Mother Zen

I recently joined the library here in Geelong as part of our new lifestyle is having far more time. No maintenance on a house and less obligations means more time for the things we enjoy. For me, that’s reading. So I picked up a few books that had been on my list for the past year or so and I noticed Jacinta Tynan’s book Mother Zen on the shelf. Thinking it was mostly a memoir of her experience, maybe lighthearted with some humour, I thought it would be a nice, easy, relaxing read.

I was plesantly surprised. Once I got past the initial chapters and the style of writing which was at first jarring, I really loved what I was reading. How refreshing to read someone of note talking about co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand, cuddling and holding a baby, and not wanting to go by a schedule. How amazing to read a published book attacking Gina Ford and Tizzie Hall for their outdated and ill-conceived advice.

It can be really difficult in our politically correct world to be open and honest about our feelings for the fear of offending someone. I know my readers (only a couple so it’s safe) mostly agree with me on my parenting ideas but I know lots and lots of people who don’t. In my mothers group there are a group who want their baby to sleep through the night, who want their baby to “self-settle” and while I respect their need for routine and sleep, I just don’t see how they can expect so much from a baby the same age as Ripley.

I make no apologies for how I feel, I think it’s potentially dangerous to try to train your baby, I am 100% focused on building a very solid relationship with my kids, one that is built on trust and being able to be open. I want teenagers that talk to me, adults who rely on me for support when they one day have their own kids. I think the way I’m choosing to parent now, is going to give me that. But of course, I don’t know for sure, so I keep my mouth closed when my mothers group talk about self-settling. But at least I know I’m not alone, Jacinta Tynan gets it.

I highly recommend her book, particularly the chapers on co-sleeping, breastfeeding and controlled crying. The science and research presented alone is very interesting.

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