Thursday, November 3, 2011

*that* mom's bookshelf - November 2011 Edition

This edition of *that* mom's bookshelf has been a long time coming, but every time I think about posting I tell myself I'll just finish the next book first. The next book always takes far longer than I expected, so here we are.

 According to Amazon, I bought this book in January, 2004 which made me smile. That was when I first began to consider running. It was that June that I ran my first ever 5K and then two more in the year that followed. Now that I am back to running, I saw this on the bookshelf with a bookmark in the second chapter and figured I should give it a second try. I enjoyed it in that it captures so many of the reasons why I run, the reasons that I don't mind be slow or that I will never win a race. I found it hard to read at a few points because it all felt very quotable, like I should be highlighting or underlining every sentence for what it said. Some parts I skimmed as they talked about the very beginning of starting to run and the logistics of that, while other parts I ate up every word as he talked about life after that first year of running, when every race is no longer a PR and you are discovering running as a lifestyle after the pure joy of realizing you can in fact run. I loved his description of listening to where you are on any given day and asking what your body needs to run and what your heart needs to run. It's easy to get wrapped up in a training plan, but today, for instance, my heart just couldn't run. My body is ready to go, but my heart just said no, I need a day off. I ran a quarter mile and turned around. That was okay. It's about more than the miles on the plan or the immediate goal. This is a lifestyle, and it's about giving my heart and body what it needs which is sometimes a break.

Parenting Simplicity lines up with so much of what we strive for and struggle with in our parenting and our home. I loved that this book really took it step by step with concrete ways to simplify your home, life, parenting. I loved the discussion of rhythm and routine and its importance to children. We have a lot of work to do in this area, but I feel like I have a better direction to move that way. It is about so much more than stuff, though that matters too and the book reminded me all the reasons that mattered. It is about the total environment our children are exposed to from information to scheduling and more.

I love the Free Range Kids blog, and I thought it was about time I read the book. I liked it but was not wowed. I think that is because I am already a believer and follow the blog. It was set up in a useful way with tips on how to take everything from baby steps to giant leaps into a more free-range parenting style. I disagreed with some elements including her dismissal of the chemical BPA in plastics and other concerns in our child's life. I don't think removing such things from their lives is helicoptering but instead creating a safe environment so they can be as free range as possible. For me that's about minimizing the risks I can without encroaching on their freedom, and BPA is certainly one that is easy for me to do. That's just one example - there are a few things like that. But overall, I love Lenore Skenazy and if you are new to her ideas I would suggest the book.

I had high hopes for this book as I've been listening to Dimity and Sarah's podcast and reading their blog for a few months now. They are pretty hardcore runners, but they are funny and real. I was not disappointed with their book. I found the tone very familiar after listening to their podcast and blog for sometime. The book covered everything from the basics of starting out running to marathon running. I think that it might be intimidating or fail to connect with someone brand new to running. It could go one of two ways. It would inspire them to really dive into running to reap the benefits Dimity and Sarah write about, or it would lead them to think that they are not cut out for it because these people love running and are talking half marathons, marathons, training, etc. That being said as a runner who has run two half marathons and is in love with it, it was great. Some of the information was more geared for beginners but other pieces were really helpful. More than anything else, I felt this camaraderie with other mother runners and was reminded of all the things running gives to me. I might have been inspired to start thinking about a full marathon. I would highly recommend it if you are a mother runner or aspiring to be one, just don't take in stride if it seems a little intense. The information is valuable!
I have a high needs spirited child, and we reached to this book for some tools. I both loved the book and was disappointed with it. I agree and understand the pieces of the book. It emphasizes connection, setting the child up for success, and collaborative problem solving as a way to help not only minimize explosions but teach skills to cope with life. I appreciated the reminders that my child is not choosing to explode but instead lacking the necessary skills to deal with the problem in front of him. I think this book would be helpful for most parents, because while my child may be a slightly more severe situation at times, all children need and deserve collaborative problem solving. Parents need to be reminded that their child is not being manipulative and is not "out to get you". That said, while I found some helpful reminders in this book, I didn't feel I got as much new information and tools as I was hoping. However, I think that may be because this way of thinking lines up closely with our parenting approach. It was definitely worth the read, and I would recommend to anyone frustrated with a child's needs, demands, and tantrums regardless of their severity.

This is usually where bloggers disclose that they have amazon affiliate links in the post above and earn a small commission. I want to assure you I am not avoiding disclosure because I have no affiliate links. It's just one of my preferred places to buy books for the great prices and quick shipping! :)

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