Why I Got Rid of the Parenting Books

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Little Man was teething his second tooth; his cheeks were red, his temperature was high and the dribble was everywhere! As he restlessly napped I headed to the shelf on my bookshelf which I had become maybe a little too familiar with and looked up the symptoms of teething for the 4th time that morning. Had I missed something? Was this actual teething or some terrible disease I had missed? Not sure I knew every single fact ever published about a teething 5 month old I grabbed the laptop and spent another half hour searching for any webpage that even vaguely mentioned teething. Little Man woke up. I was none the wiser than when I started, yet my head was filled with conflicting arguments. Some told me that all his symptoms definitely pointed to teething but others told me that I shouldn’t just put these things down to teething as there may be something else wrong with him – take him to the GP they shouted at me through the pages. I took him to the GP. Teething. The GP looking at me with that look that they give over protective new mums. It was then I decided to put down the baby books.

So many people told me at the beginning of pregnancy to follow my mummy instinct. Okay I thought, no problem I shall follow this much referred to instinct and I will be the perfect mum. One problem, I didn’t really get the mothers instinct. Well, I didn’t think I did anyway. I, like most other new mums hadn’t a bloomin’ clue what I was doing and the baby books became a constant source of information for me. After a while though I realised what they were actually doing was confusing me more and making me doubt what in fact was my mothers instinct.

Don’t get me wrong, I think these books have a place. They provide us with invaluable information and advice about how to look after this tiny human that you suddenly have to do everything for but they should only be used as a guide. If the book says that your baby should fill their nappy at least once a day and your baby doesn’t, it’s okay. Mine filled his every other day and after reading said information I thought my baby boy was constipated all the time. Granted, I was over cautious, over protective…I was over everything to be honest but still, the mothers instinct was there I just had to listen to it and believe it. I still Google when Little Man has a random rash or something like that but now I go with what I think or advice from my Mum or mummy friends.

So, if you’re a new Mum should you return that precious book you just spent Β£20 on in Waterstones? No, read it from cover to cover if that is what you want to do but take the advice with a pinch of salt and do what it right for you and your little human. You will just know and if you don’t ask a real person not a book because if you have more than one they will probably tell you different things.

Mami 2 Five

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10 Comments

  1. February 22, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    When you’re a new mum it’s so overwhelming isn’t it, you’re bombarded with advice and have all these books that tell you different things. And google is your worst enemy! I agree, take it with a pinch of salt and trust your instinct! #sundaystars

    • February 22, 2015 / 6:09 pm

      Definitely! There is such a thing as too much information! Thanks for commenting.

  2. February 22, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I know exactly what you mean when you say this. There can be too much advice at times can’t they. Especially with the internet too! That being said I was a Gina mum and it worked very well for me. #sundaystars

    • February 23, 2015 / 9:34 am

      Yes I think if you stick with one like Gina, it works better than trying a million different methods like I did!

  3. May 27, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Parenting is rough. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a “mother’s instinct” – it seems like mine works better, the more children I have. πŸ™‚ My #6 is parented better than my #1 was, poor thing. Or maybe I’m just more relaxed

    Certainly, though, there can be far too much advice. I didn’t have internet when my first was born, so “What To Expect In Your First Year” was the entire extent of my parenting books – plus I had my mother and mother-in-law. Those two ladies agreed on essentially everything, and neither agreed with anything I read in What To Expect! πŸ˜€
    Just Plain Marie recently posted…Homeschooling For Your Child’s PassionMy Profile

  4. May 27, 2015 / 11:27 pm

    Our first daughter was born in 1989. As a new Dad I read and read. You learn through reading, so how could I go wrong. I had one younger sibling and knew nothing of raising kids. In 1991 along came our twins. I was barely wiser, so I read more books. 1993, another kiddo. Still clueless. 1995 our first boy. 1997 another daughter. 1999 another son. 2002 our youngest daughter. By then the books had gathered dust and my parenting instinct had FINALLY set in. Last year my oldest had her first son and my gift to her…a HUGE container of salt. With the internet and her stack of books she needed it.

    There’s tons of good advice out there, but there’s also a lot of crap. And sorting through it takes time.

    I loved your post. So glad that I picked it at random from #TwinklyTuesday (and picked it again from #SundayStars…sometimes I’m a ditz).

    Great job getting the point across…and going with your gut too πŸ™‚

    Make it a great day!
    Jeff Page (aka Hectic-Dad) recently posted…Habit Tracking Faceoff – A Week With Way of LifeMy Profile

    • May 28, 2015 / 2:28 pm

      What a great comment and so interesting too. Thank you πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post x

  5. June 1, 2015 / 3:06 pm

    I think you hit the right balance. I’ve learned that my maternal instinct takes the form of recognizing what advice works for my daughters and what doesn’t. So, yes, I read parenting content of all sorts, but I filter it critically. Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

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