Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There are two types of people when it comes to pregnancy literature. Some eat all the books they can find and some are proud of not having read a single page. I do admit that I had too many books which were mainly given to me by friends. So I started reading here and there and figured they all basically say the same. But NONE tells you anything about parenting. Most of them go on about pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks with the baby. They all give you the same information and half way through pregnancy I put them in the shelf cos I thought I knew enough to go through the last months.
But if I wouldn't have been given the advice of thinking about parenting before the child is born I might have forgotten about it. It's not the first thing on your mind, it is not mentioned in any of those thousands of books and you think this is something you come up with along the way. And this is the problem!

You can read about premature contractions or best ways to start labor when you get to that point. But you cannot educate a child "along the way" without having at least agreed basic thoughts with your partner. Plus for him it is much more interesting to talk about something you both have no experience in. With pregnancy he might always feel a bit behind because it's HER who's growing, who's carrying the baby, who's feeling all the changes. He is scared, he gets thrown into the whole thing when the baby is born.

One thing I really wanted to clarify with my husband were basic situations in parenting. Such as "Do we use a pacifier?" "Does the child need a certain bed time or not?" etc. His parents and mine are like day and night so I figured he must have been raised a different way than I was. So I needed to make sure that we will find a basis on how we will raise OUR own child. But this came along with the interest in Pikler and we started reading and talking and fortunately agreed in most cases. Of course there will still be situations we are not prepared for and we will have to discuss. But there is a safe basis we've laid out.

Another problem with parents who do not talk about parenting before having a child is, that they might end up making mistakes more often than others. I'm not saying we will do everything right just because we are in the safe haven of Pikler but without having any thoughts on some basic parenting questions they are more likely to do something wrong. They will discover difficult situations they haven't thought about more often and they will be nervous. And once something went wrong it will be much more difficult to adjust, to fix.

I can only speak for me - but those evenings when we sat together, looking forward to the wee ones arrival, discussing how we will raise it, teach it, watch it and enjoy it - gave me the security of us being in the right place. And after all the discussions before I got pregnant of if and when I knew we were ready for it, I knew we could do it. I knew we could do it TOGETHER.

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