The confident books that changed my life – Birds on the Blog

The confident books that changed my life

When I was 17, I went round to a boyfriend’s house. First I was struck by how immaculately clean it was. Then I noticed something else …. not a bookshelf in sight.

I turned to him and asked “Where do you keep your books?”

“What books?”

“You know, your ‘book’ books. The books you read, the books you look things up in. Those books.”

“We don’t have any books.”

I was shocked … how could you live in a house without books. I had never been to a house without books. How can you survive in a book-free zone?

I have always been a bookworm. My very first job after college was in a publishing house. I used to spend all my spare money on books – mostly non-fiction.

There’s not really one book that has changed my life. I have read literally 100s of books, especially during my training as a breastfeeding counsellor, when my book choices tended to focus on women in society, breastfeeding, communication, counselling skills, groupwork and personal development.

These are a few that stood out and have helped me on my journey towards The Confident Mother.

Three In A Bed: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your BabyDeborah Jackson

I wish I had read this book much earlier so that I had the arguments to support my instinctive beliefs on co-sleeping. I wish I hadn’t gone against my instincts and had fought harder to persuade my husband that it was the right thing to do.

Counselling for Toads: a psychological adventure – Robert de Board

This book is a pastiche based on Wind in the Willows. Toad is depressed and goes to see Heron, a counsellor. Heron asks questions, uses silence a lot and is very empathic.

Heron teaches Toad – and at the same time, the reader – about Child and Parent states, adapted behaviour and the types of behaviour that you might display if you are in any of these states. I was prompted to reflect on my own behaviour and to take more responsibility for my own actions.

I don’t know how she does it – Allison Pearson

My husband bought me this book just after it was published and my first daughter was a few months old. I was deep in the throes of severe postnatal depression. He thought it would be amusing but it just made me cry. I was convinced that Kate Reddy had PND too. It was all too much to bear and I never finished the book. Even now, the thought of picking it up to read reminds me of my very dark days.

You just don’t understand: women and men in conversation Deborah Tannen

At last! At last I understood why men need to fix everything and women just want to be listened too.

The Caesarean Experience – Dr Sarah Clement

Fabulous book now out of print but I borrowed from my local library, Clement explains the caesarean experience from many perspectives: medical, social, psychological … it helped me come to terms with the traumatic birth of my first daughter and to finally accept that it “wasn’t my fault”.

The Confident Mother – Sherry Bevan

Writing this book really did change my life. I learned a lot about myself in the process. I learned to value my strengths: passion, determination, attention to detail, tenacity and so much more. As a published author, when I appear on Sky News or BBC Radio, people assume even more that you have that air of authority. “She wrote the book, so she must know how to help me to be a confident mother.

Now that we’re married …

Clearly I got over the shock of the boyfriend without books, because more than 30 years later, we’re happily married. AND we have book shelves crammed full of amazing books. I even have my very own cupboard jam-packed with books on confidence, work-life balance, being a mother, celebrating women and coaching. You never stop learn and I’ll never stop reading.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into a few of the books that changed my life.

What about you? What books have changed your life?

About the Author Sherry Bevan

It can be hard to balance career and family. Sherry helps ambitious women get clear on what they really want, then find the confidence to do it. If today's the day, you want to put your head in your hands and cry, know you are not alone. Why not check out these tips on how to cope with overwhelm. Coach | Author | Speaker | Dog sitter

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