Loved this. As the father of a 7 month old, I find myself cheering him on anytime he eats a new food or attempts to crawl. I think there is a lot I will take away from this, and I have already shared with my wife. I'm tempted to buy the book and read it - as a student of an anthropologists I feel like I'd really enjoy the full book.
I'll echo Pegeen's congratulations. How exciting for you! One other book you might consider is 'Bringing up Bebe'. It is about an American woman who married a Brit and is raising their daughter in Paris. Lots of good little bits about eating food etc in there, but the the big take away is that there are a lot of ways to raise a kid.
Congratulations! I feel the book would be such a great, supportive friend on your parenting journey. The pressure to conform to the madness is extreme. I wish you the very best, it’s such an exciting time!
This is definitely AOTD material! The best article on parenting I have read yet, and there have been really good ones on Readup before. But this is the icing on the cake. I was 30 when I had my first child, 33 with my second. It was at the height of “the child is the center of the universe” movement. Everything was over the top - hiring professionals to entertain at birthday parties; going to Chucky Cheese parties; having ponies or huge inflatables delivered to your home to celebrate birthdays; enrolling your children in every possible activity that had parents driving the kids all over the place; attending endless recitals and sports events; when older, hiring limousines to take them to proms; buying expensive clothes, taking expensive trips. I had SUCH a hard time “fitting in.” This was not my style, at all. So I basically raised my young children on my own. I did what I liked to do, which was exploring the natural world, art projects, playing games and visiting interesting places like museums, parks , libraries and junk shops. And I brought my kids along and it was so much fun. I loved experiencing these venues through their eyes and imagination. They were fun to hang out with, share ideas, have meaningful conversations - yes, even at really young ages. As they got to kindergarten age, I met a woman who had children my kids ages. And we discovered that we loved to do the same things. Now my kids and myself had friends to play with. This period of my life was very creative and joyous because of the sharing within this broader community. And all it cost was our time and attention. This friend and I were fortunate to be self employed and have the flexibility to be the main care givers of our kids. We also had husbands who were involved, as well as parents and older kids that helped. I truly loved being a mom and consider it the richest experience of my life. And it continues to be exactly that. Now that they are emancipated adults, I consider them two of my very best friends. I value their insights, opinions and ideas. It’s almost as if having kids is the best “anti-aging” product available. They do not let me get away with my old programing!
I love this! I have four (gulp) children and it is hard to resist the pressure of "good parenting". I'm constantly asked what schools we are aiming for, what sports/activities we are doing/what nutritionist we are using etc. I'm not in some elite bubble, I live in Richmond!
I’m here to cheer you on - don’t cave!!! From all that you have shared on this platform, I have the impression of you as a really thoughtful, kind, caring individual who is conscious of your choices and it’s usually for the greater good of all. Stand your ground SEnkey, trust your beautiful heart, listen to your intuition. You’ve got this and your kids will appreciate it, if not always now, but certainly when they are older. Let’s keep the wild in nature, ourselves and our children. Roam free, explore, investigate, question, and above all, use your imagination and play!!! It’s FREE!!!
Well with encouragement like that how could we not! Thank you for the very kind words.
Such a Phenomenal Comment!
As an individual without kids and unsure about- yet not completely against -having them or alloparenting at some point; this read is a major pivot/tilt read that is massively revelatory, insightful and worth reading as a parental or non-parental reader.
I am literally in the middle of writing a novel called All the Good Mothers that looks at our excessive parenting and the guilt and shaming that can go along with it. Great great read.
I think one more example of the child world is kids TV and movies. Especially when it becomes something for them to watch on their own. We limit our kids TV time and we also watch an hour or so together each night. I or my wife always pick the show, and I always pick something adultish but that I think they'll enjoy. Like StarTrek, Indiana Jones, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Remember the Titans, etc. I pick shows that I think we'll make them ask questions and start to build a map of the world and our history - while still being appropriate and not too boring for them. They do really well with it.
We normally start something and finish it the next night. It's funny because they tend to start off saying how boring something looks and how uninterested they are, and when we pause for the night they always say how they want to finish it and how great it is.
I’m a believer,🍀