a complete loss as what to do, but I do what I can in the moment and then think of ways to avoid that tantrum in the future. It is a huge learning curve.
So when I saw Pinky McKay was having a seminar on Toddler Tactics I bought tickets straight away. Although I have the book and I have read sections of it, it was important for not just me to go, but for my husband to go to. I took pages and pages of notes and I’m sure alot of it is in the book, but note taking helps me solidify things in my mind and it is a great reference for me to look back on. My husband and I learnt alot and have been able to discuss many key points since and we have tabled a discussion for some important topics that we believe are important to discuss.
My husband is not a reader so for him to go and hear Pinky speak was important. He has a greater understanding of how we are affecting our boys and has acknowledged that there are things he needs to work on and change. It has only been a few days since we attended and we are both trying hard to implement small changes that will in the long term have a big impact.
Pinky openly admits that she is not an expert on twins and that only increases my respect for her. Too many times have I had experts tell me how to make their methods for single children work for my twins – it is actually really annoying and honestly it doesn’t work. Twins are unique and special, there is a bond that I don’t understand but it is beautiful to watch. And although Pinky’s tips are for single babies alot of what she speaks about is aimed at the way we as parents deal with and teach our children, which can be easily adapted for twins (or more).
I don’t have any concept of how much more complicated triplets, quads or more is and I don’t pretend to but I do have an enermous amount of respect for just how hard it must be for any parent going through a rough stage with their child/children. Too many times we are judged by complete strangers because our child is crying in public. I have had some awful things said to me and I have heard far worse from other mothers. I would love for all parents to respect the way other parents choose to raise their children (unless it is unlawful) but we don’t live in that type of society. Thankfully I have been able to join a group with other liked minded mums who do ‘Parent by Heart’ which has certainly helped me on my own parenting journey.