Ready for a ‘mummy memoir’ that will have you laughing out loud, nodding in agreement and cringing along with the author?
Welcome to Your New Life by Anna Goldsworthy is the story of Goldsworthy’s first pregnancy, the labour and the first few years of her son’s life. Although Goldsworthy faced a few challenges during her pregnancy (making her what the doctor described as an “interesting case”), her story is much like any mother’s – she received lots of ‘advice’ from well-meaning friends about her pregnancy and baby; breastfeeding wasn’t as natural as she expected; she was tired, so very, very tired (and gave sleep school a crack); and she cried the first morning her son went to childcare.
Goldsworthy is frank, observant and beautifully succinct.
“Now that you have been here for two weeks, you are becoming wordly. Every day you reveal new accomplishments: That pleased noise you make after you sneeze: ‘Ahhh.’ I am not sure what it says about you, but it must be something special. Your quick karate chops, spasmodic and strobe-lit.”
“…we spend fugitive days together… spotting diggers, sharing a rapture of the mechanical world. You have taught me a new way of looking: ‘Fwut!’ you declare, upon spotting a truck, so that even when I’m alone I feel a small flare of delight upon seeing one.”
But this book is also laugh-out-loud funny. Her descriptions of her birth plan, being fitted for a maternity bra, and the birth are hilarious (and I’m fairly sure that I’m not finding it funny just because it’s been so long since I was there myself!).
“I have never heard of a doula, but immediately I want one: barefoot, enlightened, smelling of lavender oil. A script forms in my imagination, of candles, ambient music, the soothing ministrations of a doula. A midwife catching you, possibly into joyful water. A small happy splash, and then a baby’s tinkling laughter. A group hug. Maybe even a singalong.”
Regardless of how you decided (or are planning) to have your baby, parents will see the humour in Goldsworthy’s fanicful thoughts about pregnancy and labour.
My very favourite bit was Goldsworthy’s recount of a breastfeeding demonstration class –
“It is a peculiar item of clothing, comprising two white pouches, each cradling a large load of breast. It is not quite a bra, and yet somehow familiar. “Not a glamorous item, perhaps, but extremely practical. Constructed, quite simply, from two pairs of plus-sized underpants.”
Amongst all the bits that made me laugh are some deeper truths, none truer than this –
“…for the first time I have a clear view of life as a parent. Today is only the rehearsal for a lifetime of worry. I remember what Fiona told me, when she brought Matilda home: I will never be happy again.”
Buy this book for yourself and a copy for a friend who’s just had a baby (so that you can share the jokes!).
Find Welcome to Your New Life online at Penguin Books Australia.