Book Review: The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

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Last week, late on a Wednesday evening, I found myself wandering the aisles of the supermarket, in search for some calm. A strange place to search for calm you may think but after spending all day cooped up indoors with a teething Francis and a fractious Rufus, a change of environment was what I craved. And anyway, the weekly food shopping needed to be bought so I didn’t have much choice. As usual I diverted down the book aisle first, the most soul nourishing aisle and therefore most important. I was actually searching for Marie Kondo’s raved about book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ when instead I was hit in the face by bright pink of The Unmumsy Mum’s self titled new book. It was on offer and I had heard good things, so in the basket it went.

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The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood as she has experienced it, which makes for a great laugh and plenty of ‘thank God it’s not just me moments’. Sometimes being a stay at home mum (God I dislike that phrase) is just hard, so when a gem of frankness and hilarity like this comes along it must be lapped up and absorbed. Author Sarah Turner’s honesty is refreshing; even though I disagree with some of what she says (no matter how dreadful my children’s behaviour has been that day, I could never call them a d*** head), it’s great to read about motherhood with the filters off.

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The best bits:

Sarah’s breakdown of ‘Soft-play Hellholes’.

I really despise soft play. Like really despise it. As if a rainy Saturday with two tiny human beings full of energy wasn’t bad enough, factor in the sensory overload, wet socks (nope, not Robinson’s Fruit Shoot) and everyone else’s energetic children, welcome to hell. Yes we have been there, done that and got the sweaty, Fruit Shoot stained t shirt but once was enough.

The Breastfeeding Highs and Lows.

Breastfeeding is hard. Okay I said it. Yes it’s pretty handy when you’re stuck on the bus with a crying baby and you can whip out your boob with perfectly prepared not-too-hot-not-too-cold milk but the rest of the time, it’s hard. The engorged breasts, the smelling of old fridge as Sarah puts it and the need to always be boob-accessible is no party. Her story about her being hand expressed by her husband had me howling.

Your Day versus His Day.

This chapter struck a chord with me. We’ve just moved and Sebastian has a new job which means for the first time in a few years we aren’t together all day every day. It would be all too easy for me to look at him with resentment for going to work, getting a lunch break, wearing trousers without porridge on them. And he could resent me for being able to stay in my pyjamas all day and being able to take trips to the library whenever we feel like it. But Sarah’s chapter on this struggle put things into context for me; you’ve both had a hard week, unless the baby is teething or someone is poorly.

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Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you think Sarah took the mocking of parenthood too far or was it just the anecdote that you needed?