Motherhood & fatherhood, books I have read lately

Every morning I get the bus by myself and then (and only then) it is my chance to read uninterrupted, in the short 10 minutes journey to town. I love to read, but I can´t do as much as I used to since our boy invaded (in a good way, mostly) my life.

I love fiction literature (I have just finished To Kill A Mockingbird, next is Catch-22), I rarely read “baby books”, and this was the first time I have read a memoir, I think. These two books are very different, the only link between them would be that they are about being a parent, written from a very contrasting perspective.

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way is written by Mayim Bialik, the well-known actress (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory), doctor in neuroscience, and unofficial spokesperson for attachment parenting. The book is not a typical guide to attachment parenting or how to raise kids in any form, but how she and her husband parent, and why. She is extremely articulate and informative, but also warm at the same time, and she never shies away from saying how hard things are sometimes for her with the (sometimes unconventional, and always selfless) commitment this parenting style demands. I have learnt a good deal from the book (I didn’t know about Elimination Communication, for example), even if it doesn’t fully suit my lifestyle (homeschooling or the mentioned EC method area bit too “hardcore” for me). I am very interested in finding out more about Gentle Discipline, a very appealing way to bring up our children without threats, punishments or shouting, now that my toddler son is entering the feared terrible twos phase.

Self Abuse, by Jonathan Self, was bought by my husband and to be honest I was not interested in it at first. Then I started reading a bit out of curiosity and I couldn’t stop. The author is the older brother of famed novelist Will Self, and he accounts his life starting with a childhood with an emotionally cold father and a hyper-sensitive unstable mother, and their (obviously?) disastrous marriage. Jonathan Self himself marries and divorces twice, probably because he works too much and consumes dangerous amounts of cocaine, but his angst and desperation for not being close to his children makes a harrowing read.

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