Salt Lake City Based Photographer Timbra Wiist owns/operates Landslide Photography & Photographs the Journey of Motherhood (see bottom of page or sidebar for more info. . .depending on what this blog is choosing to do for the day).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Who Wrote the Book of Love?

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about your favorite parenting books. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
I have SO little time to read anything new these days. I'd prefer a SOUND book recommendation from someone who knows me, so I don't have to waste my LITTLE reading time on something that just doesn't fit.

Here are some of my personal favorites and very empowering books that didn't make me feel like "I'm reading a book in order to learn how to parent my children," but instead these are books that either 1)validated or 2)empowered me.

A MUST have for ALL breastfeeding mothers, the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Had it not been for almost accidentally purchasing this book before my first daughter was born, I would not be the mother or lactivist that I am today. I read this book cover to almost cover in the five weeks before my daughter came. I had a hard time relating only because I knew a girl was on the way, but the whole book refers to "he," this is so that mom and baby are never mixed up in the context and it's apparent. I also didn't buy into any of the "beautiful relationship" stuff. . . until I had that baby. And I'm just so thankful I read this book. When we moved back to the US very suddenly, I was like a fish out of water, since we didn't move back to the hometown we'd been in before. I decided I was in a place in my life where I wanted to find other people who were like-minded in their parenting (or could help guide me even further in the parenting I desired to give my baby) as well as in the same stage of their lives. I went to an LLL meeting not quite two months after moving to UT and I've never looked back (and I have made ALL of my best friends here in UT through LLL). If you don't have the time or patience for Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, use it as a resource guide, flip around to topics you like.

Other fabulous reads, as a supplement to Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I also love the simplicity of Martha Sears' Breastfeeding Book, particularly the beginning section on the deficiencies of formula. I've probably read a pretty outdated version, but love it nonetheless and the principles hold true.

I read a couple of chilbirth books, but none come CLOSE to the amazing and empowering writing of Ina May Gaskin. . . This book, read in the middle of my second pregnancy, was the most empowering book with regards to body image, birth, and just being a woman. I will give it as a gift to ANY woman soon to give birth, because her words are SO empowering that I could never even THINK to come close to giving someone the same type of image of themselves as women, so I'll just let her speak.

Your Amazing newborn is beautiful if for nothing else, lots of photos of BRAND NEW babies! But the information is also stellar.

Adventures in Tandem Nursing and Mothering Your Nursing Toddler are two books I'd never want to find myself without. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler gave me so much support within myself in moments when those around me have given a glance, an eye roll, or even a comment that questions my decision not to FORCE independence. One of my favorite (and this is a paraphrase for sure) sections of the book refers to children who are allowed to choose their natural rate of becoming more independent, and how they become secure adults, however, the converse is true for children who are forced to detach from their parents. This book reminded (or maybe brought to light to me for the first time) that I am raising PEOPLE, not just "children." Adventure in Tandem nursing is just a great read for ANY pregnant mother who is still nursing an older child, and maybe just for any mother who has nursed and is pregnant. . . tandem parenting is equally as difficult, it not more so, when you no longer have the tool of nursing, particularly a toddler, when a newborn comes on scene.

When it comes to parenting, I probably need to reread "how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk". . . I read it when the principles didn't quite apply to the age my first daughter was, but I think I've lost sight of some if it, in the insanity of having two kids who run to embrace one another upon wake up ONE morning and then start kicking each other, whining and crying upon wake up the very next day! :) By the same authors "Siblings without rivalry" is an even better read. The five love languages of children is a MUST READ for all parents who are interested in gentle parenting of their children. And my current read (I don't have a lot of time for reading, so I could be reading this until my 5 year old goes off to high school) is "Hold on to your kids." I hear my own words resonating back to me from the pages, things I've observed about our culture, particularly our local culture here in UT, but wasn't able to really put a social phenomenon with, so again, it's just a reminder that I'm not crazy, that I'm raising PEOPLE, who I want to see into responsible and beautiful and independent, secure adulthood, and still have our relationship FULLY and lovingly intact.

I feel like this is the ENTIRE list of books I've ever read on the subject of birth, breastfeeding and parenting. . .I really feel that getting a good recommendation on a book, from someone who knows and understands your desires (birth, breasfeeding or parenting) helps to weed out a bunch of stuff that doesn't apply and will waste your time and energy by reading through it. I hope these recommendations pique your interest and give you some good food for thought. Happy Reading. Can't wait to read other recommendations.
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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