Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We need a place where sanity happens

I've been thinking. That fact, in and of itself, should not surprise anyone who knows me even at all. However, I've been doing more than just thinking. I've been stewing.

My husband and I have had 4 children in 8 years, including twins. We're expecting #5 (through the gift of adoption). We also have 2 dogs. One's mine and one's my husband's. Which do you think actually behaves?

Now, in 8 years, you'd think that this whole business of parenting, especially from the perspective of someone who's done it on an all-day, every-day basis for the better part of 3000 DAYS would get easier.

Sadly, this is not the case.

Every month, there's a new parenting expert on The Today Show. Every week, there's a new book on the shelf informing me that the tactic I've been using to keep my kids from yelling at me over the past four months is wrong (no wonder it didn't work). Every day there's a new parenting product available, and many times it takes me at least fifteen minutes to figure out what the hell it does or how it even got to market (think helmets for new walkers. Dear God in heaven, what is happening?).

And let us not forget that the Dog Trainer to the Stars changes every 15 minutes as well. For months, I lived on the Dog Whisperer's every word. Now, Tamar Gellar is the trainer extraordinaire, and many of her approaches are in direct opposition to Cesar Milan's, and I'm too exhausted by all the research to be comfortable that either's approach will get my (husband's) dog to stop pooping all over the house.

Now, there is a lot of very good information out there. There are a lot of very sound approaches. However, as a mother of four (soon to be five), I simply do not have the time to sort through all the CRAP that exists in parallel to all the good stuff in an effort to differentiate between content and products that will actually enhance my life (and /or those of my children) or waste an hour here and twenty dollars there trying to convince me that a particular product, idea, or expert will save my sanity.

And which moms have the least amount of time to sift through the masses of information? Mothers of multiples. I should know. I am one. We're too busy pulling kids off of chandeliers and toys out of toilets to sift through even the garbage in search of our missing cell phone.

What we need a filter; someone with some level of credibility to say, "This is what you need. Read this, buy this, do this." We would no longer worry that we were wasting our time reading this article or buying this magazine or listening to this audio program that proposed solutions that would simply not work or that we had no idea how to implement.

It's time that someone stepped up and offered to be that filter. And because I have very little else to do (hear the sarcasm), and more importantly because I don't want any other poor mother of multiples to experience the insanity I've endured all these years, I'm thinking of becoming a filter.

I'm thinking of creating an online magazine devoted to all the frazzled moms of multiples out there who want a place just for them. A place where all of the content has been filtered by someone who knows what works and what doesn't. Where everything there has been designated "top notch." Where there are discussion rooms wherein moms of multiples can get friendly, positive advice on how to handle tantrums times two in aisle nine or potty training times four. Where moms of multiples are given not only permission to be more than a mom, but the tools to become that person. A site through which moms actually gain time each day to spend with their children --- a time during which they won't be drawing on walls in permanent marker while she struggles to get the laundry folded so they have something to wear the next day.

What do you think of this idea? Do you think such a site would be valuable?