The library being in such close proximity of home can be a boon and a disadvantage. Once you find the time and/or make the time to read, listen or watch, you have access to nearly unlimited world of books and other media. How can this be a disadvantage? You just might end up reading way too much into things. One such area is parenting, especially if it's your firstborn.
Previous generations, at least in India, and even for some today, living with extended families have the advantage of, well, extended family to provide care and/or advice (helpful or otherwise is another story) for you and new baby. Old wisdom and knowledge of how-to's are passed on from one generation to the next. The moral support that is so needed in this new journey is often the biggest comfort in the adventure that the new parents embark on.
As we have entered the world of nuclear families with even parents living somewhere around the world, we turn to the world of books for help. The books promise to provide the best solution on every topic under the sun you might encounter as new parents. So you think some relief. Then you walk into the parenting section of the library (or the bookstore) and you become completely frazzled. You always heard it - there's no manual for parenting. Apparently these authors never heard of that saying and want to prove otherwise. They have the best solution and all other authors are mistaken.
So, when I was pregnant at the amusement of my parents and my in-laws, I picked up a few books. I read a few. Well, I never actually finished any one of them. I personally felt that bringing up a baby is an art form and not a science. Can a baby really fall into one of the formulas provided by the authors? But then that's the thing. You convince yourself that if you read many different authors on many different theories, you will be ready to apply them for your situation. Afterall, this was the premise in college on which you learned all the different theories.
The baby came and you truly realise, nothing can prepare you. Your mind is so engulfed in the moment, you are so sleep deprived that memory fails you of what the different authors suggested. And half of the time you are cursing the author or calling him/her mad for their suggestions.
Now the big subject at home is "sleep". I have picked up several books on the subject. As, if I ask my parents or in-laws, they will say, share the bed. That's what they did and that's the norm. As it's not really feasible (we both already have a tug-of-war on our bed with two of us, lets not add to the mix a tiny little one), we turn to the books for suggestions.
The books have become paperweights really. Something dad said that was comforting and somehow a relief, "their schedules will keep changing; go with the flow!" It has become my mantra for every day and I have returned all the books to the library.
However, there were two books that really stood out that I do suggest every pregnant woman and dad-to-be should read.They are:
- Happiest Baby on the Block - It really helped understand why babies cry and somehow helped not to get all worked up about it. I am a big supporter of the "fourth trimester" and adjusting to every baby's needs differently.
- The Wonder Weeks - This book doesn't give you a formula on what to do but just what to expect. This helped me cope with the many sleepless nights and understanding what she might be going through.
Both books were quick and easy reads!