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To Belize and Back: How Far One Mother Went to Help Her Child

If anyone had told me when my daughter was born that one day I'd take her to a shaman for healing, I would have laughed.

Me? Ha! Never. But soon after she turned 3, I found myself carrying her into a Mayan healer's cabin in Belize. I tell the story in "The Possibility of Everything," a book that recounts a very shaky time in our family.

My husband was working 90-hour weeks, which put a terrible strain on our marriage; my writing career was unraveling as I struggled to be a de facto single parent; and I was consumed with self-doubt as a mother without a mother or older sister to help me navigate early parenthood.

Even though I live in funky Topanga Canyon, Calif., where lots of moms give birth at home and use homeopathy and herbs to treat illnesses, I'd chosen to parent by the books. Authors T. Berry Brazelton and Penelope Leach became my parenting gurus. Our pediatrician was a mom and I treated her recommendations as law. The responsibility of parenthood awed me, and consulting the experts at every juncture helped me feel knowledgeable and competent. Following their clearly prescribed instructions gave me the safety I craved.

Read the rest on ParentDish.

Thanks to Gina Misiroglu of Red Room, who put me in touch with the Parent Dish/AOL people. It's just one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.