I think we can all agree that being a Mum is tough job, but the hardest job of them all is being a new Mum. Having a baby is a life changing event like no other which you can never fully prepare for regardless of how many pre natal classes you attend or much time you spend online Googling. Every pregnancy, birth and child is different so what may be applicable for one person is not always the case for the next.
A lot of our expectations surrounding having and looking after a baby come from the media who show us smiley, happy Mum’s completely besotted with their newborn’s who seem not to have a care in the world. As a Mum of three I can vouch for the fact that this is not always the case! This rose tinted view of Motherhood inspired Nicola Pitchers from Mum’s Army to write Rattles and Battles, written with new Mum’s (or those who feel like it’s the first time after a long age gap) in mind. Nicky kindly sent me a copy to read and review and from the start I knew I was going to love her straight talking style.
Unlike other pre-natal reads Rattles and Battles is a mere 73 pages long, but don’t let the size fool. Easy to read and totally relatable Nicky lifts the lid on what really happens when you have a baby. Starting with preconceptions – which lets face it we all have- she quickly makes you realise that it’s ok not to achieve the list of things you thought you would do upon becoming a parent as often doing the bare minimum is a struggle in the early days as you stumble around in that zombie like state us Mum’s seem to take on.
The book goes on to discuss important issues that few talk about like having a poo after birth, the guilt and worry that comes hand in hand when you become a parent and most importantly how you feel emotionally as well as your relationship with your partner. I know as a first time Mum I felt a huge weight of expectation on my shoulders to be the ‘perfect’ Mother and feel fine after giving birth when realistically at times all I really wanted to do is sit and cry – especially when despite trying everything my child still continued to scream! Talking honestly and openly Rattles and Battles gives validation to all of those feelings by actually talking about it, something very few do. It’s alright to have these feelings and thoughts, you don’t have to be picture perfect like all of the images you see splashed across social media, the ‘perfect’ Mother is a myth everyone is trying their best.
Short and easy to read Rattle and Battles is the book I wish I had been given before having my eldest daughter as it would have helped lessen the pressure I felt allowing me to realise it’s alright to feel overwhelmed. Even third time round and having had the experience of doing it all twice over before, this book would have made a fantastic read as you definitely ‘forget’ a lot of that newborn stage and the issues faced. I loved the fact the Nicky also included a section at the back asking her partner about his feelings and thoughts post- baby which gives a fantastic insight from a Father’s perspective. I feel this book would be really useful for expectant Father’s to at least have a flick through as it would give them a greater insight into how their partner feels during those first few months.
I love everything about this book and take my hat off to Nicky for putting out there what other’s haven’t by cutting to the chase and telling it like it is. A real Must read for expectant Mum’s (and Dad’s).
Rattles and Battles is available to buy from Amazon for £7.99.
Mum’s Army was created in 2016 by sister’s Nicky and Michelle who between them have eight children, meaning they have plenty of experience to share! They created their blog as some light relief from the world of parenting sharing stories from the ‘front line’ whilst encouraging Mum’s (and Dad’s) to ‘embrace difference’, share laughs but most importantly let them know they aren’t alone as they have an army behind them!