My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. The decision to read was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.
Can you go mad from sleep deprivation? Will my mother ever leave? Will the baby sleep through the night before she turns twenty-one?
Renee is struggling to get to grips with having a totally dependent new-born. Luckily for her there is a Facebook group of new mums who welcome her with open arms and assurances that she might sleep again … one day.
Whilst Renee finds a safe space for questions and confessions, all hubby Nick can see is how easily she seems to be adapting to parenthood: a world in which he still feels adrift. Work is beginning to be the place he feels most at home.
As her daughter reaches the age where she can finally have a solo shower, Renee realises it’s been months since she’s had a baby-free discussion with Nick, let alone a date night. The question remains: will their marriage survive the storm?
Mummy Needs Help is an unmissable novel about the hardships and hysterics of parenthood, perfect for fans of Gill Simms and Suzy K Quinn.
Somewhere between agreeing to read this book and actually settling down to read it, the world as we know it changed almost beyond recognition for an indeterminable length of time. Between the anxiety, the potty training (because for some reason I thought it was a wonderful idea to train my two year old daughter amidst a nerve-frying lockdown) and the added burden of homeschooling, I found myself somewhat reluctant to pick this up when it reached the top of my TBR. Added to the almost universal loss in book blogger mojo; a book about how tough it is to parent little people didn’t seem to be the ideal escape at a time when experiencing my own parenting challenges.
I dove in regardless, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, and as a complete bonus, it seems to have rekindled my focus on reading – hooray!
Mummy Needs Help focuses on the relationship of Renee and Nick in the year following the birth of their daughter, Holly. There was so much of Renee’s character I could relate to, and the author has done a brilliant job of incorporating the emotions and unique aspects of new motherhood that fade over time, and so I found myself nodding along and reliving long forgotten memories of my own.
I am a huge advocate of books and stories which tell the truth about motherhood, and I felt that Susan Edmunds has done an outstanding job here at delivering a balance between truth and comedy. The humour is situational and relatable, but it’s not overdone in the slightest. It delivers relief without limiting the impact of Renee’s experience.
Another aspect I was unsure of in the beginning was the dual narrative which focuses equally on Nick’s experience as a new father. I’ve read so many books which focus wholly on the woman’s point of view, and I admit that I mentally eye rolled at the idea that entire chapters of this book would be given over to the male point of view. I’ve always seen early motherhood as a very female oriented challenge, but I have to say that, once again, a pitch perfect balance was delivered by the author and the two narratives worked seamlessly together. Possibly for the first time, it had me considering things from the father’s point of view, and it even started conversations with my husband as to how he felt during that time in our lives.
Alongside Renee and Nick are a host of great secondary characters, but I have to say the most amusing and yet true to life characters are the mothers from Renee’s online chat forum. Invisible but for their responses in the forum, I found myself chuckling to myself at these. As a past member of such chat forums (now thankfully fully weaned off them) I recognised every single response as being entirely possible and accurate!
Mummy Needs Help is a complete joy to read. Filled with light, darkness and everything in between, it is a story of parenthood and the adjustments needed for even the strongest of relationships to survive.
About the Author
Susan Edmunds is a business journalist by day and a fiction scribbler by night. She lives in Whangarei, New Zealand. Most of her non-work writing relates to motherhood and the crazy experience of being left to take care of a child when you have no real idea what you’re doing. When she gets the chance at some time off, she spends time with her children, exercises and tries to tackle her sleep deficit.
Author Page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/susanedmundsauthor/