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Not having children does not diminish us

Pope Francis recently created a big controversy by criticising couples who decide to have pets over children. “This denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity,” he said. “Civilisation becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood

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sleeping fox

Let’s talk about sleep, baby

If you read my newsletter last week, you may remember that my intention for 2022 is to get enough sleep every day. Ten days into the new year, I am already sleep-deprived: I’m writing this after having slept only five hours, as I stayed up well

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Three ways The First 1,000 Days plans to start 2022

This is a special edition of this newsletter that marks our first-year anniversary, so I’ll skip recommendations for this week. They will be back next week as usual. Since I was little, I always paid attention to the Neapolitan tradition that whatever you do on

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How I see the first 1,000 days recognised globally

My home city of Naples, in southern Italy, is famous for its wild celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Like many places, at midnight the skies light up with thousands of fireworks — which have caused many injuries and deaths throughout the years. The streets also

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baby's feet

Humanising childbirth: less silence about the violence

We don’t remember when we were born — let alone the circumstances and the scene that day. They’re not really stories we sit around a fire or kitchen table listening to, especially if the experience itself was negative: if the person giving birth had negative

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How to change how we talk to children

Before we get into this week’s story, an important announcement! If you leave a comment below a story, you can now receive notifications if someone replies or the conversation continues. A few of you had pointed out how impractical it was not to receive notifications.

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Forever in the archive:

Tree swing on hill during daytime

This week I turn 40 – and I mark a loss

*Warning: This newsletter touches on the subject of miscarriage. If you find the topic triggering, maybe skip reading this edition, and check out this book that I highly recommend. This week is also Pregnancy and Baby Loss Awareness Week, and you can find more resources there.

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blue lego minifig on a white surface

Is not using the word tantrum enough?

A few weeks ago I wrote a newsletter about why we should stop referring to children’s meltdowns as tantrums. Michael, a reader, inspired me when he wrote to say that the word tantrum had negative connotations and stigmatised children. Thanks to the help of Andrea

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close-up photography of sunlight through maple leaf

I am gathering the sun

This autumn has greeted me with a sunny day in Trento, northern Italy. A beautiful day — but it can’t fool you. A chilly wind catches you in the shade, a clear reminder of winter just around the corner. There is a large crowd of

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green and white mug with a stylized owl

In praise of the 6am wake-up call

I am writing this at 6am. For most of my life, this was an ungodly hour, a time I would spend awake only if I carried on through the night or if I had picked one of those cheap flights with a low-cost airline. I

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A woman and her baby at the AMURTEL organization in Greece

A healthy start for an Afghan migrant baby

As an Afghan born and raised in a loving, large family in Iran, Fatimah always expected to become a mother one day. So when she found out she was pregnant, she was overjoyed. At the same time, she also felt the need to change her

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Open books on an orange background

These are my favourite stories from this year

The news have been scary and sad around us. For a week, the air here in the outskirts of Athens was awful, with terrible wildfires only 40 km away from where I live. The climate report left me anxious as we experienced an awful heat

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