‘The Book’ for first-time parents

A guest post from author Charlie Wilson

‘They should come with a manual’ is a common utterance from new parents. It’s true when it comes to pregnancy, birth and parenting, it can feel like there’s a great deal to learn. So many expectant parents find themselves, at a certain point in pregnancy, standing in a book shop and gazing at the ‘Childcare’ section. We hope we’ll spot ‘The Book’ – the one that contains all the answers to the myriad questions churning around in our heads and keeping us awake at night. We hope it will be a short, straightforward, practical book that we can read in one sitting and then sail off, armed with all the required knowhow.

But of course, one simple book alone cannot make you a confident, expert parent. Here’s why:

1. Pregnancy, birth and parenting is a vast subject area. Take any topic and you find a wide range of books dedicated to it. So read just one book, and you’ve gained just a little slice of knowledge.

2. Many opinions exist about pregnancy, birth and parenting. Many! So one book usually gives just one perspective.

3. Books can only go so far. When it comes to it, experience and instinct count for a lot more than the information you get from a book.

When I set out to write my book Survival Guide for New Parents: Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year, I was well aware that many parents don’t have the time, energy or inclination to read many books on parenting. Expectant parents I interviewed told me they were bewildered by the array of books, and rather put off by the bossiness of the tone and the intimidating nature of the ‘expert’ authors. They would love just one simple book to get them started on the topic, they told me. So I undertook to write a book that:

·         Covers the difficult years for a new parent – pregnancy through to the first birthday.

·         Offers practical guidance, ‘how-to’ in style.

·         Doesn’t judge, but presents options in a balanced way.

·         Includes personal experiences but also plenty of tips and stories from other parents.

·         Focuses on the parent’s experience (because happy parent = happy child).

·         Contains sensible advice about what really matters in parenting (love, acceptance, humour).

I don’t pretend that Survival Guide for New Parents is an exhaustive bible for parents. It’s not ‘The Book’ – the only book you ever need read. But it’s a starting point, I hope, for parents who want common-sense, friendly guidance.

 

 

Survival Guide for New Parents – Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year by Charlie Wilson is available to buy from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Guide-New-Parents-Pregnancy/dp/0956702457/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349778701&sr=1-1). Ten per cent of profits are donated to children’s charity RMHC.

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