Enough With The Parenting Books Already!

Enough with parenting books!

I have had enough! Let’s get rid of these parenting books which tell us how to carry, sleep, feed and play with our babies. How many of you have read one of these books just to feel down on the way you are raising your children?

I was a new mommy and was recommended a sleep training book (I won’t say names). I started to read about how a baby shouldn’t depend on soothing noises, comforts of their mother, or milk… at this point I was bed sharing with my little guy just to survive night time wake ups. It told me that I needed to train my child to be independent, to learn to fall asleep on his own, and for him to figure out that mommy would not come running at every cry. How sad is that? I felt like a horrible mom! I felt like I was teaching my baby to be too needy and depended on his mom and dad. I admit that I even tried to sleep train at 8 months and sat in the hall way crying. I spent many hours over those months rocking him and snuggling him just to get him to close his eyes. We had a good routine and even though it was a lot of work, I look back now 4 years later and don’t regret any of that time! Of course my second child was an amazing sleeper, she would lay down and be sound asleep within minutes, so I guess the book was meant for her…

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I read a parenting book once that told me my child should be trained in first time obedience. That I needed to run my home as if we were in the military. When I ask for something to be done they need to obey immediately. While this would make parenting much easier (not having to ask so many times), I also realize that if my husband treated me this way I would feel very low and discouraged. While I didn’t want to encourage this super strict behavior in my family, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated when my toddlers wouldn’t respond instantly and give me their full intention. I expected much more than they were capable of at their very young age. I believe that a child needs boundaries and rules, they need to practice respect and being a positive part of a community, but they also need grace and forgiveness.

I wish we practiced what our grandmothers did and follow the advice of the experienced women around us and the mothers that came before us. It amazes me the wisdom that can be found by sitting listening to women who have been there decades previous. Let’s follow our instincts and raise each child the way we believe is natural and instinctual.

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There are many more examples but I would prefer to focus on the good and not the bad. This is where Sarah Mae comes in. This is one of the only books on parenting that I recommend. Her blog and book have changed the way I parent! Her style of loving her children has been such an encouragement. Each paragraph I read would make me more and more excited to be close to my babies. She talks of grace and love and beautiful things.

I went upstairs and looked at my sweet little one, who is now four, curled up under her covers peacefully. I said, “Do you need me?” She nodded. I knelt down, crawled into bed with her, and snuggled up close. “Lullaby, and goodnight…” I softly began to sing. I rubbed her head and  nuzzled my nose into her hair, and felt the delicateness of her soft skin. She lay there precious and still, with heavy eyelids, and I kissed her head and thought, “How many times have I rushed bedtime? How many moments like this have I lost?” –Sarah Mae, Maybe Your Two Year Old Just Needs You

If you are looking for some light and joy in your parenting journey I suggest reading what Sarah has to say. I promise it will give hope and encouragement in times of need.

-Amanda

Birth Doula and Mother Of Two

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