Why I'm not reading all the books.

Do you still believe me after seeing the mounds of books on my nightstand?

I want to first begin with a disclaimer: I am not against reading books about babies, motherhood, etc. I actually think it's a very good idea :) However, I know a few things about myself...

Although I've read a lot of books about childbirth and pregnancy, I have yet to read books that are all about babies and what to do with them. At first, it wasn't a conscious decision because I was busy reading up on breathing techniques, pregnancy, labor, and all kinds of other pregnancy-related topics. I still am. I don't know what my labor + delivery day will look like, but I'm doing all I can to prepare my body (and mind) for that big day!

Then, I realized, I don't know much about what to do with baby boy after he's born. I've heard of the 5 "S's," sleep training, swaddling, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, crying-it-out...etc. I have friends that swear by one or more of these methods.

Even though I want to dive into reading about all of these baby-related topics (because my natural tendency is to want to be fully informed), I decided that I'm not going to. Not right now.

You see, I'm learning something about myself and I'm trying to not ignore it.

I'm learning that if I know too much, I get confused, guilt-filled, and frustrated. If I have too many voices (although very wise and knowledgable) ringing in my thoughts, I will be afraid of doing the wrong thing.

Unfortunately, in this age, there is so much conflicting information that it seems that nothing is right. If this one is right, then another is wrong.

I also know that if I read too much about something, I give myself the false pretense that I know everything. That I've got it together. That I'll know what do in case of A, B, C...etc.

I decided that, instead of knowing what to do in every situation, I will wait to seek answers + wisdom about problems or hard scenarios when they arise. Also, that it's okay to not know everything or have it all together.

I'm very hard on myself, so it's important, even now, that I acknowledge that I am not alone in this and that I can't have it all together. I won't have it all together.

Of course, I may sneak in a book/article about the baby basics--you know, like how to give them a bath, etc. But, I'm avoiding the method/do-it-this-way/subjective parenting books. I want to learn about baby boy first and go from there :)

I want to feel the freedom to mother this baby with my instincts and gifts, and I know that if I read too much, I might try to go against what I feel is right for our family--for the sake of following some method or concept. I know this about myself. I know it all too well.

Again, I don't think that reading books are bad, wrong, or that it's a dumb thing to do. I know a lot of those books have value. In fact, in a few months, I may very well be reading some of them to seek answers and advice. For myself, I think it will be better when I have a wider perspective. For example, if I read all kinds of marriage books before I get married, they are informative. But, when I read them after I get married, I can better relate to or filter what I'm reading since I have some experience with marriage.

So, that's why I'm not reading all the books. Or internet articles. Or making google my best friend.

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  1. I see "7" by Jen Hatmaker in your basket. I just finished that book, and it was great. I feel like I'm friends with her because of her writing style. Good luck with your book choices in the next few weeks!

  2. I think that this is an excellent decision! I am definitely the same way. I think that learning all you can about the birth process is a good thing (to a point of course)- it isn't like you'll be wanting to read a birthing book during labor! The reason there are so many different methods to child-rearing is because what works for you and your child is so unique. And often it is a perfect combination of different things that is just right for your child and your family, so yes, I think you should just get to know your child and go with your mama gut!!
    (P.S. I recently read "7" also and really enjoyed it)

  3. i love keeping up with your blog! (sorry i don't comment enough!)

    i love this post and will likely follow in your footsteps when the day comes for us to have babies! i feel the exact same way about marriage/relationship books. i used to love them- i felt like i was getting so much wise counsel from older godly women... and i was also always depressed because i didn't feel like i was a "good enough" wife. then one day, i put all the books away. i realized that YOU (and your hubs and God) have to find what works for YOU (and your marriage). i focused on love and letting Christ make me the best i could be... and things have been SO different since then!

    blessings, friend! :)

  4. Nicole, you're so wise in this decision. All the voices can be overwhelming, confusing, and guilt-inducing. I read a few sleep related books from varying perspectives and then chose the parts that felt right for our family. I did learn some helpful tips from those books, but I didn't make myself stick to a formulaic approach. You'll be surprised at how naturally it all comes, anyway. Looking forward to meeting your little guy! You'll be great!

  5. Nicole, So good to connect with you! I completely agree with your position here {even though I just wrote a baby's first year book!} : ) But that's why we wrote it. There are too many voices telling you how to do things. The Lord spoke very clearly to me to put the books down when my daughter was a few months old. My tender heart couldn't handle it all. His holy spirit is the best guide we have. I pray you have a wonderful delivery and blissful days with your new little one!


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