Since before my daughter, Zoey, was born, I have been reading parenting books and magazines pretty much nonstop in an effort to educate myself so that I could be the best mom possible. I want to learn every technique out there for redirection and how to deal with tantrums. I want to have the answers before the problems present themselves, which, I would venture to guess, is what most parents want. But most of all, I want Zoey to look back on her childhood with fondness and remember my patience, humor and comfort.
So I read all of THE BOOKS, that pit of information that a lot of new parents fall into and end up relying on too heavily. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen into the pit, but I take what I read with a grain of salt because not every child is the same. I know that. You know that. But a lot of THE BOOKS don’t seem to grasp that. The ones that do, though, are the ones that stand out and end up being put in my keeper pile.
ParentWise: The Emotional Challenges of Family Life and How to Deal with Them, by Loren Buckner (LCSW) takes this a step further. The first couple chapters of her awesome book talk about how every childhood is different and those experiences could end up forming who we are as parents—whether we realize it or not. So, before you attempt to figure out how to parent your baby, maybe you should take a look at your own childhood and figure out what lessons there are to learn from it. Did your parents always fight in front of you? Did you always feel the need to be the best at something to make your parents proud? All of that could go into how you parent your children—and that is what had me turning page after page of her book.
I’ll be honest, I couldn’t put this one down. I didn’t have an unhappy childhood, but there were some things in the first few chapters of the book that really struck a chord with me and made me realize maybe my goal of trying to be a perfect mom isn’t what I should be focusing on.
I get frustrated, I get grouchy—and this book tells me that those feelings are not only okay, they’re normal because, just like my child, I’m human. All I should do, according to this book, is figure out the root of my feeling and whether or not there might be something subconscious hiding underneath it. And recognizing that, understanding that and learning from that could make me a better parent to my daughter. Is that what I want? Absolutely.
It’s my opinion that this book should be given to every expectant parent by their doctor, OBGYN, mentor or whatever. EVERYONE should read this book before having a child. Seriously. No one can prepare you for the multitude of emotions you will go through when you are trying to raise a child. Love, happiness, fear, anger, frustration. They’re all going to be there. And ParentWise makes it clear that it’s okay to feel all of those things, but it’s what you do with those feelings—and what really led you to have those feelings (because it might be something further back in your mind than you think)—that matters the most.
I in no way received any type of compensation for this review.
Originally posted on http://www.parentpalace.com