Guilt and parenting: can you have one without the other?

Childcare and childbirth have long been topics that create debate. Any parent can relate to making a decision that others might not agree with, whether it is vaccination, natural childbirth, intervention and pain relief – or breast vs bottle.  Do you leave your child to cry or have them in your bed? The list is endless.

CoverGuilt always seems to go hand in hand with raising children and in a new book Push Back : Guilt in the age of natural parenting the author Amy Tuteur has taken the natural parenting “industry” as she calls it and shakes it to bits. She argues that most of the movements devoted to natural birth or attachment parenting were created and promulgated by elderly white men and that they put forward a pro-women agenda but are in fact quite the opposite – relegating women to the role of primary caregiver where they are required to perform round the clock childcare with little options for work or free time outside of the home. Tuteur wants to “release women from the guilt trap created by the natural parenting industry “.

9781451618006If you want to balance this against the opposite view then have a look at Beyond the sling : a real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way by Mayim Bialik.

As with most things there is probably a middle ground, but judging by the huge and varying amount parenting titles published each year this is an area where the debate on right and wrong will never diminish.

Baby books – Up the Duff and onwards

When you are new at navigating pregnancy, you’re guaranteed to get advice from a variety of sources. And lots of people will gleefully tell you their horror stories. You need to do a bit of filtering so it’s good to know there are books and web sites to provide you with trusted information, and a bit of perspective.

I’m reading The New Zealand pregnancy book : a guide to pregnancy, birth and a baby’s first three months and it combines a lot of detail (including good illustrations and photos) with a clear, matter of fact style. Kaz Cooke’s Up the duff  is a goodie if you want a bit of pregnancy humour.

There are lots more resources to tap into: