When I was pregnant with my son, I spent a lot of time thinking about what parenting would really be like. I also spent a lot of time reading books about how to take care of a baby because I certainly didn’t know that much about babies.
I think I probably read about 2,176 tips on caring for a newborn and how to bring baby home. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I did read a lot of tips, books and advice.
It wasn’t before long that my son was born and I officially entered into motherhood. It was breathtaking, emotional, and downright scary all at the same time. I struggled for quite a bit during the initial months, adjusting to my new found role as a mother.
A huge reason I struggled…
Part of the problem was that my newborn baby wasn’t exactly by the book. I read all 2,176 tips and I probably retained about 3 of them.
Turns out, reading a book and actually applying the information in real life involves a period of growth and learning. It just takes time, right?
In the midst of my struggling, I decided to do what any hormonal post-partum woman would do, and I started calling up my mom, my friends, my husband and anyone who would listen to share my woes and sorrows of new motherhood. One night I spent nearly an hour on the phone crying the blues to a friend.
And then she shared her one piece of advice…
After carefully listening to every painstaking detail about how my baby was pooping green and crying and not breastfeeding right and milk spraying everywhere and my hair is a mess and don’t even get me started on my woman parts, she said something with the best of intentions…
“Oh honey, just throw all those parenting books away.”
I completely understood why she said that at the time. She wanted me to know that my motherly instincts were more than enough to carry me through. She wanted me to feel encouraged and hopeful as a mother. She just wanted me to take a deep breath and feel better.
Nearly two years later, I still understand why she said that. BUT I also believe that it wasn’t sound advice. Throw all the parenting books away? Heck no.
Maybe I’m the only one on the planet lacking instinctual parenting genius, but I adore parenting books. I find them incredibly helpful, useful, and creative when it comes to parenting kids. Those books that I should’ve thrown out the window, gave me the tools to help me survive the newborn phase. They are currently giving me the tools to parent through the toddler years with my sanity intact.
Perhaps better advice is to take parenting books with a grain of salt. To read them, try them, and find what works best for you. To take bits and pieces of various books and apply them to your life, creating your own unique parenting style.
Of course, we all could survive without the books. Generations before my time survived just fine without them, but they also survived without cars and electricity. And I think we can all agree that those things make our lives easier.
So if you’re with me and you’d love to read some awesome parenting books, here are 5 books that I personally just love to pieces:
Really helpful for anyone parenting during the infant or toddler stage. A no-nonsense, practical approach to parenting while still using gentle methods.
Really great read for anyone parenting a child of any age. This offers purposeful tools to use positive parenting to your advantage and help your child cope with all the ups and downs of everyday life.
Informative and useful if you are looking to understand how and why your child’s brain works the way it does. And how to use that knowledge to parent with an advantage.
Such an important and helpful read for anyone looking to help their child feel loved and bonded to the family. Also wonderful for any looking to deepen the parent-child connection.
This is not a parenting book, BUT it is a very encouraging read for mothers. I laughed, I cried and I wanted to read it all over again. A great read for anyone looking to find their purpose in motherhood.
Parenting is challenging. Parenting is hard. Books make it oh-so much better, especially for a mama like me who is only a few years into this parenting gig. I’m not ashamed to say it: I wouldn’t trade these books for the world.
Want more on parenting?
- The Parenting Differences We Should All Ignore
- 5 Sample Daily Toddler Schedules from Real Moms
- One Simple Trick to Help Your Kids Fall Asleep FAST
What’s the best or worst parenting tip you ever received? Let’s chat in the comments!
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