There is no real parenting manual. Even if there was, I can tell you from experience it would be wrong. As a father of 4 whose kids have a 21 year age range I have anecdotal evidence that books written about parenting in the ‘90s contradict the articles, books, and blogs of today. The word blog, for instance, wasn’t even a thing back then, it was either a mistype or a tongue slip. In any case, here we are over 20 years later and there is opinion after opinion about parenting and how parents should be. We have seen every theory from Laissez-Faire parenting to the Tiger Mom and everything in between. One thing that we are starting to see is that the act of throwing yourself thoughtlessly and wholeheartedly into your kids forsaking yourself and your well-being can be unhealthy for everyone involved. (https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-effects-of-overparenting-on-children#1)
In the USA, the average age at which women bore their first child advanced from 21.4 years old in 1970 to 26.9 in 2018. Today new parents are people that are further into their careers or jobs when they have children. These are people that have paid bills and have friends that are doing the same. They have built lives independent of the parenting lifestyle and while they are ready for kids and the eventual joys of parenthood, they are not 100% ready to give up their healthy and productive, social life... and quite frankly they shouldn’t. With people having and adopting babies at older ages perhaps we are on the precipice of a paradigm shift.
Today’s parents are more aware that they are a part of the parenting process and not just a literal vehicle shuttling kids back and forth to playdates, extracurricular activities, tutoring, et al. Parents are trying to keep their children engaged while keeping themselves engaged. Playdates have now become social events for parents. Kids sporting events have become mini get-togethers for the parents. Birthday parties are de facto parties for parents. The parents of newborns are putting together “sip n sees” with friends and family. New parents are joining baby yoga classes where one goal of the class is to connect new parents to share their concerns, fears, and funny stories. Parenting is changing.
This is a new breed and they are breaking the chains of parenthood to free themselves to not only be good parents but also well-rounded people. This is the spirit in which Cheers To You Baby! was created. It was a way to give parents an outlet to not only celebrate their newborn's milestones, achievements, and random occurrences but also to celebrate themselves as a parent and person. That First Sleep Through The Night was a tremendous accomplishment for the baby, but an even bigger one for you as it was probably the first, decent night's sleep you had in over a year. The First bit of Table Food not only represents your child is growing but is also a boon to your wallet. And that First Smile, well, that, just melts your heart.
There is no real parenting manual, and we would not even think about writing one, but we hope we have created a journal that reminds you to remember yourself from time to time.