Brits, They’re Parents Like Us

baby

When I started reading How to Have a Baby and Not Lose Your Shit, I immediately started hoping that the author, Kirsty Smith, lived in my town. Alas, it soon became apparent when I had to look up various translations of British English into American English that she not only didn’t live in New Jersey, but she actually lived across the pond. It’s too bad because even though she says things like “sticking plaster” when she means “Band-Aid,” she speaks my language and I have a feeling a play date with her would be a lot of fun.

This book is a hilarious account of what it’s like to go from having a grown-up, career-woman identity to being the one whose most important job is to wipe bums and sweep up spilled Cheerios (or biscuits or whatever) again. She so perfectly articulates that WTF feeling of “Who am I even?” that can happen when you go from an upstanding citizen who showers daily and puts on makeup and interacts with other adults to a mom who is in a constant state of ponytail and who’s lucky there’s not snot or spit-up gracing her sleeve.

I honestly laughed out loud so frequently that I started wanting to tag Jenn on passages, Instagram-style. Instead, I pulled out my trusty pen and started making notes in the margins for when I send the book to her. Mostly “LOLs” and “SERIOUSLYs.” It’s a super-quick read because Kirsty keeps it light and funny; I have a feeling she knows that rocket science would be lost on her mommy-brained sleep-deprived audience.

The author helps you not take the whole mommy gig so seriously. Sure, it’s a big job, but one that must be taken with daily doses of laughing at yourself and your life. She’ll let you know that you can be a wonderful mom even if occasionally you’re “bored off your tits.” She’ll reassure you that it’s normal to purchase clothing those first months with baby not based on style, but on how fast you can access your boobs. She’ll not only let you see that both the cruddy parts and the wonderful parts of parenting are universal, but she’ll reassure you that you’ll get yourself back on the other side. Or at least a less sticky-boogery version of your mom self.

It’s not only funny, but occasionally like a warm hug in book form. For instance, admitting to Googling the crap out of having a baby, she says, “Turns out I didn’t actually need most of my questions answered I just needed to know that I wasn’t the only one asking them.” Her book goes a long way in letting the new mom — or any mom of young kids — know that they’re never alone in the experience.

Read any hilarious books lately? —Erin

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