By Leah Ashton
As many of you know, I'm currently 35.5 weeks pregnant, and am due to give birth in early January. This is my first baby, so it's both super exciting and rather intimidating!
In between finishing up my day job (temporarily) and finishing my latest book, I'm feeling a bit behind as far as preparing for the impending arrival of Baby Ashton. We've bought the absolute essentials (pram, car seat, bassinet, sheets, nappies) and that's about it. It's such a bizarre time - I feel so ignorant (and I hate buying stuff that I may turn out not to need) and yet I'm about to be responsible for a little one. Eek! There are so many unknowns - obviously the birth itself, but also whether I'll be able to breast feed, how my baby will sleep (or not), how I'll react to the birth (having had close friends deal with post natal depression I'm very aware of that possibility), even whether it's going to be a boy or a girl!
Anyway - there are a few parenting things that I do feel confident about. The big one is that I want to do everything I can to encourage my child to read. Growing up, I read constantly. I would get into trouble for reading too late into the night, or being late for school as I'd decided to read one extra chapter before getting out of bed in the morning. More than one Christmas afternoon I spent in my bedroom reading my beautiful new Christmas book rather than socialising :)
As a shy, rather awkward teenager who was far from popular - and who wasn't kissed until she was 18! - I had lots of self doubt growing up. But because of books I always had this deep down belief that I was going to be okay. The books I read (and lots of them were romance novels!) taught me that I could be loved and respected for who I am (as I am) and that I was deserving of love. They taught me that I didn't have to be the most beautiful or most talented or most popular. Books certainly contributed (along with my wonderful family of course!) to my inner strength and belief in myself. They also helped me at school - by broadening my knowledge, vocabulary and writing skills.
But really - I don't need to tell anyone visiting this blog how awesome books are :)
So, I fully intend to start reading to Baby Ashton right from the get go. But, I don't even know where to start!
Do you have any book recommendations for Baby Ashton? I'd love to hear them!