There’s no end of advice contained in the thousands of parenting books lining the bookshelves to help us in our quest to raise our kids. Doctors, academics, child psychologists, therapists and experts are primed, ready to tell us how to handle this parenting lark. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but we’re muddling through with the work-life balance, and the kids are alright (aren’t they?) So why not look at some of the alternative titles aimed at adults, which take a humorous and even cynical look at family life. Are there are any similarities to your own outlook on the realities of parenting?
Five Go ParentingEnid Blyton’s books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy confront possibly their toughest challenge yet, parenthood. Bringing up a baby would surely be child’s play for The Five. How hard could parenting possibly be? When the doorbell rings one Saturday afternoon, the last thing the Five were expecting to find on their doorstep was a baby… But the Five are next of kin to cousin Rupert and his wife, so when these relatives land themselves in a spot of bother and enjoy a short spell behind bars, Anne, Dick, George, Julian and Timmy the dog are naturally their first port of call. At first, the fear and the tiredness kicks in. The Five are terrified at being responsible for this new life and have no idea whether they’re doing it right. They use Dr Google constantly, who, whatever the situation offers the same range of advice from ‘don’t worry about it’ to ‘rush her to A&E’. ‘Why is she crying?’ they constantly ask. ‘Why?’ Little Lily Kirrin keeps them up all night every night, until they are reduced to walking ghosts, haunted by a numb and impotent fury. Is this an adventure too far for our Five?
Hurrah for Gin by Katie KirbyDon’t be taken in by the cheesy description on Amazon. This book smacks you around the head with the realities of parenting little ones. Amazon says: This book is not a how-to-guide. It won’t tell you how to get your baby to sleep, how to deal with toddler tantrums, how to be a good parent, a cool parent or even a renegade parent. It’s a book about parenting that contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever. Instead it shares beautifully honest anecdotes and illustrations from the parenting front line demonstrating that it’s perfectly possible to love your children with the whole of your heart whilst finding them incredibly irritating at the same time. From pregnancy to starting school, Hurrah For Gin takes you through the exciting, frustrating, infuriating and wonderful whirlwind of parenthood, offering solidarity and a friendly hug after a tough day.
Extracted from Hurrah for Gin:
‘And as if by magic, as soon as Mummy sits down on the toilet, small children appear to stare at her and ask her questions. ‘Christ on a bike!’ says Mummy. ‘Can’t I even take a sh** in peace?!’ The children laugh and shout snack demands at her. It is 3:48 pm and there are still over 3 hours left until bedtime.’
The Dad – How it WorksFrom bestselling authors Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris – a nugget of wisdom in the phenomenal Ladybirds for Grown Ups series. This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups understand the world about them. The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. Featuring original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, brand new text.
This is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate and refreshingly honest, it captures the familiar and unspoken tribulations of putting your child to bed for the night. Colourfully illustrated and hilariously funny, this is a breath of fresh air for parents new, old and expectant.* (*You should probably not read this to your children.)
From Frazzled to Fabulous: How to juggle a successful career, fatherhood, ‘me-time’ and looking good by Man Who Has It AllIn this inspirational book drawn from the hugely popular Twitter and Facebook accounts, The Man Who Has It All helps men to nurture opinions of their own, make time to smile and choose between a career or baby. From Frazzled to Fabulous includes words of wisdom on everything from how to spend your ‘me time’ and get a grip on guilt to dressing in your wow colours and speaking in the right tone of voice at work. It’s a must-have book for frazzled dads and high-flying men who are struggling to stay hydrated and get to the bottom of the ironing pile. Oh, and it’s for women who believe that men should be fully supported to have it all and, more importantly, do it all. Those women will love this book.
So there we have it – a slightly cynical look at this parenting lark. It’s reassuring to know that we’re not the only ones thinking along these lines. Whether or not you’re a perfect parent, do make sure you sign up to GoMunkee for inspirational ideas of things to see and do with your children.