I have a bump! 28 weeks pregnant and I finally have a bump. It took a while to arrive and then, aided by several Christmas dinners and a few weeks of festive chocolates left in the house, it burst on to the scene, knocking into things, rendering my clothes unwearable and making the poking of my bellybutton (of which I, er, have a slight phobia) irresistible to my daughter!
Suddenly I feel veeerrrrry pregnant. Every morning begins with the Beetles anthem for tired souls – “No, don’t wake me, please don’t shake me, leave me where I am! I’m only sleeeeeeping!” Even my knees creak as I walk around. I have had to change the start of my maternity leave from 2 weeks prior to my due date to 6 weeks prior because I am just so weary! GAH, being pregnant with Ramona wasn’t like this, I was a (probably slightly annoying) energetic bundle of glowing hormones. It is partly having a rambunctious toddler, I guess, and also partly to it being cold, old January. I think everyone is a bit exhausted just now.
I am still nursing Ramona, and we have good days and bad days with that. I see so very many benefits for her still, so aim to keep going, and some days as I snuggle on the sofa with her and we lock eyes as she nurses I love it as much as I did when she was a new born. And other days it is, as one mama put it, like getting a “30 minute long wet willy” – that classic, sloppy saliva finger wedged in your ear hole trick, eeep!
Of course, I love this baby growing inside me already, and I love parenting Ramona, and can’t wait to have both here on my lap. But sometimes I need a bit of a boost, reminders about why I am parenting peacefully, I need some comfort in shared experience.
I feel so fortunate to have a stack of books and online resources to help me get through some of these more sleepy, short-wick, big emotion days. It is always good to read of other people dealing with similar things, getting encouragement and ideas, and being part of communities that aim to parent in similar ways.
So. I thought I’d share my list of where I find this!
These are my favourite off line and online resources for parenting and pregnancy and birth.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. The BEST book. Oh my days. It covers SO much but in a really readable way. It is, without a doubt, the book I would recommend to every newly pregnant couple.
Hypno Birthing by Marie Mongan. I am a massive fan of hypnobirthing, primarily because of the complete faith it bestows upon women’s bodies. I am sure that reading this book in pregnancy created the gentle birth I had with Ramona.
The Science of Parenting. This was probably the first parenting book I read and I devoured it in one sitting. It covers babyhood to older childhood and brings, er, you may have guessed, a bit of science into it but in a super accessible way. It covers cosleeping, babywearing, breastfeeding and gentle parenting.
Playful Parenting. This is the manifesto for parents who want to have relationships with their children that bring joy and freedom, for those who want to move away from punitive, tension filled parenting. It is story after story of how play can restore our children and our relationships. Brilliant.
How to Talk so Kids Listen and Listen so Kids Talk. I read this book over Christmas and it has given me this pair of specs that I can’t take off! I feel like I see every adult-child interaction in a new way, a way that reveals where children are coming from. It has such incredible power to help parents understand, and respond to, their children.
The Green Parent. This is a WONDERFUL magazine, but also an online site with forums. These forums got me through my first few months of motherhood! The community of people on there are so helpful and inspirational.
Kellymom. What breastfeeding question has Kellymom NOT answered? None. Nope, not one.
Mothering.com The articles on Mothering stretch my mind with potential, often full of creative and reflective stories on motherhood. There is a lovely community of mamas in the forums too.
Attachment Parenting UK Facebook group. I really like being part of this group! They post encouraging quotes and blogs and posts and generate alot of discussion.
The Natural Child Project. This site covers so much with the most simple, story based articles. From Elimination Communication to Unschooling it challenges main stream philosophies with really practical examples.
La Leche League. This is an incredible breastfeeding support network to tap into. Jampacked with resources, but also access to support lines and groups to help in the most hands on way.
The Mule, Baby Calm, Little Hearts, The Other Baby Book, Hobo Mama, Analytical Armadillo, Uncommon John and Aha Parenting are all blogs that I love -along with about a billion others- and will often delve into their archives for inspiration and research on attachment, peaceful parenting. You have to follow these peeps too!
A few weeks ago I was in an Oxfam Bookshop and found four of the above books in pristine condition, two each of Hypnobirthing and The Science of Parenting. I already have one set myself, have given one to friends who are expecting so for the final duo I am giving them away on this ‘ere blog.
To win The Science of Parenting and Hypnobirthing (with CD)
Please leave a comment! That’s all folks!
For an EXTRA entry you can follow this blog through email (see below to enter email address and hit subscribe button) or through Facebook (let me know in the comments)
And for a THIRD entry you can share this post either on Facebook or Twitter (again, let me know in the comments)
Winner will be chosen on Friday 1st February at 9pm. Winner will be drawn at random from all the entries. UK entrants only, unless you indicate that you’d be willing to help out with postage.
Thank you SO much everyone, and especially for your beautiful and lovely comments. The winner was MrsXpat- congratulations! Thanks for entering everyone, and I’ll have another giveaway soon I’m sure!
Thank ye, my friends, and good luck!
PS I’d hate for you to miss a post… enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!