Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bookish - Is it Bedtime Yet?

Heya Readers,

My fabulous sister is a real fan of Emily writes so I've asked her to guest contribute a review for this book for me.

Review – Is it Bedtime Yet?  Emily Writes and Friends

Ahhh… “Is it bedtime yet?”  How many parents have wondered, prayed and wished this question and it is a fitting title for Emily Writes’ latest book.
Those who laughed, cried and “amen-ed” their way through her first book, Rants in the Dark, will not be disappointed with Emily Writes’ latest work.  Of the 50 stories in the book, nearly half are penned by Emily, with the rest written by a range of parents, many also Wellington-based.
The unifying theme of the book is honesty.  Diverse parents share their honest truth about what parenting looks like for them.  And there is something for everyone here.  Parents will relate to topics such as the inner conflict about the kind of birthday party you want to host vs. what “everyone else” seems to be doing, the disproportionate negative impact of daylight saving on young families, fertility challenges and raising children who believe in themselves.  Some of the stories are raw and painful, others are challenging and humorous.  All are vulnerable and infused with love - “Oh, the capacity of our hearts for our children!” 
Emily Writes has a particular talent for retelling stories with humour and dialogue that makes you feel like you are in the room with her.  I also love her tendency towards hyperbole such as (on making a homemade birthday cake): “It took only 160 days, a two-month course on fondant, and a small piece of my soul but it was worth it.”  Some of the other contributors have a more poetic narrative.  I particularly enjoyed the imagery used by Thomasin Sleigh, Holly Walker, and Nichole Brown.  Thalia Kehoe Rowden’s imagery in the science of motherhood also appealed to me. Regardless of the authors’ writing styles the message hits home loud and clear: parenting is complex and hard.  We’re all doing our best.  Being honest about the journey - the highs and the lows - helps everyone.  Amid the laughter and tears is woven a steady thread of encouragement for struggling parents everywhere:  “We do our best.  Sometimes our best doesn’t feel like it’s good enough.  But it is.  And we keep doing our best.  Every day.  For the best things that have happened to us, we do our best.”  And “You will survive this, and you will learn that you are stronger than you know.”
This book will resonate with any parent with under-fives in their care, and perhaps also with parents of older children if they haven’t already blocked the early years from their memory.  You will see your own life, conversations and thoughts reflected here.
For readers who are undecided about starting a family, it might pay to save this book until it’s too late to change your mind!  (Perhaps not a suitable gift for your childless daughter-in-law if you’re hoping for grandchildren any time soon).
Health warning: this book contains traumatic birth, swearing, sleep deprivation, sexual references, bodily functions, alcohol and substance use.  Prepare to laugh.
 A few choice extracts:
[Advice for Dads] “Unfortunately, the world isn’t ready to see you spray-foamed into yoga pants, downward dogging.  Until times change, wear good trainers and bend at the knees when lifting”.
“If you go to sleep now, I promise you I will buy you a car when you turn sixteen, we can work this out.”
“’Any day now’ the midwife says.  Any day.  But not today, or today, or today.”
 “Our roots are something to be proud of.  Our stories are begging to be told.”
 “Attempt, if you can, to halt the Earth’s gravitational pull.  It can impact the sleep patterns of your baby.”

Guest review by (my sister) Abi Vink of Wellington.  Abi is a Strengths-based Career Coach, avid reader and mother to 3 small children.

Details - Penguin Random House, July 2018 RRP $35.00

love you more than sharing the love xxx