I’m delighted to welcome Tammy Gold to Experienced Bad Mom today. Tammy is a mom and professional parenting coach who is not afraid to admit she doesn’t have all the answers. That makes her right at home on my blog and someone I could imagine being friends with in real life. Tammy has written a new book, Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer, which is chock full of helpful advice for parents hiring a nanny or babysitter. Read on to learn more about Tammy, her thoughts on being a parenting expert, and enter to win your own copy of Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer!
Experts Help Others But Not Always Themselves
People always say to me, “You are a therapist and a parenting coach, your children must be amazing! They must always listen, you must never yell and there is probably no fighting in the home.” When I hear this I quickly snap them back to reality.
Though it would be wonderful to take the credit for a perfect home and ideal children, I always believe in being brutally honest and say, “No, not perfect. I am an expert who is great at helping others, but not always myself. I make all of the same mistakes, and we have all the same problems as other families.”
In fact, I am really against what “should be done” in regards to parenting unless it pertains to emotional health. My rules are really minimal in our house. I am strict about two things only: sleep times and kindness to others. When my clients cry or get angry at themselves for so-called “bad parenting,” I tell them openly, “Listen, my 4-year-old is still in a crib, my middle daughter had her pacifier at night until she was 5 and I still cuddle my almost 10-year-old every night and sometimes it’s in front of the TV.” In fact, my house can get so chaotic at times that my oldest daughter threatens to call the licensing board to take my license away stating, “If you cannot keep our house calm, Mom, then how can you go help other parents?!”
What I tell my clients and what I aim for myself is to focus on the big stuff – “making them good, kind and empathetic people” – and letting go of all of the little stuff. If my gigantic 4-year-old wants her paci at night, or my 6-year-old dresses as if she is blind, I do not give it a second thought as long as they listen in school, are kind to others and are happy.
Parents seem to put so much pressure on the physical aspects of parenting, making sure that their child “looks good,” “runs fast” or “plays beautifully.” However, what I believe to be most important is not how they look on the outside, but how they feel on the inside.
With the Internet, there are countless “experts” everywhere telling parents they should be “doing this,” “buying that,” “wearing those” or “using these.” The amount of information can be so overwhelming and it can leave you feeling that everyone else has the key to parenting perfectly. Well, I am here to tell you that some of us experts do so only in the professional sense and that when it comes to our personal lives, we may be feeling the same overwhelming confusion or guilt.
However, if we can all focus on the collective goal to raise “happy children” and know there will be mistakes, screaming and fights along the way, we can take some of this pressure off. It’s hard to parent selflessly and devote your time to creating emotionally healthy children, and parents need to know this and give themselves tools to help the process along. If those tools are TV, iPads, babysitters, glasses of wine or pacifiers, it’s all worth it in the end if these so-called “parenting don’ts” allowed us to be the best parents we could be at that moment in time.
Tammy Gold is a mom, professional parenting coach and licensed therapist who has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America. She is the author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer: A Practical Guide for Finding and Achieving the Gold Standard of Care for Your Child.”
Many thanks to Tammy for sharing her honest, practical, and wise advice. In particular, I enjoyed her nudge to focus on the “big stuff” and let go of the little stuff. With common sense and kindness oozing from the words Tammy shared, who wouldn’t want to check out her book? In fact, you can win a copy now!
Tammy is graciously providing 1 copy of her book plus a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky Experienced Bad Mom reader. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!