Book Recommendation for all new parents
Empathy in parenting

Book recommendation: Welcome To Parenting5 min read

“I used to be cool and do cool things,” sounds about as accurate of a description as I’ve ever heard about parenting.

This is the ultimate gift for new parents.

My husband gifted Welcome To Parenting to a colleague for the birth of their first child. The birth ended up in a cesarean and the baby on a short detour to the NICU, so this book was a welcome distraction for the frazzled, tired, new parents while in hospital.

A few days after gifting the book, we got a message; they were both in stitches over it. The wife was both literally and figuratively in stitches, so they had to break up their joint reading into smaller sessions because the laughing hurt too much for her.

The back cover sums it up well:

Are you a mom or dad? How wonderful and annoying for you!

Do you know someone who will soon have a baby? How exciting and terrifying for them!

Are your friends parents, too? Of course they are, those poor sons of bitches…

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Fowl Language is for you.

And if you answered no, then congratulations, and feel free to sleep in this weekend.

Brian Gordon’s Welcome To Parenting so perfectly captures the essence of parenting. Especially for the first time parents, there are a lot of, well… first times. You’re not sure what to expect, but you’re under the very comforting illusion that you’re going to coast through it. When other parents jokingly tell you “welcome to not sleeping”, you just smile and shrug it off — until it gets real.

Sleepless nights, constant crying, rocking till your arms hurt and hustling to learn how to take care of that helpless little creature, really takes its toll and makes you think about the choices that led you to this sleep-deprived, puke-covered, poo-smelling moment at 3 a.m.

What I love about Fowl Language is that the books aren’t chronological, so right from the beginning, they remind you that, even though your kid is a little bundle now, they grow up so fast. With that comes its own challenges, like communication…

…for all involved.

In between all the frustration, exasperation and too many cups of coffee, Gordon reminds us of how magical it is to have kids (exhausting though it is). The little glimpses into those moments when your kids stop being so self-reliant and independent and self-centred and argumentative and think of you for a change.

Gordon began drawing the Fowl Language comics as a way to vent his frustration over the challenges of parenting. He faces those same struggles in the day-to-day of being a parent that we all do. These comics will let you know that you are not alone and that it gets worse before it gets better — but others have survived it and so will you.

“A million years ago, Brian Gordon spent his time staying out late, hitting the clubs, and eating at fancy restaurants.

And then suddenly… CHILDREN.”

Reconciling who you used to be and who you are now isn’t easy for anyone. Having the focus of your life become your children takes adjusting and it isn’t always easy. You love your kids, but they can drive you absolutely bonkers and it’s okay if you aren’t perfect at parenting— we’re all just managing as best we can.

I wish someone had given me both Welcome To Parenting and The Struggle Is Real to read when I was cooped up in the hospital after surgery. They would have lightened my post-op mood and reminded me that others have been down this road before me.

If you’re a first-time parent you’ll get a good laugh out of this book and possibly be hit with the full weight of what you’ve just brought into your life. If you’re already a seasoned parent, you’ll find that your kid has much the same issues as any kid and be reminded of those precious moments of parenting that you’re currently just too tired to remember ever existed.

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