Book Review: Hurrah for Gin: A book for perfectly imperfect parents by Katie Kirby

hurrah-fro-gin

“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 is a book about parenting that contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever.
Instead it shares beautifully honest anecdotes and illustrations from the parenting frontline that demonstrate it is 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.
Best served with gin.”

As a mother of 4 kids ranging in age from 13 down to 5, I suspect that both my kids and I are slightly older than target market for this – but I’ve enjoyed following ‘Hurrah for Gin’ on Facebook and Twitter and so bought the book as soon as it came out!  For once I bought an actual physical hard copy as I wasn’t sure how the illustrations would work on a Kindle (does anyone know???)

Between buying the book and actually getting chance to read it (back to those 4 kids again) I decided to take a huge step back in my drinking (as I’d recognised that daily imbibing was probably not good for my health, waistline or parenting) and so I was concerned that the book might have me reaching for the gin in solidarity – and whilst the blurb does conclude ‘best served with gin’ – I can confirm that it is not entirely necessary and the book is still very enjoyable.

As the blurb also says, this is not a ‘how to’ guide – this is not going to tell you when your child should be sleeping, how they should be swaddled, when you should eat, the routines you should have at each week change etc (not naming any names here – but I reckon many of you will guess!!) – but it does give you an honest account of what it’s like to be in charge of small human beings – and the fact that they can drive you to booze!

NOTHING like this existed back when I had my eldest – but I was very lucky to have friends who also had kids at a similar time who also admitted that sometimes things were a bit sh*t.  Now – with the internet being much more widely used for blogs etc (honestly – I make it sound like I had my eldest daughter in the stone age – but there was no Sky+ and no handy pouches of food for goodness sake – let along proper social media to tit about on during a night feed) I think people generally do share more – and Hurrah for Gin is one of the stars of this – and this book is an extension of that.

Some of the content in the book I’d already seen on Hurrah for Gin’s social media pages – but there was plenty of new stuff to entertain as well.  So much of it had me nodding in agreement – and reminiscing (potentially through slightly rose tinted spectacles) about the newborn years (although not enough to make me consider having a 5th!)

There were also sections that made me weep, proper upset tears not just reminiscing tears, although there were those too.

The stick character illustrations are great and add to the anecdotes brilliantly.

Overall I really enjoyed this and would concur whole heartedly with Katie that it is possible to love your children with the whole of your heart whilst still finding them incredibly irritating at the same time.

This would make a PERFECT present for a new Mum – so that she knows she’s not alone.  Perhaps with an accompanying bottle of gin?!

 

 

 

 

Babies – The Photo Gallery Week 211

The theme for The Photo Gallery over on the Sticky Fingers blog this week is ‘babies’ – and for this I have no shortage of photos, having had 4 of them!!

We had a girl and a boy in quick succession – not like an 18 minute twin gap, but an 18 month, all a bit of a blur gap! But after a traumatic birth with both (I had 200 stitches after number 1, and number 2 was born blue and still in his sack) we decided we’d ridden our luck and that would be it – so husband had the snip.

Fast forward 4 and a half years, and I’m stood in M&S in Redditch weeping, buying my little boy grey uniform trousers as my baby was growing up and about to start school. Before becoming parents (and realising what we’d let ourselves in for) we’d always said we wanted loads of kids – and so husband didn’t need much persuading to have his vasectomy reversed and within 6 weeks we were pregnant again!!

And as I have an issue with odd numbers (freakish I know) we always knew that we’d have 4 kids – so number 4 came along pretty soon afterwards!

This is the first photo of all 4 of my babies together – and I still get a bit teary eyed looking at it…..

4 children

Although not teary eyed enough to have number 5 (and 6)……..

Do go and have a look at other people’s ‘babies’.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Naming my 5th baby……….

  • When I was considering starting this repository of my inner thoughts – I put it ‘out there’ on Facebook and asked for suggestions as to what any future blog could be called.  My friends came up with lots of different ideas – and I thought they would provide a pretty good summary of what other people think of me – and would therefore make an informative second posting ….
     
    Multiple Children
    I liked the simplicity of ‘Party of Six’ and the fact that it reminded me of the TV show with one less to the party from the 1990s. However a husband and father of four in the US had already baggsied that name……
    Then – in the spirit of a Richard Curtis film ‘Four children and a prosecco’ – which does pretty much sum up my life and leads me on to the next topic……. 
     
    Booze Related Matters
    ‘Life, Prosecco, Ocado and Me’ – my sisters have long said my house should be sponsored by John Lewis and my kitchen cupboards by Waitrose or Ocado! I’m pretty much on first name terms with the delivery drivers from all of those companies.  Now – does anyone know anything about blog sponsorship?!?
    The suggestion of ‘Tonic Finder’ follows a particularly bad experience at the Alton Towers Resort Hotel where they had NO TONIC!!  Not just no slimline tonic, but no ACTUAL TONIC AT ALL!!  (I may have to blog about this in the future – but for now, here’s the Trip Advisor review!!) 
     
    Employment Matters
    ‘Not all accountants are boring’ reminded me of how aggrieved I was that the 1990s cult viewing ‘This Life’ was based around a bunch of lawyers and not accountants!!  Those of us working for the Big 6 accountancy firms back in the late 90s had an equally debauched life of working hard, playing hard and studying hard, but we weren’t made to look sexy in a TV drama.  I hope this blog does prove that not ALL accountants are boring?!
     
    Age Related Matters
    Four months ago I had a BIG BIRTHDAY – I celebrated at the time with a fabulous party with lots of my family and friends, and then have been using it as an excuse for loads of trips and activities this year – so ‘Life Begins’ was very apt.  I would definitely recommend grasping the whole 40th thing with both hands for anyone who’s not quite there yet.
     
    Name Puns
    Obviously with my surname ‘The Price is Right’ was suggested a number of times – and is very similar to what I plumped for!  There were other great suggestions too such as ‘Practically Perfect Price (mostly)’  – who doesn’t love an alliteration? And then ‘Taking Libby-ties’ – which read in my native Brummie tongue was AMAZING – but, as yet there aren’t local accent fonts (**Dragon’s Den here I come**)
    I discounted ‘Libby’s Blog’ for being just a bit dull (and it wasn’t even an accountant friend that suggested it!!)
    And then ‘The REAL Pricey speaks (not the blow up doll one that looks like a hooker!)’!!  I was grateful that it was clarified that I didn’t look like a lady of the night – although I do share Katie’s ample bosom (mine’s 100% self generated and thus to be found under my arm pits when I lie down – the joy of 4 lots of breast feeding!)  I then realised we did both have 4 kids at the moment – although mine are all with the one husband (aforementioned husband has had a beer with Dwight Yorke when he played for Aston Villa, been told by one of my friends that he reminds her of Peter Andre, and is a builder by trade – so is pretty much all of ‘Jordan’s’ baby fathers rolled into one!!!)  However there won’t be another Price child here – this blog is definitely my 5th baby!!