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Motherhood, the reading list

I’ve been contemplating a lot of the aspects of motherhood and parenthood and modern American parenting and school choice and all that crap this week.

One of the preschool moms is wrestling with getting her daughter into school right now. She (the mom) is smart but young, not particularly well educated, and married to a flaming ass hat. She (the daughter) was recently diagnosed as mostly deaf and is working on dealing with hearing aids and speech therapy. They are moving and the little girl got rejected from the private schools they applied to. One of the schools suggested “keeping her back.”

The mom freaked the hell out. It took me a while to figure out that this mom had never heard of redshirting and thought that this was a big deal, when, in fact, something like 50 percent of private school kids are redshirted.

Now, since this little girl is clearly in need of some extra time to catch up — she’s only been able to hear properly for a few months — this isn’t really redshirting, it’s doing what’s best. But the mom, basically acting alone since her ass hat husband doesn’t give a flying fuck, is doing what any good and smart mom would do in that case. She’s reading every damned book she can get her hands on.

Books about deafness, books about parenting, books about the culture of private schools, books on all-girls schools, you name, she’s getting it out from the library. She’s talking to friends but she doesn’t have a lot of close mom friends (she’s moved around a lot with the ass hat), so she’s relying on books.

And I started thinking, seeing her toting around all those tomes, that I haven’t’ done a lot of mom reading lately. Partly because I have a few fantastic mom friends and we can talk each other through things, partly because I just have felt lazy, and partly because I did TONS of reading when The Child was two and I got burned out on mom books.

But she’s four now and parenting is getting more complicated. So… I think I need to start reading again. The problem is, as ever, the problem of choice. The field is enormous. (There’s another post there, on how the various ideas reflect either the wide diversity of parenting styles or the massive anxiety about parenting in America. Probably both. In fact, the post is probably about how the lack of a single standard has lead to a massive sense of anxiety….)

So I’m looking for recommendations. What parenting books have you found useful? Which ones have been awful? I’m open to everything except how to parent babies, since I don’t have a baby any more. Bring it on.

Categories: books, motherhood
  1. March 31, 2010 at 4:40 am

    The best parenting book I have read is “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation” by Becky A. Bailey

  2. marsupial jones
    June 10, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    The book I’m reading and rereading and rereading is Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. It is really good. I’m not too clear of your religious persuasion. This book is definitely from a Buddhist perspective and includes stuff about meditation and ways to be “mindful” but I find the sections about worry, anger, compassion, love etc extremely helpful. She says at one point “Parenting makes amateurs of us all.” Amen.

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