What I read, watched and listened to on maternity leave


In the first 6 months of my maternity leave I found myself with a lot of time to fill. Because my baby is perfect, and slept all day and night long. The end.

Ha ha, no! For many months my baby would pretty much only nap on me (but would happily sleep in his cot at night. Babies make no sense). So what’s a mama to do? Well this one snuggled up and absorbed all the things one cannot when doing a PhD full-time. 

Below is a selection of things that I really enjoyed reading, watching and listening to during my maternity leave* and wish to spread the social media love for. Feel free to share further recommendations with me over on Twitter!

Kate xx

READ

BOOKS
This is a great read (particularly for men) when there is a baby on the way/newly arrived. The discussion on attributing decisions around childcare directly to women's income when it's a family decision (p. 130) was a particular highlight for me.
One of the few fiction books I read (depsite meaning to read more); loved it! I thought about the ending for days after and can't wait to see the movie. Update: Saw the movie and thought the book was way better.
I wish I could give this to 18-year-old me and then read it every year after. This book is life.
Despite being a longtime fan of Gilmore Girls I knew little about the lead actress, Lauren Graham. The book is a collection of short essays (such a popular format at the moment) with something for everyone. Lauren comes across as a sparkly, intelligent woman who would make an excellent boozy lunch partner/American president.

ONLINE ARTICLES
I don't normally like articles like this but something about it got me thinking. Also, it's rare for men to write like this about topics like this. 
Long read but interesting, particularly for the new parent who is already worried about her baby growing up and turning to drugs to deal with life's hurdles. (FIRST TIME PARENT ALERT!)
Loved this! Entertaining and touching on something not many have before. This is so me: "Walking my dog late at night, my conniving obscured by the neighborhood shadows, I concocted and dismissed dozens of outlandish plans, each with the approximate sophistication of a fifth-grade Halloween prank."
This sauce + Japanese mayo makes everything delicious. A fun read. 
One day after mums and bubs yoga I heard some mothers discussing their house rules for screen time prompting 'Oh god, I forgot to worry about screen time!' thoughts for me. And then this article was recommended on The New Normal podcast (see below) and I got over it. 

WATCHED
A friend and I watched the original series while we were both pregnant. Many a cake was consumed as we analysed each season (and complained about how uncomfortable we were). The reboot was perfectly timed with long newborn feeds. Happy (tired) days.
This got me thinking a lot about making everyday choices that are consistent with my feminist beliefs. In many ways Fast Fashion makes a mockery of women and I intend on avoiding it; quality over quantity! (Side note: the Good on You app is helpful for this)
I loved this. Made me feel a little queezy at times but it was hilarous. "So Dan assumes you killed Gary? That's sexist."
GREAT show about urban twenty somethings in Australia with a diverse cast and plots. The episode on abortion in the final season is my favourite; the scene with Claire smashing the cardboard city at the end is everything.

LISTENED
Two Melbourne women chatting all things creativity and parenting. Entertaining and great to listen to when at home with a little baby by yourself. They also give great recommendations for books, articles, podcasts and movies. In fact a lot of this list probably came from them...
This is a great podcast to catch up on the week's Australian political news. Airs on Thursday so you can contribute to conversations on the weekend. Also, it's nice to hear two women talking politics rather than Alan Jones and all the men that sound exactly like Alan Jones.
So I've actually only listened to one of these ('Keep your last name or take your spouses'?) but I love Jessica Valenti and the concept of the podcast.

This is the third post in my PhD & pregnancy series; see here for the first on 'academic guilt and pregnancy' and here for the second  on budgeting for baby.

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*I'm still on leave for a while longer but there is much less time for reading, watching and listening to things now that baby is mobile, and nap times are being used for working on thesis (at a painfully slow pace. I'm talking one sentence per day...) and other related activities. 

Image via Death to the Stock Photo