So writes Alain de Botton in his foreword to A Slow Childhood, a book he describes as “a triumph” having at its heart the greatest, founding philosophical question, a question parenting ineluctably demands that one address: what is a good life?
If you’ve ever struggled to balance a desire for personal fulfilment with a yearning to the best parent you can be, Helen Hayward’s journey will resonate with you. Part-memoir, part-existential musings, part-guidebook, A Slow Childhood is based on the former academic and psychotherapist’s personal experience of transitioning from a life focused on career to a life focused on family.
Hayward’s discussion of how to make parenting work best for mothers, fathers and their children is thoughtful, honest, refreshing and challenging. It may be the book that changes your life, and the lives of your children, forever.
Helen Hayward is a Hobart-based writer, editor and blogger with a background in psychotherapy, publishing and higher education. She has a PhD in psychology and literature from The University of London and is the author of Never Marry A Girl With A Dead Father: Women’s troubled relationships in realist novels and For the Love of Food: Stories and recipes from extraordinary Tasmanians.