Compared to most people, I feel driven to follow rules, guidelines, and occasionally speed limits. This probably comes from the fact that when I break said rules or guidelines, I get the big smackdown. Smackdowns are not so much fun, so I usually carefully consider the consequences to determine if I can live with them before I choose to color outside of the lines.
So imagine my surprise when I find myself flipping child rearing books the bird. Repeatedly. And it feels great.
After going through everything we did to get baby E, I found I had little desire to read what would come after we safely brought him into this world. I didn't want to jinx anything so I limited preparation to basic things such as bathing, diapering, and breast-feeding. Yep, the girl who obsessively played doctor google with every aspect of hormone levels, aspiration techniques, and drug side effects while conceiving, didn't read jack about sleep training, attachment parenting, or some dude named Ferber.
Of course over the years I have observed the granola, don't shave my legs, sling mamas as well as the starched, life runs from my blackberry, and my child naps at exactly one o'clock types. What's great is that each one makes it work for them. What works for me is not being held hostage by some book that tells me that picking up my child when he is crying is going to scar him for life or conversely that by allowing him to sleep in a crib will create devastating attachment issues.
Another aspect that plays into this for me is that I have the luxury of not working full time and instead work part time teaching online university classes from home. So because of this, I don't have the need to create the most rigid schedule because it doesn't matter if I'm up from 10 pm to 2 am because I can sleep in shifts from 2 to 10 am. Then, I can fit in my work whenever time allows. Likewise, if I want to let my son sleep in my bed when he's wanting to be with me and sleep in his bassinet when he doesn't care either way - SO BE IT!
I'm not silly enough to figure that I won't be turning to advice from the experts at some point in my future, but the point is that I don't have to. I don't have to lock myself into some prevailing philosophy just for the sake of it. I get to be a mom and decide what is best for my beautiful kiddo.