I love me a good parenting book, especially a good HONEST parenting book. If I'm being honest, it was the title of this book that first grabbed me; it's not often you come across an author brave enough to put the words child and mistake together in a statement like that. The world is full of expectations of the perfect parent who never gets angry with their children and never misses their life before parenthood - I like to read books that present that truth instead of perpetuating that madness.
Ellie Taylor is a well-known comedian, so it should come as no shock that this book was rather tongue-in-cheek and laugh-out-loud funny. The sentiments themselves were amusing, but the way that the author expressed them throughout the book had me literally laughing out loud (the neighbours thought I was mad as I listened to the audiobook on my dog walks around our village).
There is a brutality about some of what is written in this book, they are thoughts that most parents would never admit to having (even though they most likely do on a regular basis). Instead of shying away from those things because it is socially acceptable to do so, the author has not only taken them and run with them, she has done so in a way that is accessible and non-offensive. It is obvious that she loves her child very much, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't feel some of the more challenging things that come alongside that and she's not afraid to say so. It was very refreshing.
The book's content and its author were both very relatable. The narration by the author herself really helped with this, as it infused some otherwise daring statements with warmth and personality. I found myself nodding along as she spoke and wishing that more people picked up this truthful narrative of parenting and ran with it. It would take pressure off parents, and specifically mums, to be everything positive all the time.
My Child and Other Mistakes is the honest lowdown on Motherhood and all its grisly delights, asking the questions no one wants to admit to asking themselves - do I want a child? Do I have a favourite? Do I wish I hadn't had one and spent the money on a kitchen island instead?
Stand-up comic, broadcaster and actress Ellie Taylor is relatable, clever and interested in how women can have it all. Her honest, hilarious and moving account of the whys and hows of having a baby makes perfect reading for expectant mothers and fathers everywhere, as well as those who've been there, done that, and wonder how on earth they did.
In this very funny book she writes candidly about her own personal experience exploring the decision to have a baby when she doesn't even like them, the importance of cheese during pregnancy, why she took hair straighteners to the labour ward, plus the apocalyptic newborn days, childcare, work and the inevitable impact on life and love and most importantly, her breasts.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Hodder & Stoughton.