I love my mum! I love the mother of my children! I love the mothers of my grandchildren! My mum’s no longer alive, my wife’s years of mothering are paying a great dividend and the mothers of my grandchildren are learning what mothers have to put up with.
As I write, I find myself amidst vegemite toast and an early cuppa. The mothers have all gone for coffee and a stroller race along the beach front that no doubt the three year old will complicate. On my daughter’s kitchen table are a pile of books. The first comes with a title I have trouble putting my faith in, “Calm Baby, Confident Mum” by Simone Boswell. As I notice the words “Second Edition” I think to myself, “O ye of little faith”. It must be a good book but I don’t remember ever having a calm baby or being a confident parent. In fact, the daughter who owns the kitchen table came into the world screaming, beckoning to her mother and father to stand to attention and meet her every need immediately. She was a shock to a parent’s system at the time and subsequent events have shown that miracles can happen and your baby can become a brilliant adult human being and the effort is worth it.
I have not read “Calm Baby, Confident Mum”, but the Table of Contents included headings like “Extra Bits” and “Other Bits” which I think may have been the bits I missed when our children were babes. To my great surprise the book includes some very adult timetabling chapters: Feed time, Awake Time and Sleep time. The only thing missing was Golf Time but the title of the book was “Calm Baby” and I have to admit that I haven’t seen too many of them on the golf course. There are some that the game has reduced to babies, but they tend not to be calm ones. It would seem some things in life never change. We need to eat and sleep and play. I thought the regular “Baby Review” suggested by the book was a good idea but couldn’t see how you could fire your baby if the review was poor. Chapter 14 was of particular interest as it included the title, “Twins”. I am the grandfather of twins and they were not named “Calm” and “Confident”. The good thing about this section is that someone has offered Mr and Mrs Frazzled some ideas.
Having browsed through the table of contents between bites of toast, I turned to my wife for comment and she assured me that the book is very helpful for young mothers. I think I heard her quietly sigh, “If only you had read it thirty years ago”. She even had the temerity to suggest that I might be better reading the next book down the pile entitled “Noah’s Noisy Zoo” as I would enjoy the pictures.
Of course the third book in the pile was one I am very familiar with, “The Toddler’s Bible”. This is a simply illustrated version of the Bible that a parent can read to their children. Next to it was the adult companion volume we know as “The Holy Bible” which I am also familiar with but there are no pictures.
It is no surprise to find the Bible among books on parenting. It has been a “go to” book for parenting for millennia. It doesn’t offer “go to” chapters on particular parenting issues but it contains profound wisdom from which great advice can be drawn. If you are not quite ready to wade into the Bible but you would like to look at its wisdom, then another of my daughter’s books is Harriet Conner’s, “Big Picture Parenting” which has the subtitle “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life”. This book draws together some of the wisdom of the Bible that has served parents in raising children.
There are some great books around to help mums and perhaps those I have mentioned will prove helpful. To all the mums out there, everyone who has had a good mum thanks you and we encourage you to strive to be the best for those who will be the adults of the future.