In Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood, Rachel Jankovic has some good, wise things to say, and it’s nice to read a book by a young mom, who is, right now, in the thick of caring for multiple little people. This tiny book has eighteen chapters, which means that each chapter is only a few pages long. The chapters are self-contained, which is helpful, I guess, if you only have time to read one, but the book is not particularly organized or unified, other than centering around the theme of “motherhood.” Maybe I would have appreciated the book more in small doses, but I had to rush through it because I borrowed it through interlibrary loan and don’t want to be hit with a steep late fee.
Jankovic’s tone bugs me a bit. Her writing is concise, blunt, and sometimes leaning toward strict or harsh. I’m suppose I’m comparing it to another “mothering” book I am currently reading, Sally Clarkson’s The Lifegiving Home, and Clarkson’s style is so much gentler and more gracious, which I find more encouraging.
This is a short handbook about the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) philosophy of parenting/caring for children. Some of the facets of RIE come naturally to me and I’ve been doing them all along, but other aspects are new to me, and I can see how they might be helpful tools, especially in the toddler years.
I think any parent could glean quite a few useful ideas from Elevating Child Care, even if you don’t 100% buy into the philosophy. I personally feel uncomfortable with certain statements in the book, such as, “Every thought, desire, feeling – every expression of our mind, body and heart – is perfectly acceptable, appropriate and lovable” (page 21) and, “There are no wrong desires or feelings, just wrong ways of acting on them” (page 120).
But overall, I really like this approach and will definitely be using (and have already started using!) many of the techniques with my baby, who is now almost eight months old.
I am marking Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting off as “A book about parenting” for the #VTReadingChallenge.