'Helen Hayward's family have been blessed to have her as a wife and mother; now we as her readers are blessed to have her as our guide, confidante and explorer through the tumultuous, intensely familiar and yet entirely uncharted lands of children and parenting. Her achievement is to have written a book about the most ordinary things and to have located therein the most extraordinary insights and ideas.' 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 be 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.
A Slow Childhood is a triumph. I was very moved, often to tears, by it. – Alain de Botton