• Three Books I wish I had Read Before My Baby was Born

    One thing I wish I had spent more time doing is preparing for parenting.  I was so consumed with trying to create my family that I didn’t spend a lot of time learning about how to parent the baby.  I will say, I did read a lot about sleep as that was the most concerning part about becoming a parent for me.  I need 8 hours and really do my best at 9 hours of sleep.  How was I going to manage all the night feedings?  (Even with all the reading I wound up hiring a sleep coach, best money I ever spent!!!).  I highly recommend working with sleepwiseconsulting.com.  Owner, Katie Pitts shared with me recently that “no matter how they become a mom, baby sleep problems lead to post-partum depression, weight gain, and lack of intimacy between parents.”  Keep her website some place that you’ll remember so you can find it when you need it!

    Once you’re a mom, it’s hard to find the time and energy to read about child rearing.  That’s why during the wait it’s better.  I know it can be hard as you don’t know if the day will ever come, but if you can suspend that belief and start to learn some techniques ahead of time I believe you will feel more confident in your parenting choices in the long run.  I read the following (well, one I haven’t yet finished) after I was parenting.  (If you decide to read these once you are parenting I would recommend using audible.com.  Let someone read the books aloud to you, while you do the dishes at the end of the day.)

    For those of you who are already working with me, you already know that I talk a lot about mindfulness, minimalism and compassion, and the following books really support these values.  I realize that each mother is going to find her own way, but I really find these books to be wonderful guidelines for me to follow.  At the end of the day I really do my own thing with my daughter because she doesn’t fit perfectly into any book.  For example, I had to get really creative with her around potty learning, as she wasn’t about to follow the rules I was learning from the book I read and liked the most Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki.  

    The first book I recommend is, Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard and her daughter Lynn Lillard Jensen.  This is an excellent book to understand ways that you can help your baby learn about their world in their own way.  I attended Montessori for preschool in the 70’s and I remember loving it so I looked for books that supported this way of learning for my daughter too.  By reading this book I got a head start on some of the ways that a Montessori teacher prepares his/her classroom for a love of learning by starting at home._  

    The Second Book is called, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting By Janet Landsbury (for those of you who are already parenting toddlers, check out No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by the same author).  The book is based on the work of Magda Gerber called RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) and compliments Montessori philosophy beautifully.  The book focuses on respectful parenting and encourages you to see your child as a unique capable human being with a built in ability to learn.   

    The final book is The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children by Shefali Tsabary, PhD.** I just started to read it.  This book came highly recommended from a friend and I did hear the author interviewed on Super Soul Sunday.  Tsabary was deeply influenced by Eckhart Tolle and I am a big fan of his.  One idea she mentions in her interview is that a conscious parent recognizes that the child we call forth into our lives is here to show us where she/he has yet to grow.  I will be curious how this relates to the first two books I mentioned.   Enjoy your summer reading!