unmumsy mum diary

‘Mummy blogging’ is big news lately.

In what seems to be a backlash against the mythical ideal of Perfect Parenting, especially Perfect Mothering, and Instagram worthy¬†(#SoBlessed) family life, many bloggers are choosing to share their lives with small children, warts and all temper tantrums, last-minute school run dashes and all. Some particularly entertaining voices within this wide ranging and ever growing genre include ‘Hurrah for Gin’, a blog (and book) by Katie Kirby, Peter and Jane and Mummy Too (whose author, Gill Sims,¬†is soon publishing a fiction novel entitled ‘Why Mummy Drinks’), Man vs. Baby (whose author, Matt Coyne, has recently published ‘Dummy’) and Sarah Turner, aka¬†‘The Unmumsy Mum’, who has a blog, a book, and now another book. Whew! Clearly, despite a certain recent newspaper article, there is a high level of demand for parents who write honestly about the myriad difficulties and demands involved in raising very small children.

What’s it about?

Sarah’s year with her husband and two small children, which includes¬†sibling arguments, food fussiness, a holiday abroad and starting school. Simple. Want to see sample material? A few of the posts can be found on her blog, here.

What’s it like?

Honest. Familiar. Amusing.

‘The flight itself turned out to be nowhere near as troublesome as we’d anticipated (mostly thanks to the gummy bears and the Peppa Pig episodes downloaded to the iPad), but the final hour or so before we boarded left me tempted to wave the kids off on to a different plane.’

Within ten pages, The Unmumsy Mum is sharing a story about the day she got thrush; this should show you that very little is considered off-limits! (Later there’ll be a tale of drunken falling-over or three, too.) This honesty made me as a reader feel very relaxed and I’m guessing that’s part of the point: if we were all honest about our disasters, parenting related or otherwise, they might well feel a bit less…disaster-y.

She shares her thoughts on her parenting priorities, highlights¬†and lowlights, all the while emphasising and appreciating that other parents will have a slightly different set, and being self-deprecating to an almost uncomfortable degree. (You’ve published a Sunday Times bestselling book already, Sarah; probably you’re getting at least something right.)

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for an insight into routine family life with two small children and two working parents, then this is a good choice. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether or not it’s only your children who cannot listen and who are obsessed with using inappropriate vocabulary, then you can rest assured that it isn’t. Like its predecessor, ‘The Unmumsy Mum’, this is amusing, honest and often downright familiar (getting to have a wee in peace as a parent to very small people is indeed a highly regarded and much sought after¬†privilege).

Personally I found the first book a little more entertaining, possibly because this one focused more on work/life balance, or lack thereof, and a little less on the ‘aargh! the little people did this’ moments. However, this book is genuinely touching and heartfelt in places, so I guess it depends whether you’re in the mood for mostly humour or a more nuanced perspective on family life. Either way, if you are lucky enough to own very small people, you’ll likely find plenty to giggle knowingly about in here.

Sarah Turner

Sarah with her first book.

‘The Unmumsy Mum¬†Diary’,
Sarah Turner,
Bantam Press, 2017, hardback