Book Review: Beyond the Sling, by Mayim Bialik

Hi Friends of all stripes,

I’m currently reading a book. A real book, with hardly any pictures! One of the things I’ve noticed on my grief journey is that I am having a much harder time reading than I expected. This is very odd for me, given that I used to read constantly, and fly through books at an amazing rate! Last summer, I did escape into books for a while, and did read a fiction series over the winter, but a book really has to grab me (and I have to find the wherewithal to start it in the first place). These are not problems I used to have.

A friend of mine really helped when she suggested graphic novels. There are some pretty amazing ones out there now! Not all of them are my style. For instance, not only do the writing and story topic have to appeal, but the artwork is a factor too. But, since I am visual, reading a book that is heavy on the visual and light on the text is actually a very natural way for me to ease back into reading. I also credit the library for running an adult summer reading program, right when I needed a little push!

Recently, I was poking through YouTube, and stumbled across an interview with Mayim Bialik. I am familiar with her as an actress on the nerdy sitcom Big Bang Theory, but she is ever so much more than “just” an actress! She is a truly fascinating person, being everything from a Neuro-biologist to a Lactation Consultant. (If I get any of this wrong, it is purely my mistake.)

The interview I watched touched on the books Mayim Bialik has written, and all sounded interesting (and I plan on reading the others too) but the one that sounded most interesting was her book Beyond The Sling, which is about her family’s experience with attachment parenting, which is something I am also interested in. Additionally, when I ordered all of the books from the library, this one came first, which was ideal ­čÖé

It’s really fascinating. It touches on the actual science (neuro-biology, hormones, physiology) that underpin many of her descriptions to practice this particular approach to parenting and child rearing. She is clear and concise, and her sense of humor also pervades her writing. I’m finding it very easy to stay interested, to the point where I stayed up much too late last night, fascinated by her descriptions! She covers birth, nursing, baby-wearing, co-sleeping and bed-sharing, and elimination communication (a form of potty training, only not as much “training” and more understanding each other). I know there is much more to discover in this book that I haven’t even gotten to yet! That’s just what I’ve read so far!

When we give Charlie a little sibling, and I actually get to learn parenting hands-on, I hope to give several of these same approaches a go. This is what I was hoping to do with Charlie, so some of reading this is hard, because it is so much of what I’d hoped his future would be. I didn’t really expect myself to be ready to be reading parenting books yet. They talk a lot about things that are difficult for me – natural births going as planned, or mostly as planned, healthy babies, happy families who do not spend holidays in the cemetery. However, the upbeat but forthright style hooked me, and I am actually going to encourage my husband and mother to read this book as well. It contains a lot of useful information for parents with living children, and is a fun read, as well!

~ Sarah

Infant loss resource document: www.tinyurl.com/infantloss

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