"I didn't write a parenting book," says actress Mayim Bialik, best known for her roles in Beaches, Blossom, and The Big Bang Theory—and now author of Beyond the Sling. "It's not about how I think you should raise your kids," she says, "it's more a memoir of a couple years in the life of a family who is trying to live in a certain way." That way is the attachment parenting way, which starts with natural birth and includes baby-wearing, co-sleeping, and, in Bialik's case, a diaper-free and home-schooling household. This mom to Miles (born 2005) and Frederick (born 2008) shares what attachment parenting looks like in the Baby Zone.
What's your golden rule of parenting?
Every voice matters. Also, we have a sign up in the living room that says, "People before things." I believe in that.
Describe the best moment of parenting so far.
There are a lot of lovey-dovey ones. But one time, when we had to buy a new car, my husband and I were talking about what options were available. Our older son, who's 6 1/2, was the peanut gallery. He wasn't what we call "being prickly" about it, he was just giving his opinion.
I don't remember having an opinion about anything my parents did. But he believed his voice mattered enough that he told us.
I said to my husband, he has no clue that what he's saying doesn't matter. (Buying a car is a parental decision!) It was so sweet, he went on and on about the color, wanting a sports car. It's such a small thing, but it felt good—it felt like I did one thing right.
And the worst?
The worst moments are when I have no patience, when I'm "running on fumes" as they say in La Leche League meetings. And what that looks like is that I take my anger and frustration out on little people who can't defend themselves, with a loud voice and angry words.
I've seen my kids do the same things other times and I've reacted totally differently, so I know it's about my resources and my tolerance and my patience. This style of parenting is a lot about looking in the mirror.
Best advice you ever got?
Throw away all the parenting books!
What's the one thing you can't live without?
I like to say that if dark chocolate and wine were outlawed, I wouldn't have had a second child. Not because that's how I got pregnant—it's just how you get through it all.
Finish this sentence: You know you're in the Baby Zone when...
... you're at a business meeting and you reach into your purse and pull out a miniature Curious George. I'm always finding random toys and underwear in my purse—clean underwear, I should say!