One of my favourite gifts after giving birth was a book called “Go the f*ck to sleep” by Adam Mansbach. I can’t remember who gave it to me (because baby brain is real), but I remember getting a lot of laughs out of it. Which is exactly what you need when you’re hormonal, sleep deprived and coming to terms with the responsibility of keeping a tiny human alive.
So next time you’re shopping for your friend/cousin/shaman’s newborn, don’t forget; MUMS NEED PRESENTS TOO! Pick up one of these books, show up at the door, take the baby into another room and give them half an hour to read (cry/ go to the toilet) in peace.
1. ‘Where the wild mums are’, by Katie Blackburn.
“The day Mum didn’t get dressed and went on strike, Dad called her ‘a Wild Thing’. Mum said ‘Cook your own dinner’ and stomped off upstairs to have a bath . . .” And so begins ‘Where the wild mums are’. A homage to ‘Where the wild things are’, this mum delves in to a fantasy world of conga lines, cocktails and being crowned ‘Queen of the Wild mums’. But at the end of the night she remembers who she loves most of all… this book is witty, heart warming and perfect for any mum. Not too cynical, not too sweet.
(There’s also a sequal, ‘Where the wild dads went’.)
2. ‘This little piggy went to Prada’, by Amy Allen (now Amy Poon).
Do you know a super stylish, glammy mummy? The one who bounced back 2 weeks after bub was born, has time to blow dry her hair and doesn’t dress head to toe in Target? (You hate her at the same time as being awe struck and envious?) This is the book for her! Beautiful nursery rhymes told with a fashionista twist and stunning illustrations. Perfect for the Blahnik Brigade.
3. ‘Go the f*ck to sleep’, by Adam Mansbach.
One of the funniest kids-books-for-adults you’ll ever read. It perfectly captures the moment you’ve put your little darling to bed… and they just won’t. Go. To. Sleep.
No, you don’t need a glass of water. No, you don’t need another f*cking story. Close your eyes little darling, and go the f*ck to sleep. Profane, affectionate and funny, this is a must for all new parents.
**Watch this reading of ‘Go the f*ck to sleep’ by Noni Hazlehurst for even more laughs!
4. ‘Hurrah for gin’, by Katie Kirby.
Katie’s book (and blog) is more like a survival guide for parents. Witty, honest and sometimes extremely raw, her thoughts and advice on how to muddle your way through parenting has been a go-to for me over the last year and a half! “When you first become a parent you notice quite quickly that you are doing everything wrong. There are various helpful sources from which to learn all the wrong things you are doing…” You’ll laugh, cry, and cry with laughter at Katie’s narration of the imperfectly perfect job that is parenting.
5. ‘We’re going on a bar hunt’, by Emlyn Rees.
If you’ve read ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ 780,000 times (and if you haven’t- you will) then you’ll love this slightly less innocent parody. Follow two sets of parents on a rare, baby-free, night out through a groovy gastro pub, an uber trendy cocktail bar and a really rocking club until they meet… A BEAR! “We’re going on a bar hunt. We’re going to find a cool one. We’re not old!”
**You’ll definitely want to read the sequel- ‘The very hungover caterpillar’.
6. ‘How it works: the mum’, a Ladybird book by Jason Hazeley.
Part of the Ladybird books for adults range, this one is snortingly funny. Using illustrations from the original Ladybird series, it outlines the trials and tribulations that mums face, with deadpan humour. “Now Lyndsay’s little boy is at nursery, she is looking for a job. At this interview, the lady asks Lyndsay all sorts of questions, which Lyndsay has trouble answering because she has the Octonauts theme going round her head. Lyndsay hopes she is not singing out loud.”
Also in the series- ‘How it works: the baby’ and ‘Daddy’s new friend’