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Was raising me a waste of my mother’s time?
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Was raising me a waste of my mother’s time?

In a highly thought-provoking conversation about parenting with Amanda Smith of ABC Radio National’s Life Matters this morning, author of A Slow Childhood Helen Hayward asked some difficult questions that really strike at the heart of what it means to be a mother.

Was raising me the best use of my mother’s life? Why does society fail to properly acknowledge the tough emotional work of parenting? What is the difference between sacrifice and surrender when it comes to throwing yourself into family life? Will a slow, intensive childhood create the kind of resilience and internal strength in children that will reap greater rewards later in life?

It’s a big subject and one that, as noted philosopher Alain de Botton points out in his eloquent introduction to the book, fails to attract public discourse in the way that it probably should.

Helen will be in conversation with Damon Young at Readings Bookstore in Hawthorn, Melbourne, on 6 July. If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits and challenges of providing a slow childhood, please come along.

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