I know. I just BLEW YOUR MIND by writing that title. If you’re a parent, you know how hard it can be. If you are a friend of a parent, just check on them every once in a while – and bring caffeine 😉 Luckily, two GREAT books on parenting came out today to help you with the hardest job in the world.
How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Dr. Carla Naumburg is a practical guide for parents who are looking to add a little more calm into their interactions with their children. I really appreciated how Naumburg spent the whole first chapter making it clear that parenting is hard, and we ALL lose it with our kids. One of the main points of her book was how important it is to reflect on what makes you lose your sh*t as a parent, and how to avoid or reduce these triggers. She also has an entire chapter about how to rebuild relationships with your kids after the ‘sh*tstorm.’ Finally, I really appreciated the summarizing lists and tools in the back of the book as a quick guide to remind you of some possible triggers to address when you’re feeling stressed and to take a moment to take a deep breath before you lose your sh*t. Thank you to Workman Publishing for the ARC of this book!
Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks examines how it became so, so difficult to be a parent. It all started Kim left her four-year-old son in the car while she ran into Target for a few minutes, a stranger videotaped it and called the police, and Kim found herself in a legal battle, trying to prove she was a ‘good mom.’ Throughout the two years of her legal troubles, she spoke to lots of other parents who were demonized for letting their children walk to the park, or ride the subway alone, or sit in the car for a few minutes. The book touches on race & class, on gender roles, and how the task of parenting became such a competition. She weaves in personal anecdotes & expert opinions seamlessly and made it a super informative & enjoyable read, and I want to thank Flatiron Books for the finished paperback copy.
As a mom with anxiety myself, I found myself marking up the texts in both books so often that I needed a stack of Post-Its to flag pages as entire sections of chapters would resonate deep in my soul. I think I’ll be handing over both books to my husband so we can be more unified in our parenting approach and have some discussions about how we want to raise our son. I want to photocopy off some sections from Small Animals, especially where Brooks talked about the pressures of having new mom anxiety, for members of my family to help them understand what my brain’s been going through as a SAHM for the past 15 months, because she said so many of my things so much more eloquently than I could ever attempt. I think these books are both great for parents of kids at any age, and I think certain elements will resonate with different parents at different developmental stages. Please let me know what you think of these books!