Say it again in a nice voice, Meg Mason
I have just recently dipped a toe back into the genre that is mummy-writing. You know - those stories about motherhood that can make you laugh and cry with recognition in equal measure. The ones that make you realise that other people's lives are like yours and some parts of it all really are very funny.
Say it again in a nice voice, by journalist Meg Mason is one of those. What I liked about it was that she had kids young (at 25) almost ten years ago. Her recollections of having babies in the early-mid 2000s are very similar to some of mine. So I laughed out loud with recognition and understanding of this gem:
If you were any kind of earthy parent in 2004, you were deeply disdainful of jar food. The banana custard laced with dextrose, the lamb casserole in squishy form. This was before those squishy-sided packets of only-vegetable purees had been invented, instantly destigmatising factory-made baby food and creating an entire generation of toddlers who stumble around in the park self-administering pumpkin and sweet corn at ten in the morning. (p85)
And this one, about the ever constant steam of Australians who move to London:
Moving to London in your twenties is so much like having a baby later on. You're pretty sure you're the first person to ever think of it or experience all its glory and hardship. Others will follow you there, but you'll always retain a quiet belief that were it not for your pioneering venture they'd never have done it. (p7)
While very funny throughout, Meg Mason has done a good job of summarising some of the struggles of motherhood. She has tried both staying at home with her kids and working, and so has insights into each. Their family struggled with low to almost no income for a while and she has lived the strain that entailed.
As she says about those early day of mothering:
the fact is every woman has to discover how to be at home with children for herself. Whether she spends six weeks or the rest of her life as a stay at home mother, the early days are a solo voyage into the new world. (p26)
It is mildly crass at times, but it is also laugh out loud funny (as I discovered to my embarrassment on a plane recently!). If you had kids in the last decade and want some light, entertaining reading, try this one.