This will be news to some of you as I hadn’t formally announced it on my professional channels yet, but I am expecting a baby in July.

Amie McCracken

What that means for my business is maternity leave from July to September. The workaholic in me cringes at this prospect, especially because my business has been growing like mad and I don’t want to let it stagnate. On the other hand, the human-becoming-a-parent in me can’t wait for a full three months to cuddle with my little one and tackle all of the challenges coming our way. And that has gotten me thinking about parenting. So before I even become one, I want to talk about my hopes and dreams for my parenting style.

Having spent five years in Germany, my eyes were opened to new styles of parenting. Of course there are many styles and they ebb and flow through the popularity matrix all the time. I think in particular though I want to make sure of a few things.

  • I want my child to be as close to bilingual as possible (which means hiring a nanny who hopefully speaks German since I speak that language as well!).
  • My life is not ending. My child will get to ride along with me and see how his dad and I do things. Actions speak louder than words, so I want him to watch us as examples.
  • He will need a sprinkling of independence. That means I won’t be holding his hand through everything.

When it comes to the language I know that it will take some work since my husband and I speak the same language. I envy mixed-language families for this benefit. There are studies that show multiple languages enhance the brain, and I have seen in person how well people get along when they are capable of speaking more than one language.

I want to make an effort to keep my identity. I will be a mother, but I will also continue to be so many other things. That includes staying an editor and developing my business and hopefully watching it grow alongside my real-life monster (sometimes we call him the Loch Ness Monster because of the ripples he makes across my baby bump).

And for his independence, I’d like to adopt portions of the styles of parenting I witnessed in Europe. Things like allowing my child to find his own way in his own neighborhood—though this will be difficult in America as you can be arrested for things like this; teaching him that sometimes adults need adult time so he will have to entertain himself; and letting him explore the world even though he might get hurt (stupid American playgrounds are so safe they aren’t even fun anymore, thank you sue-happy country). I think it will be great to create my own mixture; I certainly don’t follow any other conventions in life so why would I suddenly start following one format of child rearing? But here are some great articles and a book on European children and some of the concepts I am considering:

How to Parent Like a German

The Case for Free-Range Parenting

Bringing Up Bebe

So keep an eye out for yet more opinionated posts from me as well as an announcement that my tiny, rambunctious one has arrived.