Bringing Up Bebe Book Review
I love sharing with favorite books with you about self-development, productivity, and
parenting. This book is by far my favorite go-to for all new Mamas!
I remember when my oldest son was a baby. I would lay awake at night praying for the wisdom to raise my child right. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs. These little humans rely on us for love, support, and guidance. But who is there to guide us?
I would read countless parenting books and be filled with anxiety about all the things I had already done wrong. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman was different. First off, she is hilarious and is vulnerable about her parenting struggles. Second, she is not a child therapist, she is a mother like us: observing the difference between French and American parenting. Her curiosity led her to write a memoir, a "how-to" of sorts, to raise calm, curious, well-behaved kids.
The fact that you are reading this blog tells me you are a good mother. Always hold on to that.
If you are a new parent or have children 6 and under, this is a must-read! I have 100 tips and tricks I have picked up from this book. Every few months, I will re-read this book because the insight truly works, and I regain a feeling of control.
Here are my favorite tips from Bringing Up Bebe:
Let Go of Mom Guilt. Whether its daycare, formula, or needing alone time. When I had my son, I was the only one of my friends to go back to work. I love my son but staying home was not an option, and in all honestly, I wanted to go back. The Mom Guilt was intense. Not only was my child in daycare, I could not breastfeed which means he had formula. Living in Northern California, it is common to see mothers nursing toddlers. The shame I felt when I took out my formula or when I turned down a mid-week playdate because I was at work was massive. I needed to hear that my baby would be ok going to daycare and drinking formula. It was reassuring that in some cultures daycare and formula were the norms. Just knowing this empowered me.
Children Need Their Autonomy. What a sigh of relief. I remember before reading this book I would be running around with my son at the park, not enjoying it. This book gave me permission to sit on the sideline, and allowed my son the freedom to make new friends while creating his own imaginary game. Children can do more than we allow them to. Hearing a toddler can bake a simple cake by themselves shocked me. Now, I watch as my kids are mastering scooping, pouring, and even knife skills to show how much they are truly capable of. HUGE HINT: That means they can do chores to help you out as well! I love watching the pride on my 3-year-old's face when she bakes, when my 6-year-old is allowed to cut the vegetables with a steak knife, or when my 9-year-old walks the dog alone. Children enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, giving back to the family, and earning their own independence.
We are Here to Teach, Not Punish. In our house we have a lot of structure, but within the structure, there is a lot of freedom. For example, we eat dinner together most nights. Everyone is expected to sit, use appropriate language and volume, and wait until everyone is done to be excused from the table. There is a lot of structure built around our dinner table. However, if you see my kids 15 minutes before dinner, you know that one is playing in the mud, the other running around in the sprinklers, and the other building gosh-knows-what with leftover boxes, paint, and tape. There is a time for structure and a time to let them express themselves freely. I have to give a lot of reminders on how to behave at the dinner table and it gets frustrating, but if we go out to eat or have company over, and I see my children sitting patiently and quietly, I know that our structured dinners are worth it. The same is true in life. The kids are given a gentle reminder on how to behave during the day. Yes, sometimes gentle reminders don't work, but losing the privilege to play with a toy or have extra screen time quickly reminds our little humans.
Dig Deeper. Remember to stay calm, patient and persistent.
There is no such thing as the perfect mother, she does not exist. Give yourself permission to let go of that misconception. How free would you feel if you allowed yourself to be a mother, a wife, a friend, and to pursue your dreams without judgment?
After reading Bringing Up Bebe, I am left inspired to try a new tactic or to handle a situation differently. Are my children perfect? Heck no! Just like there is no perfect mother, there are no perfect children. It is their job to test boundaries and explore the world. It is our job to give them the freedom and the structure to examine the world, to guide them away from danger and, at times, help them learn consequences.
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