Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

A parenting book that’s right up my street! Review of ‘Why did nobody tell me?’ from Mumsnet

on August 29, 2012

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Parenting books…guides…manuals…recipes for disaster…

Whatever you call them, most of the books that have crept their way into the public eye are things that (I’m going to be brutally honest here) get me very, VERY angry indeed. I find a lot of them very restrictive in their approach and confusing to the rather baffled new parents who are often immensely impressionable due to utter exhaustion and (for the mums) full of a lovely, swirly, confusing mix of hormones. I read a few of them when I was pregnant and have had a couple knocking around the house since Monkey was born, but I really haven’t paid any attention to them as I just got wound up whenever I tried to read them.

One in particular, that will remain nameless, got me so infuriated that I nearly took my TV out when I threw it across the room in utter disgust. I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading and I swore blind that I would never, ever raise my child in the way in which this all-knowing book was telling me to. It was so restrictive that I was pretty much bound to fail before I even began. And this concerned me immensely.

Ok…So I’ve ranted a bit, and for that I apologise!

But, my point is that I strongly feel that there is no one way to raise a child. What works for some doesn’t work for others and I have found myself getting so cross with apparent ‘experts’ that have written books that are, to my mind, very closed and almost Victorian in their approach. So when I was approached to review a parenting book I was initially a little worried.

That was until I realised that it was from Mumsnet . Now, I absolutely love Mumsnet! It’s been my saving grace on many occasions when I just wasn’t too sure about whether what I was doing was ok or not. A quick post up on a board and I often had lots of fab parents saying, “Yep…That’s fine. If it works for you then don’t knock it!” And most of the time I knew deep down that it was alright, but it was great to get the support and reassurance that Mumsnet is so good at.

‘Why did Nobody Tell Me?’ is a parenting book. But it’s not…

It’s not a ‘How to’ manual that will give you all the answers in a dictatorial manner, which is why I absolutely loved reading it. This book has little nuggets of advice, information and personal anecdotes that are taken from the message boards that you can find on Mumsnet What I found remarkably refreshing is that it’s just good, old-fashioned common sense with a nice dash of self-depreciating humour and honesty that made me laugh out loud and nod furiously in agreement.

The book covers all different kinds of topics, ranging from the very beginnings of your little one’s lives all the way up to schools, how to deal with parties and behaviour and even broaches things like how to deal with when your child fiddles with their bits (yep, they all do it – and boy do those little lads like to tug away down there….) and dealing with the lovely parent mafia at the school gates. Having seen some poor parents reduced to tears by those kind of parents (I’m a teacher by trade) I thought that this was a particularly sensible chapter to include, as it really does fill some people with dread.

What’s nice is that whilst the book does give you some good ideas about how to deal with certain situations, the way that it’s written doesn’t imply any particular ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ way to go about parenting. Different views are placed alongside one another through the inclusion of personal comments taken from Mumsnet boards and the authors have cleverly organised it so that you get an overall view from which you can filter out the bits that suit you. There is a definite slant towards a more relaxed parenting approach, in my opinion, but as that’s the way that I seem to be leaning I very much enjoyed this book and will be using it to dip in and out of as Monkey grows up. It’s full of sensible, matter-of-fact advice that really strikes a chord with me!

daisytheclothbummum was sent this book to review, but have received no payment for this. All words and opinions are my own.

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