In a world of countless books, blogs, and podcasts offering advice on how to be the parent a certain way, it’s no surprise that the book hasn’t gone down well.
Louise from our community said, “A manual for pregnancy and motherhood? Because once size fits all doesn’t it!? Some of the things they’ve said in here are actually quite funny. Apparently it helps you ‘unleash your true potential’ if you follow these EASY STEPS - Massive LOL! I think whoever wrote this had the most straightforward pregnancy and baby!”
The one-stop guide claims to have a “ready-made formula” to “navigate each stage of pregnancy and motherhood”, with “all the answers you need” from expert contributors.
The reaction to the book shows that there isn’t a one-narrative-fits-all for mothers, and that every mother and parent has unique challenges and pressures they are facing - many are just winging it.
“This kind of thing is teaching mothers that it’s not normal to struggle.”
These reactions to the ‘Motherhood Manual’ are totally understandable, given we’re living in an era where mothers are feeling more pressure and more judgement than ever before.
We spoke to our UK community to understand their attitudes in more detail.
According to our recent survey, 78% of mums said they felt pressure from society to parent in a certain way. 95% have experienced guilt, 81% have experienced burnout, and 40% feel less confident since they’ve become a mother.
We asked Peanut founder, Michelle Kennedy, what she thought of the viral Motherhood Manual: “The pressure on mothers is greater than ever and the negative reaction to The Motherhood Manual proves just that.
There are so many headlines, stories, and surveys coming at us telling us how to parent (and how not to), the last thing we need is a ‘manual’. Especially because the advice is often conflicting, leading us to doubt our own instincts.
You give your baby a dummy and you’re condemned for doing so. You stop breastfeeding at three months (or keep breastfeeding for years) and then you’re told why it’s harmful. It can feel impossible to get it ‘right’ at times.
The transition to becoming a mother is a vulnerable experience, physically and mentally. We are put in charge of caring for a tiny human while we are still learning and evolving ourselves.
When our own mothers and grandmothers were raising children, there wasn’t this plethora of advice or constant scrutiny. They had a village they could rely on.
Today, many of us live far from our families meaning our ‘villages’ aren’t there to reassure and support us day-to-day leading to feelings of loneliness and self-doubt.
That’s why platforms like Peanut are so important, providing a safe space to talk about our experiences. I want any woman to know that if you’re feeling pressure, you’re not alone.
The very fact that you are even worrying about whether you’re a good enough parent means you already are.”
“There are so many headlines, stories, and surveys coming at us telling us how to parent (and how not to), the last thing we need is a ‘manual’.”
Michelle’s not the only one who’s not a fan of The Motherhood Manual ‒ Laura Abba, mindset coach and founder of Mind the Parent, says books such as The Motherhood Manual “create unrealistic ideals for mothers that have been carrying, growing, and delivering babies.
It says to women that if they don’t fit into what a ‘manual’ says then you are a failure to those standards; which is unreasonable and simply a lie. These books create the culture of all or nothing, telling women that if their pregnancy, delivery, or maternity are not like in the book then they should work harder, and keep pushing for somebody else’s ideals and standards. These sorts of books don’t take into account individual circumstances, resources, or views of the world.
As we all individually dive into ourselves, and our past experiences to develop what we call our personality; it is equally important to develop our own, individual parenting style.”
What do you think of The Motherhood Manual?
❤️ or 🤬?
Join the conversation on Peanut: