I have been willing to write about this book for a while, and the pre-Christmas period looks like a good moment to do so : if you are looking for a gift for a new mother or a mother-to-be, you just found it.
I bought it from Sterling, the great English bookshop close to La Monnaie, when I got 4 months pregnant and some kind of rational stress succeeded the uncontrollable dread which dominated the first weeks following the discovery of my new condition.
Then I stopped thinking about all those great parties I was going to miss in the coming months (pathetic, I know), the audit season I was not gonna be able to fulfill (even more pathetic), the dinners with friends, the girly vacations,…… and I started thinking about the new life that was expecting me, us.
I embraced the idea that I was gonna become a mother, I felt in love with this little being inside of me that already couldn’t stop moving, and some totally different questions popped up : about what being a good mother meant, the relation to family, how to deal with critics, our educational principles,…
I concentrated on those new ideas without being able to put them into perspective. Which is exactly what this book I haven’t even finished yet brought me.
With its do’s and dont’s, from “lock visitors out after the birth” to “avoid loud parenting” through “let them eat dirt”, this book covers almost randomly all kinds of questions that come to the mind of young parents – and to which there is no good or bad response. The authors share some thoughts, anecdotes and bring forward comments from other parents, posted on the message board of Mumsnet (a UK parents social network). It results in a compendium of tips, stories, information and, above all, hilarious moments where you get to, finally, laugh about some of your fears, convictions and principles.
It helped me understand that there was no perfect way to be a parent, no preferable manner to educate a child, no obligations to do things the way people usually think they should be done. It truly gave me some self confidence I was totally deprived of, probably because I had never thought about all of this before.
So if you know anyone as poorly prepared for it as I was… you definitely owe her this Christmas gift.