Experts Say Moms Are Losers So Why Do We Keep Listening?

Say What!? 6

baby books badWell that explains a lot. Whether moms have been swallowing handfuls of "little helpers" or getting crazy in the comments section of parenting sites, it all comes down to the fact that we've been getting brow-beaten over our parenting methods since the first advice book came off the press.

What all of the parenting guides have in common -- from 1945's hyper-disciplined approach of Frederick Truby King to Penelope Leach and back again to the camp that favors routine -- is that they are all designed to make moms feel bad. Or as the researcher explained, the tone of all of these books, regardless of philosophy, is authoritative. Not only authoritative, but the implication is that if moms do not follow the directions between the pages perfectly, there will be extreme consequences.

How is it that something designed to help new moms has actually been hurting us?

I picked up What to Expect When You're Expecting as well as Dr. Sears' family of books when I was up the duff, and there were pros and cons of both sets of books. Sometimes I walked away feeling like a total failure for only being able to eat at KFC so I wouldn't hurl, and therefore not following the perfect pregnancy diet. Other times I found relief in the fact that pregnancy-related panic attacks were a "thing" rather than me just being straight-up crazy.

There is no shortage of anxiety in any circle of moms. Every week I second-guess my child-rearing techniques. It gets to the point that when someone does offer advice, I just assume it's hostile and I have to fire back by dong the exact opposite. Healthy? Hardly.

And as much as I say (and try to do) the whole "instinctive parenting" thing, I can't always make it work. By which I mean going with my gut instead of following a rule book. Because sometimes a simple trick from a parenting book can mean the difference between a peaceful resolution over naptime versus a full-on screaming fit.

So again, what are moms to do? Ignore the books? Not educate ourselves at the risk of being made to feel bad? Or maybe it's not really every mom's responsibility here, just the authors who are doing the telling. Lighten up, parenting writers! We're all doing okay. Well, except for that bong-smoking baby mama.

Do you feel bad after reading parenting books?

Image via aroid/Flickr

baby health, baby development, childcare


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paren... parentalrights1

No. The parenting books are nothing compared to the women who are desperate to feel like great mothers so they attack anyone who does something they don't agree with.

carso... carsonsmommytam

Nope! Sure don't. You can't feel if you did the beat you could with the information you had. Now, if you were given solid info/proof of 'whats best' and ignored it for whatever personal hang up, then writhe in guilt! ;0)

kebates kebates

I read books (I'm due in May) about things I should be doing now, and things I will need to do when Baby gets here, but I try to take them with a grain of salt, and know that if I don't do something exactly the way they say, my baby will not spontaneously combust.  Like the breastfeeding book I got was very informative, but made it sound like if I ended up getting an epidural, my baby would never be able to breastfeed right away because the meds have an effect on the baby, and that every mom should breastfeed immediately after birth or the world may end.  Well, if I do get medication, I will still try, and I know that my baby will eat when he is ready. 

Kritika Kritika

And then there are some women that read TOO much crap i.e. the chick on mommyish regretting brushing her kid's teeth with organic, non-flouride toothpaste and the kid ending up with 5 cavities - she ignored all MEDICAL advice from her dentist and chose stupid natural parenting books instead. Just listen to your doctors and your instincts.

Melis... Melissa042807

The best parenting advice I ever got was from my mom: "Your kids are individuals - parent them accordingly." So when I read a parenting book or article, I always keep in perspective that the person writing it, even if they're an "expert", has never spent one second in the presence of my child and doesn't know my child like I do. There is no be-all-end-all answer to be found in the pages of a book written by someone who has never met me or my kid. Maybe I'll find something that helps us with a situation or a behavior, but then, I was looking for it in the first place!

There's a relative somewhere on my mother-in-law's side of the family who is a child psychiatrist, and who I have never met. Never even laid eyes on. When another relative mentioned that we had our kiddo on a schedule, Dr. Psychiatrist said "Ooooooh, we tell parents not to do that" and of course it got repeated to my mother-in-law who repeated it to me. I told her "Has that person ever met me or my son? Nope. And my kid is healthy and thriving and every single time we see the pediatrician she tells me I'm doing something right because my son is so happy. So forgive me if I don't put a lot of stock in the opinion of a person who I've never even met." :-P

NewMo... NewMomma.S

kebates I tried for a home birth but ended up having to have a PIT and epidural. I was very afraid my baby would have a hard time nursing but she did great right away. Stick with it and dont let them talk you into formula. There is very rarely a reason to supplement.

The hospital made me feel more bad than the books. But I stuck to my guns about my nursing, no Vit K shot and other issues and low and behold I have a perfectly healthy, fat, happy baby. I went with my instincts and they served me well.

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