This is a weird book for me to have read really, I am not a parent. I am not experiencing motherhood, nor am I anticipating it, at all! I don’t plan on joining the ranks of these wondrous women for awhile yet here I am reading a book about parenting.
Being English, I know who Giovanna Fletcher is, I am the perfect age really to know who she is. Well-known in part to her long relationship and then marriage to McFly member Tom Fletcher, an author, actress, journalist, in her own right too, I grew up with McFly and their members – so I grew up knowing who Giovanna, Gi to her friends, was too.
Book description from the book itself
Being a mum is an incredible journey, a remarkable experience that changes how we look, how we feel, who we are. As mothers we are strong, protective, proud. We feel a love like no other.
But being a parent can be hard too. It challenges us physically, mentally, emotionally. There are the days where just managing to fit a shower in amidst the endless feeding, entertaining young children and surviving on a lack of sleep feels like an achievement. With so many people ready to offer ‘advice’ on the best way to parent, it can feel like you are getting it all wrong.
Since Giovanna and her husband Tom Fletcher have had their sons Buzz and Buddy, they have been sharing glimpses of their family life. With an infectiously positive outlook and happy take on all things mum-related, Giovanna has developed a following of fellow parents and mums-to-be.
This is not a book about how to have the perfect family experience – Gi would be the first to admit she is winging it just as much as the rest of us – instead it is an honest, upbeat and incredibly personal account of her own experience of having a family. In Happy Mum, Happy Baby Giovanna shares her own journey through parenthood and in doing so, she looks at what it is to be a mother today, encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can really make for a happy baby.
I received this book for free through my work (in a bookshop) in exchange for an honest review.
So let us get to said review!
As Giovanna herself states this is not a book about handing out parenting advice, this is a collection of memories of her time so far as a mother. Her experiences, good and bad all put together in a memoir of sorts. Of course, it’s target audience is parents, new or old, as they are the ones obviously more likely to relate to the circumstances we read about in the book.
However, it’s definitely an eye-opener for any woman who wants to, at some point, become a mother herself. Thoroughly honest, Giovanna really does shed some light on all the ins and out of motherhood. The highs and the lows and the fear of judgement from literally everyone and anyone when your child starts screaming.
Although I cannot personally relate, I have no children, I am not pregnant, nor do I plan to be in the near future, I definitely know that I would like to have children at some point. So this book is definitely more of an eye-opener that I expected, not that I really know what I expected when I sat to down to read it, to be honest with you. It definitely addressed some fears I held whilst on my approach to motherhood. Will everyone stare at me whilst my baby cries and cries and cries? Is breast best? What do I do with my belly after it’s provided me with the miracle that is childbirth?
Now, my favourite thing about this book is that at no point does Giovanna become preachy, she never deigns to tell this that this process is better, what not to do. She simply shares her experiences and what she tried and how that worked for her. She will happily tell the reader that it’s all about trial and error, that every baby is different and what works for one parent, won’t necessarily work for another. And this is what makes the book so enjoyable. That it’s just one mum, sharing her life experience in a truthful, fun yet emotional way.
Obviously, this book is very personal for Giovanna; although already in the public eye, and although she has shared snippets of her life with Tom and her two boys; Buzz and Buddy – within this book she’s sharing incredibly personal details with us, including family photographs of her adorable boys that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. These little inclusions really help us connect with the author, see the world that little bit more through her eyes. And, as a sidenote, Buzz and Buddy are completely adorable and their little faces light up every page they’re featured on.
This was an insightful read that I would recommend to many, many people, not just women either! My copy has already been loaned out.
Have you read Happy Mum, Happy Baby? Or any parenting-esque book for that matter? What are your thoughts?