Breaking the good mom myth June 12, 2018 09:37


So far, this is one of my favorite books on parenting. I adore reading, but if I’m being honest, parenting books have not really been my guiding light when looking for parenting advice. I’m much more likely to look to my favorite moms for their feedback when I’m struggling with an issue. Ironically, this book was actually recommended to me by one of my favorite moms.

Despite the title, I don’t think the best part of the book is the work it does to relieve moms (and all parents) of the undue pressure faced in today’s complicated and competitive world of parenting. This is certainly a worthy focus and maybe that’s what you’ll take away. But for me, the major lessons have been more about shifting the philosophical approach you take with your kids. There are lessons about encouraging risk, teaching self reliance, and more, but most importantly they coach parents to see their kids as equal members of the family. By no means does this book try to say your kids can survive independently or are fully formed. Instead, it coaches parents to seek a little more of a balanced power dynamic. You may be thinking: “yikes, sounds like spoiled kids!”, but instead, the book reminds you that your needs and those of your kids need both to be considered in order to find a balance. 

It’s definitely a distinct parenting style, and from what I’ve seen so far, you need to make some fundamental shifts to apply it. The parenting of my parents doesn’t seem to mix and match with this new style super well, and I often have to pause my initial reaction in a situation to rethink how I want to proceed. That said, the book is organized in such a way that I’ve found it easy to pop it open and grab advice from a particular section without needing to review the entire thing (or read 100 pages). Most topics are organized into short chapters with tactical advice which is great! I would never have spent the time to make my way from cover to cover given the other demands that parenting (and life) brings.

Another note on structure... it’s written to accommodate parents in a wide variety of stages. So, as my recommender mom suggested, I’ve found myself checking back in with different parts as we move through different developmental stages.

Parenting has so many unique nuances for each of us that it’s impossible to think this would be helpful for everyone out there, but for my 2 cents it’s worth a read.