Dr. Spock's Baby and Childcare book was the book that parents went to for many years. In the 80's and 90's parents read 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'. Search amazon for books on motherhood and you have over a thousand choices. Barnes and Noble provides over fifteen hundred books on motherhood. Type in 'motherhood books' in your browser, hit search and you will have over fifty-six million options. If you broaden your search to parenting? Two billion results.
I love vintage books and have had the Mother's Encyclopedia for as long as I can remember. The copyright is dated 1950. The chapters begin with the Privilege of Parenthood, The Expectant Mother, The Emotional Adjustments of Pregnancy, A Word to Expectant Fathers and in the first section is also Painless Childbirth (???). It moves through the first year and preschoolers. There are chapters on how small children learn, letting your child have their say, discipline through affection and much more. In the section on school age children there is advice on education, summer camp, the lunch box, natural and wholesome attitudes toward sex and advice on comic books, television and radio There are chapters on books, music, art, in-laws, grandparents, first aid and adoption.
Each generation has their own set of challenges and obstacles. The Mother's Encyclopedia in many ways is not relevant for parenting children today. However, in many ways the more things change, the more they stay the same. The first chapter is Parents' Pledge to Their Children. I've taken the liberty to edit and update---
Parents' Pledge to Their Children
Mother's Encyclopedia for Care & Raising Children
In every home where this pledge is made and kept, children will have a greater opportunity to grow into healthy, intelligent and useful members of society. *
From your earliest infancy we will give you our love, so that you may grow with trust in yourself and in others.
We will recognize your worth as a person and we will help you to strengthen your sense of belonging.
We will respect your right to be yourself and at the same time help you to understand the rights of others, so that you may experience cooperative living.
We will help you to develop initiative and imagination, so that you may have the opportunity to freely to create.
We will encourage your curiosity and your pride in workmanship, so that you may have the satisfaction that comes from achievement.
We will provide the conditions for play that will add to your learning, to your social experience, and to your happiness.
We will illustrate by precept and example the value of integrity the importance of moral courage.
We will encourage you always to seek the truth.
We will provide you with all opportunities possible to develop your own faith.
We will open the way for you to enjoy the arts and to use them for deepening your understanding of life.
We will work to rid ourselves of prejudice and discrimination, so that together we may achieve a truly democratic society.
We will work to lift the standard of living and to improve our economic practices, so that you may have the basis for a full life.
We will provide you with rewarding educational opportunities, so that you may develop your talents and contribute to a better world.
We will protect you against exploitation and undue hazards and help your grow in health and strength.
We will intensify our search for new knowledge in order to guide you more effectively as you develop your potentialities.
As you grow from child to youth to adult, establishing a family life of your own and accepting larger social responsibilities, we will work with you to improve conditions for all children and youth.
Aware that these promises to you cannot be fully met in a word at war, we ask you to join us in a firm dedication to the building of a world society based on freedom, justice and mutual respect.
So may you grow in joy, in faith of man and in those qualities of vision and of the spirit that will sustain us all and give us new hope for the future.
*This pledge to children was unanimously adopted by 6000 delegates at the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth, held in Washington, D. C. December 5-7, 1950.
There are all kinds of mothers. There are as many ways to be a mother as there are mothers in this world. I was a lucky girl. I had really great role models. Have a great weekend. Happy, happy, happy Mother's Day!