Before I had my baby, I thought I would read every book about parenting on Amazon to make sure I was giving the best of the best of everything to my most wonderful little tot. Then, well, motherhood actually happened, and I realized that I ain’t got time to read. I am too busy breastfeeding, washing, changing, cleaning, rocking, crying and watching, as my friend put it so well, the occasional mind-numbing tv show episode when I have a 30-minute break out of my 24-hour chaos. Plus, I am also trying to re-think, re-frame, re-direct my career in a direction that fits my new life – why is this taking me so long! God, give me back my brain cells!! Please!?
With that said, there are 3 books I am willing and able to read simply because they are necessary for my survival. The first one is very practical because you don’t have to focus for hours to read it – you can do it piecemeal style. You can literally just open the table of contents and find the content you need to read in that moment. The second is sure to lighten up the mood, especially on a rough day. Start in the middle if you want, no one cares, you will laugh the whole way and you will learn a thing or two in the process. And the third, I get exited about because it addresses the one thing we ALL miss so much as new moms – SLEEP!
#1 From Tiny Tot to Toddler. This is a free “practical guide for parents from pregnancy to age two” offered by the Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec.
Treat this book (or its equivalent if you can find it in your province/country) like your bible. It is divided into colour-coded sections that cover everything from pregnancy to 2 years-old. I love it because I can read about the upcoming stage that I will be facing soon, but more often than not, I’m rather in reactive mode than in proactive mode, which means I go to this book when I’m experiencing something new that I don’t know how to deal with. For example, by month 5, my little guy was starting to put everything in his mouth. At some point, I started to feel like I was living the 50 First Dates movie experience. I’d give him a toy, he’d put it in his mouth, drop it to the floor, I would pick it up, wash it, and give it back. Then we’d do this all over again as many times as it took for me to get FED UP!
So I started to wonder… Why am I still sterilizing his bottles if he’s going to put everything in his mouth anyway? Aha! this is a good moment to read about sterilizing in the Tiny Tot to Toddler bible. I opened the book and in seconds, there it was! I could have stopped sterilizing at 4 months! Really, I’d been creating extra work for myself for a full month. Out went the sterilizer!
#2 Sh*tty Mum: the parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline
As my motherhood godmother puts it, the first weeks with a newborn are very hard on us mommies, but it does get better! Two of the things that got me by during those early days, and even till this day, are a little humour and hearing about other moms’ experiences. So when I recently came across this book that talks about the embarrassing moments of motherhood that no one is tells you about, the advantages of “half-assing” it and not feeling bad about it, I felt it was the perfect combo of realizing that you’re not alone in this struggle and being able to laugh about it. Hey, I guess it’s no surprise that a mama who wrote the Confessions of a shi**y Mom, would enjoy this book.
#3 Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: New, Revised and Expanded Edition by Richard Ferber.
Some people have babies that sleep through the night from day one. Well, that certainly isn’t my case. We still wake up at least once every night, depending on his mood! I sometimes blame myself for perhaps being too socially active or travelling with him maybe a bit more than I should, hence not giving him a chance to get used to a rigorous bedtime routine, but such has been my life, part due to my choices, and part due to my circumstances. I just have to accept what has been and move on.
So, I made my first 2017 resolution early – I’m giving myself until the end of the holidays to do things improv style and then we will start the scary process of sleep training as of January 3rd. So I have just ordered this book that many are raving about. There will be tears and anxiety, for sure, judging by the reviews and the experiences of my friends. Maybe even a couple of iterations, but I desperately want my baby to learn to fall asleep on his own and stay asleep through the night. While I can’t speak to how the method suggested by Richard Ferber will work for us, I will definitely be able to share that come January 2017.
So why do I trust this is a good book? The answer is in the numbers – I usually go for reviews before choosing any book and this one has a spectacular 1000+ reviews on Amazon.com with 4.5 stars on average. So, even if this is not a match for us, it is definitely worth a $12 try! Plus, this is great timing for me as I will use the extra free time from being around family over the Holidays to read this book and get prepared for the concept.
How about you, have any book recommendations for the time deprived newbie mama? Please, share!