I love me a good parenting book, I'm even more of a sucker if I know the face of the person who wrote it. Anything that's gonna help me feel like I'm getting even a part of my parenting journey right, or help me realise that I'm not alone in my parenting struggles is a worthwhile read for me.
Kate Lawler, Big Brother winner and radio DJ, has been very open about the fact that she didn't always want kids, even going as far as to have a podcast of the same name as this book, but I'm more of a book-lover so I wanted to give this format a go.
Her writing style is very approachable and light. This is particularly appreciated when she delves into her battle with postnatal depression; she is honest about her struggle but it never feels hard to read. I think she manages to keep things light by not hashing over the same point repeatedly - she is matter of fact and has clearly had the kind of support that enables her to realise that it's not her fault that she went through this.
I liked that she made it clear at several points that just because she made a decision for her and her child, that doesn't mean that it's right for everyone else. There is a total lack of judgement in any direction. She explains why she's made her decisions without implying that it's a decision that anyone else should make. It's very welcoming and, I would imagine, very reassuring for anyone reading this as a first time mum.
This is an honest, vulnerable, funny look at the first year of parenting. Kate sums it up beautifully herself when she says that we need more honest mums to write about what that first year can be like (and the rest of it).
Kate Lawler has never been maternal. And yet here she is: mother to Noa, after years of going back and forth about having children at all. This is the story of her journey from parentally undecided to early motherhood, via raging hormones, sleepless nights, emergency hospital trips, mum guilt, unspoken regrets and post-natal depression.
This book is not a parenting manual. It won't tell you what to pack in your hospital bag, or how to get your baby to sleep. It may not help you with feeding or dealing with tantrums. But it will show you that you're not alone - and that it's perfectly possible, and maybe even normal, to love your child with all of your heart while also feeling lost, alone and resentful.
Whether you're an expectant parent, a new parent, firmly in the thick of it, or still parentally undecided, this book is for you, as Kate writes honestly and hilariously about the ups and downs of pregnancy, birth and early parenting, as well as the impact of a new baby on relationships, your sense of self and everything in between. It's a book that, with Kate's usual candour and wit, will help mums and dads everywhere feel seen - and completely understood.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Seven Dials.
For more on the author, you can follow her on Instagram (which I recommend).