Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Last Tuesday, I wrote a piece for Kveller about my husband's weight (read it, here).  I was promptly inundated with tweets and emails telling me what a horrible wife I was and how they expected my next piece to be about him leaving me.  (For the record, had anyone bothered to ask, my husband knew about the post before it went up and was fine with it.  He doesn't consider being heavy a personal matter out of bounds for discussion; it's a health condition like any other, one that he needs to treat better than he currently does.)

But, within 24 hours of being informed that my marriage was doomed, Kveller's server was crashed by another piece of news, my fellow contributor, Mayim Bialik, announcing her divorce from her own husband.

In that announcement, Mayim stressed that their attachment parenting - co-sleeping, extended breast-feeding, baby-wearing, elimination communication instead of traditional toilet training, etc... - had no bearing on the couple's decision.

To tell the truth, I have absolutely no idea if it did or it didn't (it's also none of my business).  But, it did remind me that I too practice an unconventional form of child raising, one that's pretty much the opposite of attachment parenting.

And I think it really deserves to catch on (where's my TIME Magazine cover?).

I call it Occam's Mother.

Occam's Razor is a scientific heuristic that, simply put, states the easiest solution to a problem is, more often than not, the right one.

I am Occam’s Mother. I believe that the easiest thing for me to do, vis-à-vis my kids, is, more often than not, the right thing. 

For instance: My husband and I are as different as can be when it comes to sleep and waking cycles. I am pretty much useless past 10 p.m., but have no problem waking up at 6, 5, even 4 in the morning, and leaping straight into my day. My husband rarely hits the sack before 2 a.m., and, if he had his way, would sleep in until noon seven days a week.

So when all three of our children were infants, we had a schedule. He’d bring me the baby into bed for midnight and 2 a.m. feedings while taking care of the diaper changes and anything else, and I’d get up with them at 4 and 6 (and the rest of the day). As they got a little older and could sleep for longer stretches of time, he’d stay up with our kids until midnight, giving them a pumped bottle of breast-milk before putting them to bed, and I’d wake up with them in the morning, no matter how early that happened to be. Some days, our kids might sleep as late as 8 a.m. (which was particularly helpful with the younger ones, as it gave me a chance to get their siblings up, fed, and dressed for school without interruption.)

Our friends who had children the same age would complain about how theirs woke up at 5 a.m. every morning.

“Well, what time do you put them to bed?” we’d ask.

“7 p.m.”

“Why 7 p.m.?”

“That’s when you’re supposed to do it.”

Maybe. (I’ll be honest, I never read a page of Dr. Spock, so I don’t know.) But, 7 pm.m didn’t work for us as a family. Midnight did.

It was simpler for the parents, so it was right for the kids. (For the record, they are now 12, 8, and 5, and have no problem going to bed and getting up on time. We did not alter their body clocks for all eternity.)

Read the entire manifesto at:

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