The Best Parenting Style for Your Family

I’m so happy to have a guest post from my good friend and doula Talitha Phillips today. She’s worked with Aden in the past and her and I have had many discussions about how Adam and I want to parent. Her perspective is amazing, so I’ve enlisted her to give you guys some food for thought and explain a little about how we choose to parent. Hope you love, and can connect, with this post. 

Let’s face it, or publicly admit it, parenting is hard.  It’s also beautiful and wonderful, but wouldn’t it be nice if each little bundle of joy came with a perfectly designed instruction manual?  Not to mention if the demands of the world (families, siblings, spouses, jobs) could silence long enough for us to master this new addition.

For the past fifteen years, I’ve had the privilege of working with families during this sweet and often challenging time. One of the greatest things I’ve learned as a doula and as a mommy is to stop focusing on the answers (especially since often there are none) and to start asking questions that can help us embrace and enjoy the journey.  It’s scary to feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, but by not having set guidelines, there is a beautiful opportunity in motherhood – we get to be a part of creating homes and families that reflect our values and fit within our lifestyles.

Tamera Mowry Family

As Tamera recently prepared to return to work, we had many heartfelt conversations.  We’re both wives, moms of multiple children, have incredibly busy and demanding work schedules, and want the best for our families.  Yet there’s something about being a mom in our culture that tries to label us.

We hear: “Are you a traditional or an attachment parent?” “Do you breast or bottle feed?”  “Do you work or stay home?”  “Do you let your baby cry it out or not?”  Instead of being simple and maybe even silly questions, we’ve allowed these questions to define us. Furthermore, we translate the questions into, “Do you love your baby?” “Are you a good mom?” Or my favorite, “How screwed up will your kid be?”

This video illustrates it so perfectly: 

As parents we have one important thing in common–to love and protect these little ones that have been entrusted in our care. Instead of focusing on the potentially divisive approaches to parenting, I help create what’s best for the family. We talk about priorities, lifestyles, and goals.  One of my favorite questions is, “Do you need the baby to fit into your world, or are you comfortable letting the baby set the schedule?”  There are no right or wrong answers; it’s about navigating through the process and then making adjustments.

As I’ve watched Tamera embrace motherhood, I’ve seen her and Adam work as a team to create a parenting style that upholds their values and makes their life manageable. This includes sleep and feeding schedules, and everyone sleeps in their own beds; it means less baby sitters; it involves discipline and potty training and, at times, battles over toddler meals and tantrums. It also includes laughter, snuggles, bedtime stories, kisses, playtime, and date nights.

How we choose to parent is simply our unique way of expressing love for our children. We will make mistakes, but we’ve been given these children to love and nurture and we need each other’s support. Today, when we encounter another mom or dad, let’s not critique or label.  Let’s instead appreciate the ways they are caring for their little ones and tell them they’re doing a good job.  You never know, it just may be the very thing that encourages them to do it all over again tomorrow.

-Talitha

PHOTO: KATEE GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Raynisia Nagel

    Love this post! So encouraging! It’s scary starting this parenting process and not knowing what to do! Thank you for sharing! :)

  • Priscilla Barnes

    How beautiful having kids it’s my husband and I have a 2 year old daughter and we expecting a son I will give birth on Christmas ?day she I am kind of scared have two kids under 3 year old in the house but my husband and I do the best we can to raise are daughter and now our son we always getting all kind of questions about how we parent my husband and I come from great families with awesome parents

  • I love this and couldn’t agree more. it’s difficult enough being a new mom… Dealing with parenting trolls on top of that is too much. My mama tribe calls supports and after sharing what we personally do we always end with “hashtag survival” because that’s exactly what it is and why you can’t judge … Ever. Xo thanks for sharing this.

  • connie

    Being a parent a very rewarding journey. But when have a child born with diseaseof cystic fybrosis it really becomes a,challenge. Your getting so many dofferant ways on how to give cares. I’ve educated myself and have been tahgh by the best Drs. In the country. I love my daughter with all my heart. I told she would live till only the age on 10. Only god can choose when he ready to take home. She now grown and healthy and beautiful at the afe of 29. God is awesome he is ny hero. On showing the knowledge to never give up.

    • grace

      Im inspired! Well done!

  • Nice video! I just had a baby boy. My husband and I are definitely going to do what’s best for him and our family. Oh, and that’s a very sweet family pic Tamera! Love your braids!!

  • Timil Jones

    I love this post. I have 3 littles. 7,5, and 3-all boys. Navigating business and loving on them is so challenging. I used to compare my self to other moms, I even compared my boys to other kids sometimes. There is so much peace to realizing and honoring your uniqueness in all things.

  • Natacha Lee

    I have 2 boys will have a 3rd boy in December. It’s hard and I try my best to learn as I go. Each of my kids have their own personality and what worked for one does not work for the other. I love this and couldn’t agree more, with so many labels out there it’s kind of hard to know if you are been a good parent. Thank you for posting this.

  • Kelly Anne Qualters

    Do you have any suggestions on being a mom of a child with Autism? I have 3 grown children and my 7 year old was just diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome… And I’m lost on how to deal with him… You can’t deal with him like a normal child as he reacts differently to things and I’m confused as to is there a right or wrong way to parent a special needs child?

    • Cee Ivy

      I have a 20 year old with Asperger’s while it was a difficult journey we made it through the storm Please join a support group I was a little Leary at first but I got SO much information from parents who were familiar with early intervention. Little things like changing his diet can make a big difference I do treat h like a normal child because I’m my eyes he is normal he just learns and sees things differently but I also recognize he has some limitations my son can function while I am at work I always though it would be a disservice to him if I didn’t teach him how to be a little independent because I will not live forever I will not lie there were times I did cry and wonder why my child make sure you make a minute for yourself to regroup even if it’s an hour for a pedicure to unwind it may sound small but it will help your spirit

  • Kwajalein M Bundrage Johnson

    I love this!

  • Just beautiful family <3!

  • ceola

    congrat on your new baby girl, your family is beautiful god blessing

  • Siza

    She just stole the show hands down Oh my word speechless what a beautiful familly.After reading the doulas message i get why Tamera and husband look amazing guys you look awesome whatever youre doing as familly its working we are all a working progress well done Adam and Tamera.

  • Keyia

    My husband and I just had a baby boy and I truly needed the encouragement. Thank you!

  • LovingLife

    I’m dealing with this as well, I have to learn patience with my child and also educate myself on how to cure his Sickle Cell anemia.
    If you can support a struggling mother I’d really appreciate it

    gofundme.com/JoshuaSCT