Parenting book round-up

Happy new year to all! I’ve been keeping up with my parenting resolutions for 2018 (#3 seems to be the trickiest, #4 the most exhausting—trying to get a toddler to clean up at the end of a long day is hardddd).

My second resolution—talking to my husband about my blog posts in an effort to be reflective as a parenting team—has gone great (since I’m one post into the year, I’m at a 100% completion for this resolution, lolz). Intimately tied to it, though, is the importance overall of treating parenting as something that is learned. Too often, we thinking of parenting as something that just happens naturally. We should all just KNOW how to parent well, right?

Obviously (at least I hope obviously), this isn’t the perspective I take. Parenting is a journey and an education in and of itself. It can be done unconsciously but, in my opinion, is improved exponentially when we take moments to reflect and learn and grow as parents. Books are a great way to do that, so I wanted to take stock of what parenting books I have read and how that might be shaping my approach to parenting. In doing so, my goal is to identify gaps in my book list and make a goal to fill them. So, without further ado, all of the books that I’ve ever read about parenting (that I can remember…):

  1. Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: Does this count as a parenting book? I’m including it in part because without it my list would be embarrassingly short.
  2. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (by Gaskin): Revered in hippie mom circles. Some of it was a little too much for me, but overall I loved the approach to childbirth. (She’s since said some controversial things about race…)
  3. Unbuttoned: Women open up about the pleasures, pains, and politics of breastfeeding (by Connolly & Sullivan): This is a collection of short essays and personal account of women’s experiences breastfeeding. It was less of a how-to guide and more of a poetic exploration of breastfeeding.
  4. Mayo Clinic’s Guide to your baby’s first year: See number 1—does this really count? Regardless, it was an empirical understanding to child development from birth to 12 months that I referred to constantly. A way to ease my anxious mind that what A was doing was totally normal.
  5. The Happiest Baby on the Block (by Karp): Canonical and it works.
  6. The Whole-Brain Child (by Seigel & Bryson): I’m re-reading this right now and have realized that a lot of my approaches to temper tantrums stem from it.

Considering this is a blog about social justice, holistically defined, it is glaringly obvious to me that none of my parenting reading has been about parenting and racial justice, gender normativity, or any other social justice-related theme. My approach in this blog (and in life) is to admit that I most certainly DO NOT have all of the right answers when it comes to parenting for social justice. I have mostly used my gut, other bloggers, and conversations with my husband to inform how I parent for social justice. I want to draw on another resource that I have: books.

After doing some research, my goal is to read at least two books in the next 3 months about parenting and social justice. After some googling, I’m struggling to find something that really speaks to me but I think I will start with:

  1. Everyday acts against Racism (by Reddy)
  2. The First R  (by van Ausdale & Feagin)

Other recommendations are absolutely welcome. See you at the library!

Happy wiping,

Olivia

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