So, these are some texts that have gotten me through the past year:
Helen Dunmore, poem, ‘The night workers’: a great poem to have knocking around in your head at three am when the baby won’t sleep
Oliver James, book, ‘How not to fuck them up’: I know some feminists hate him, but I love how he makes the labour of mothering visible and valuable. I think there’s an argument for it to be reclaimed as a feminist text
Margot Wadell, book, ‘Inside Lives’: a beautifully written, technical psychoanalytic text tracing normal emotional development from infancy to old age (including some terrifying examples of pathology – ‘is my son staring at the light because he’s trying to hold himself together or because he’s a baby interested in light?!) It’s a total pleasure to read, particularly the chapters on infancy
Rachel Cusk, book, ‘A Life’s work’: a gorgeous memoir that bravely explores some of the darker aspects of motherhood in totally delicious sentences
Helen Dunmore, poem, ‘Glad of these times’: A fabulous poem that puts into words why I’m very happy I gave birth and am raising a child in in the 21st century, not 50 years ago
Book, ‘The Oxford Handbook of Infant, child and adolescent sleep and behaviour’: a technical smorgasbord of essays on sleep. Its not for everyone, but I enjoyed it immensely
James McKenna, website, http://cosleeping.nd.edu and article about co sleeping: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/james-mckenna-co-sleeping-expert_b_7119782.html :Bed sharing isn’t for everyone, but I enjoyed the practice of it for the first year, till I moved the baby to a cot. I wish the debate was less polarised and morally charged, as I think the pleasures of waking up next to your delicious baby often get forgotten in the shouting matches sleeping practices seem spark
Lynn Murray and Liz Andrews, book, ‘The Social Baby,’ a visually stunning book of film stills capturing how even newborns reach out for emotional connection with their caretakers. Looking through it was definitely a penny-drop moment for me
Daniel Stern, Books, ‘Diary of a baby’ and ‘The interpersonal world of the infant’: The first text is an imaginative foray into baby Joey’s experience of the world and his sense of self at different stages of infancy (one month, four an a half months one year and four years) which sort of flesh out and illustrate Stern’s rather more technical but riveting observations from the second text.
Nicola Lathey, book, ‘Small talk’: A really useful book written by a speech an language therapist about language development. Full of games, cold hard facts and recommendations for developing speech.
Susie Orbach, PDF, ‘Two for the price of one’: Susie’s thinking on women, food and bodies (Hunger Strike and On eating especially) has influenced my deeply over the years and radically changed the way I eat and think about food and my own body, and this essay is a lovely succinct introduction to some of her thinking, geared in particular towards pregnant and postpartum women. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/317739/TWO_FOR_THE_PRICE_OF_ONE.pdf