Impossible Parenting: Creating a New Culture of Mental Health for Parents

Dundurn. Nov. 2020. 232p. ISBN 9781459746541. pap. $19.99. CHILD REARING
Parenting culture today creates “unreasonable, unsustainable, impossible expectations that often erode parents’ mental health,” counselor and educator Scobie writes. A maternal support practitioner specializing in perinatal mood, birth trauma, and parental mental health, Scobie founded Postpartum Support Toronto. Her debut book is divided into three sections. The first step is naming, which involves recognizing biological aspects, thought patterns and thinking styles, recognizing individual and circumstantial risk factors, and recognizing how societal expectations of parents may exacerbate mental health issues. The section on hurting explores how the culture of impossible parenting is eroding parental mental health. The author deals with specific traumas common for parents, including getting and staying pregnant, coping with sleep deprivation, the pressure to breastfeed, the sense of failure often felt when feeding doesn’t go as expected, negotiating changes in romantic relationships and those with family and friends, and the struggles many new moms face around weight and their bodies after giving birth. Finally, the author provides a light at the end of the tunnel in the section on healing that shares ways not only to get through but thrive during the oft-challenging early years of parenting. Morevoer, the author struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety with both of her children.
VERDICT This will prove a helpful volume to parents in the trenches.
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