Will parenting books help make me a better parent?
I’m pregnant with my first baby and worried I won’t be a good parent. My best friend has suggested I buy some parenting books to help me prepare. I’m so confused, there’s so many!
My husband says they’re a complete waste of money. Mummy Buck, I don’t know what to do, please help me. Should I listen to my husband or my best friend? What do you think of these parenting books?
Jane from Shock-in-Store
Thank you for your letter, our first one of 2018.
Firstly, it’s not something I say very often, let alone write! Buuuttttt on this occasion your hus………your husba…….jeeze……….how do I put this……your husband is right. However, don’t dismiss buying these books, this is a pain I feel we all need to experience.
Secondly, these books will in no way make you a better parent. What they’ll do is line the pockets of the authors and make you realise very quickly when it’s all going tits up, that all that reading was a waste of time!
When I was pregnant with my eldest, I remember having the same confusion you have. It’s hard enough finding a good book to read at the best of times, let alone finding a ‘parenting book’ with the magic formula inside. It seemed to be the norm to have a rake load of books.
My preferred choice (a long time ago) was written by a leading ‘parenting expert’, a woman you may or may not have heard of Gina Ford, mother of none?
I thought she was a bloody marvel. Her chapters were short and full of tried and tested methods that appeared to work. I could see myself breezing through motherhood. I was sure of it.
Not once did it occur to me as I studied each page, hanging of her every word, that it wouldn’t work.
I was blinkered, the same blinkered I am when my teenage son promises he has no homework and I believe him…..blinkered to the truth.
I should add here a very, very IMPORTANT NOTE – I was still pregnant at this stage of reading. It all seemed like a good plan. I continued to author worship until post-baby. I was delusional. I even ignored my own mother’s valuable advice.
Fast forward and you’re home with a baby. The realisation those ‘tried and tested’ methods don’t work hit you like a freight train full of shit parenting books.
Have you ever stood at a door listening to your baby scream whilst trying the controlled crying method?
I’m 100% sure this method works, but only when you happen not to be the parent!
Before I get an influx of letters from the
author’s Mothers claiming I’m wrong, they were great books and worked for them, blah blah. Well, that’s lovely, for me they were shite.
Another word of advice, if anyone mentions
what-a-fanny Supernanny take heed, don’t bother. This is another ‘parenting expert’ showing all us dumb ass parents, where we’re going wrong.
She looks at you with that look of pity, but also with that look of ‘thank you’ without your dumb ass parenting I wouldn’t be here making shit loads of money.
This strange woman who glares long and hard at kids whilst applying common sense, not magic, in a stern voice and it works.
The same common sense we all apply yet our kids choose to completely ignore us (a parental hazard) see BRIBERY TACTICS.
Yep, I know her talent knows no bounds it’s amazing. Probably not as amazing as her bank account, but still amazing.
After a fully paid days work, she heads back to her hotel room leaving you to tough it out with little Jekyll. As soon as her arse is out the front door you try and carry on where she left off.
There’s your first mistake. Little Hyde has other ideas and returns to running riot and not listening.
Truthfully, you’ll have more chance of cracking walnuts between the cheeks of your arse, two at a time.
So, Jane, my advice. Go ahead and buy them. Satisfy your need to know. When you realise what they offer is jack shit, don’t feel guilty binning them.
If you cant bear to bin them try stacking them neatly on your bedside table, topping it off with a small vase of flowers.
I found that idea in a Home Interior Magazine. I must say it was very effective and the only, achievable thing I ever got from that magazine.
Good luck with the birth Jane. It’s painful, but it prepares you for a lifetime of pain, starting with the one that will last years the pain of the school gates (see JUDGY MUMS).
Mummy Buck Unpaid Agony Aunt @ The Daily Grief