Book Review: The Mama’s Boy Myth

I am finally back on track with my reading again and can start these book reviews I intended to get going on quite a while ago. 🙂 There will be a lot of books about motherhood and parenting, quite a few baby books, and a few outliers. The ones that I really enjoyed and believe are a great resource will be labeled with the Must Read label, so they are easy to find. All others will be categorized in Book Reviews. Easy Peasy.

This book is called The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger written by Kate Stone Lombardi.

On the sleeve of the book it says “Mothers get the message early and often – push your sons away. Don’t baby them with too much cuddling and comforting. Don’t keep them emotionally bound to you. Back off, because boys need to learn to stand on their own. IT is as if there were an existing playbook – based on gender preconceptions dating back to Freud, Oedipus and beyond – that prescribes the way mothers and their sons should interact.”

Kate Stone Lombardi conducted interviews with a ton of mothers talking about their mother-son relationship. And most women said that the bond between them and their son was very strong, rewarding and real. They understood each other and were very close to each other. And most did not adhere to the masculine values of society that says a boy should become a man early on. He should not be comforted when hurt because he has to learn to be a man etc. etc.

This book is talking about how mothers go against these norms and raise their sons to be caring and compassionate human beings. How they give their sons the freedom to become more “feminine” and how that makes them better as people in the society as a whole.

An interesting and eye-opening book. Good food for thought.

We are definitely raising our son more like the mothers in the book. There is no tough manhood in our house, but a lot of love, kisses, comforting and individual spirituality. Basically we are not trying to form him to be one way or the other, but wait to see how he develops.

If you are interested in gender questions and/or parenting styles, it’s a must read. If you do go and read the book, please come back to leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about it.

I leave you with this thought: How do you raise your son(s)?

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The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Book Review

One of my February goals were to read at least 5 pages a day. I am excited to have succeeded and to continue this habit, because I really do enjoy reading. As always when I go to the library I go book-crazy and grab WAY more books than I can ever read before I have to return them. BUT I got through at least one book (working on the second). Because I want to be reading at least a book a month, I figured I’ll start a monthly (or bi-monthly) book review [a very informal one. Don’t expect APA formats and such] . So here goes the first 🙂

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
by Elizabeth Pantley

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I enjoyed this book a lot, because at some point I know I will have to start sleep training and I also know that there will be no “crying-it-out” in my house. It is funny because the CIO method was really the only one I had heard about before starting my research. I am way to soft-hearted to let my dear baby bean cry for very long. My heart hurts when he cries in the car and there is nothing I can do until we stop. To me it just feels plain wrong, but I am not judging those who do use the method to where it works for them. I just know that it doesn’t match up with my personality and beliefs so I was super excited to find this book!

I am not in the mood for explaining what the book is about (the title kind of gives it away), instead I am going to write about how I will use it in sleep-training bean.

When the time is here, I will first create a sleep log. A 24 hour log of when and where bean sleeps and how he falls asleep (the author has provided a bunch of logs in the book, which is cool). Well, before then I really should get started on a night-time routine. I am not sure what to include or for how long, so if you can leave a comment with what works for you, that would be great! I will then review the sleep log, to see what I think needs to be changed and how to change it.

I know that I at some point want to help him diminish the suck-to-sleep association and in the long run help him fall asleep on his own. This is going to be a long process, but following a schedule and creating logs it should be done without any crying. 🙂

Action Plan: How To Help Bean Fall Asleep On His Own [Within Time]

– Help bean realize his bed is a nice place. Spend some cuddly time in there, awake, every day.
– Use alternative ways to help bean fall asleep. So he doesn’t associate just one thing with sleep.
– Introduce a “lovey” bean can have as he falls asleep. Something that is cuddly and safe and gives bean good associations.
– Make night-sleeping different from day-sleeping. With different routine, and calmer night-time behaviors, noise levels, lights etc.
– Develop key words as a sleep cue. Certain phrases bean can associate with sleep or a bedtime song. Use the keywords as bean is falling asleep in the beginning, and with time when it is time to go to bed. [kind of like conditioning a dog, asme idea]
– Change sucking-to-sleep association through Gentle Removal Plan. Begin by letting bean nurse until he slows down, break the seal and put him to bed. If he fusses, start over as many times as it takes. With time bean will actually fall asleep without nipple in mouth. Repeat every night until bean understands he can fall asleep without nipple in mouth.

As it is I am in no hurry to have him in his crib by himself every night. I enjoy co-sleeping for parts of the night and will continue, but I will still work toward bean learning to fall asleep on his own, even while co-sleeping. He is currently sleeping pretty well, but I think it is good to have a plan if that changes and if my life situation changes so I need him to learn faster than he might want himself.

All in all, great book. Good tips for helping kids all ages to learn to fall asleep on their own. My final judgement: Worth Reading.