What’s on your bedside table?

In my first year of motherhood my bedside table was stacked high with a wide selection of parenting books. The subjects of most interest at that time were sleep, health, breastfeeding and developmental milestones. My reading of parenting and child psychology books became a little obsessive. There was a time when the only other items on my bedside table (along with said books) was a gigantic bottle of filtered water, cups of lactation tea, parenting magazines, breast-pads and nipple cream!

By my third year of motherhood I became increasingly interested in behavioural ‘norms’, early education and socialization. I’d read books on attachment parenting and those on the opposite end of the spectrum. Some of the most unusual reads were a book on Tandem Breastfeeding and one on Aspergers Syndrome.

When my second child did arrive I’d been a mother for two and a half years. I finally let go of the reigns a little on my obsession with above reading material. However, I frequently logged onto parenting blogs for light humour and relief that ‘I was not alone’. I became very interested in home-schooling as a result and have come across some incredibly patient and inspiring people. I enjoy reading education articles of the International press. Another interest is child psychology – particularly as both my girls are bright and my eldest is undergoing assessments for giftedness. She also has some social processing issues, but we’re reluctant to ‘label’. Frankly, if she weren’t within the education system I wouldn’t be worried. She’s eccentric (so what!), she’s different (thank the lord!), she has personality in doses, sensitive and extremely questioning.

This year, my fifth year of parenting, I’ve finally mixed up my reading with something a little lighter. Gone are the breast-pads and nipple cream. Some normality of self has returned to my bedside table. A scented candle, jewelery, handcrafted gifts from my girls, hand-cream and a glass of water now sit happily along side an array of books. Magazines flood underneath the bed – from trashy gossip to gardening and short-stories.

Reads currently on my bedside table: The Power of Now; Eat, Pray, Love; The Jane Austen Miscellany; Chambers eyes like butterflies; Richard Branson Autobiography – ‘Losing My Virginity’. I’ve just completed Philippa Gregory’s ‘Virgin Earth‘ – the first novel I’ve read of this highly educated and gifted writer. My life is returning some balance (for a little while at least).

In another post I’ll write of the books my children are current fans of – and I’d love to hear your input as to what puts a sparkle in your own children’s eyes. I had a thought the other day how wonderful it would be to keep a record of the books that really capture my children’s attention on their journey to adulthood.

There’s also the books gathering dust on the kitchen shelves to review, the ‘coffee table books’ propping up lamps and the numerous little baskets of choice books I have scattered around the home… if I’m not careful the words will start breathing and walking!