Mama reviews a hilarious new book for tired mums of tinies
Words Holly Kirkwood
A new book on the shelves this spring, the I’m Wrecked Journal is sort of a template for new mums to fill in as they see fit – there are ‘activities’ on each page, from making a list to a doodle, which are reassuringly unchallenging as to be do-able on one hour’s sleep while also being fun and helping to raise a smile in some of the darker moments.
The author is mother of two Shannon Cullen, who lives in London and works as a children’s book publisher. She says she created the book so that there was somewhere to record the highs and lows of having a baby, and to remember the experience of being a parent too- and it’s true: all too often you forget those intense moments of triumph or despair which make up being a mum. She also wanted an option for the exhausted moments of maternity leave, that wasn’t either staring at a smartphone screen or a blank wall.
The journal works as a sort of do-it-yourself book. All the pages are to be filled in by you, either with a drawing, a few lines of writing, diagrams, or messages to yourself. Sometimes it’s what world events that happened this year, and sometimes it’s gathering a leaf from each season to stick into the journal (so you can see that time is actually passing and you’re not living in Groundhog Day).
All the pages have space to record the date at the bottom, and you can fill them in in any order, depending on your state of mind at the time – some are for happy days (‘list six reassuring things you can think of’) and some are for those days which are a struggle (‘draw a picture here using red wine and a cork as a stamp’)
Most of these pages just make you laugh, from ‘If parenting were a sport it would be….’ To lists like the morning tiredness test, where can tick off the things you forgot to do, from brushing your teeth to take your wallet with you when you left the house.
It’s a great book because it’s creative, and it allows you to explore the whole range of emotions you go through on a daily basis, which are often ultimate highs to ultimate lows – you just choose the page which feels most appropriate to your mood.
There are lots of positive pages, where you can write down things to look back on, and help you through when things feel like a struggle, as well as comedy moments we can all relate to.
Shannon’s suggestion is that you can then look back and laugh, cry and/or drink wine, and remember that all of these moments were steps along the way of your glorious parenting adventure. And it’s a really great idea. My only concern is that, with the paperback at least, I’m not sure it’s robust enough to survive all the physical trials, tears, wine stains and sticky fingers which it will inevitably attract.
But for those middle-of-the-night moments, when all feels lost and the rest of the world is asleep, but you’re up and alone, this book seems like an ideal companion. The I’m Wrecked Journal is a great idea for a present for a new mum – we had a lot of fun filling it in from memory!
Read more about the I’m Wrecked Journal at www.mombooks.com