I wanted to love this book, I really wanted to love this book, as I am slightly obsessed with the Fletcher’s, especially Giovanna. She is a successful writer, Social Media Queen and appears to be a lovely down-to-earth real woman, who isn’t afraid to show her true self to the world! I mean its pretty brave (I know it shouldn’t be “Brave”, but your running the risk of being trolled constantly if you do not look how “perfect” is perceived) to bare your naked face on Instagram and show the real you. I even listened to Podcasts with Giovanna about the book, so knew it was going to an open and honest account of her journey in to Motherhood and all the high and lows that entails. But what I didn’t anticipate was that reading this book would make me feel worse about my journey to Motherhood!
Now, I must be clear and say that it is a great book and one that I would recommend (ive given it 4* on Goodreads), it addresses the discomfort of leaky boobs and a saw “foof” which no on talks about, or doesn’t talk about enough! You really think you are the only one unable to sit down without wincing and smelling constantly of stale milk! Motherhood in the early weeks is not attractive! The passage on Miscarriage really resonated with me, having recently suffered one and it made me feel warm and comforted knowing that others felt sad, even if it was early, even if you did only recently find out you were pregnant. It offered me a warm hug and said its Ok I was sad too, you are not alone. I liked it!
. I’m glad I got to the end of the book, because it affirmed my love for Giovanna, she does not judge, she does not say what is right or what is wrong, but works to unite women and get women talking, opening up and being honest about what they find hard, so at no point do I think it was her intention to come across a certain to way to appear like a “good” Mum who was blessed with the maternal instinct and overwhelming sense of love for her children- I just genuinely believe she just is that Mum.
Throughout the book, I couldn’t stop this overwhelming sense of the guilt. Motherhood for me has been a constant battle, I think that natural maternal instinct and unconditional love has had to be learned, it certainly wasn’t (and isn’t) something that comes naturally to me. Maybe this reflects my maternal bond with my Mother, but that’s a whole other Blog! Babies, I have had three and with two the bond was instantaneous, I adored feeding them myself, having them constantly with me, attached by a huge strip of fabric to my chest, so they could always be close-but come the toddler years and the independence and I want to crawl in to a cave and never hear the word “mummy” again!
In the Chapter ‘I Will Reclaim My Sleeping Hours’ the guilt really went up a notch, you are told of their bedtime woes and then when they are going to bed successfully, Giovanna writes that a “strange sadness settled over me [Buzz able to] happily settle himself put me out of a job” Oh dear Lord! Mr Guilt really knocked loudly then- I do not recall ever, ever, feeling this way (and that’s fine we are all different, my rational brain will tell me), I want them in their rooms so I can have Me time and they best be near death if they want to disturb me! A huge part of me never “loved being wanted and needed”, well certainly not at bedtime! Nope- I would say the hardest part for me has been the being needed and wanted CONSTANTLY! So at this point in the book I was shrinking within myself, thinking being bloody open and honest is freakin easy if all you need to be honest about is how much you love, idolise and adore your children.
Now this is where I feel bad, (see the guilt again) as I know Giovannas message is very much to unite women and not to judge, so I believe that she wouldn’t read this and judge me for feeling safe in the knowledge that when they (the little humans) are asleep I am rejoicing that I have a few hours of time without being needed and that daily I ask “why”. No, I believe she would not judge, as long as my ultimate aim is to bring up children who are “confident, happy and loved” (pg.3), which is my aim.
Its just that daily I feel like I am failing. Parenting is really fucking difficult.