I'll start off with a brief update: life is pretty good! Baby Girl is 14 weeks and starting to settle down a bit. She loves sitting and standing supported and just watching the world. Her other favorite past time includes chewing on her fists. Num num! I am completely obsessed with her. I will probably be one of those parent helicopters just because I can't get enough of looking at her! Here, why don't you look at her too!
Poor lighting but still, an adorable smile!!
Well, recently I skipped over to the local library to pick up "Bringing Up Bebe" by Pamela Druckerman. I had heard a lot of good reviews and seen the book splashed all over the Internet and magazines. I read a sample on my Kindle and decided it sounded pretty interesting.
And it is.
Druckerman is an American living in Paris with her British husband. (Sounds like a dream, no??) As they have a child, called Bean in the book, and try to raise her in Paris Druckerman starts to notice some alarming differences in her child and French children. The French kids never seem to throw public tantrums or throw food at restaurants. Being a journalist she decides to research the difference. And there is a big difference.
The book is easy to read and follow along with, covering a variety of topics from baby sleep habits, eating, and schooling. Druckerman isn't head over heels in love with France with I think makes the book so much more approachable; she isn't completely pro-French or pro-American. It is refreshing to read a book about cultural parenting that doesn't either a. Bash America or b. Mock the other country. She also isn't trying to tell anyone how to live, which is a great relief from many parenting books.
Not only is a study of the way Parisian parents raise their children but it is also a study of how American parents parent their children. Why do we have to make parenting a competition? Why do when we become mothers feel like we need to sacrifice and suffer to be the 'perfect mom'? Why do we have to lose who we are as a woman to become a mom?
As a new mom who doesn't feel ready to give up her 'before' life, or who feels stressed out by trying to 'keep up' with other babies, this book has been an interesting ride for me.
I highly recommend this read. It is a good eye opener into the parenting styles of us as Americans, but also a glimpse into some international ideas. Read it with an open mind; to relax and just explore another culture. If nothing else it will make you crave cheese, fresh bread and a walk under the Eiffel tower!