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Fab and funny reads and feeds for parents

PUBLISHED: 17:07 14 June 2018

Family blogger, Sally White. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Family blogger, Sally White. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Read this - to help you through tantrums, tiredness, trolling, the toddler years, the teen years and all parenting points in between.

When I plunged into parenthood I was equipped with nothing but a second-hand copy of Gina Ford and a C in GCSE Biology. Neither proved especially useful.

I am somewhat bookish *pushes glasses up nose*, so I do like a research project. The problem was, I didn’t know where to start. Now that I am a wise mother of two *pushes glasses back down nose and peers over them* I am here to bestow you with a reading list to help you ace it at parenting.

Highlighters and laminators at the ready, please.

Pregnancy

Delete the pregnancy apps! They will put you in a spiral and it’s best not to think too hard about growing teeth inside your body. Instead, buy the incredibly sensible Birth and Beyond by Dr Gordon. Quite a lot of non-gory birth snaps and sensible down to earth advice. The NHS website is also excellent.

Early days

Sarah Turner’s book The Unmumsy Mum is a hilarious read and deeply reassuring and has shortish chapters so you can read a bit then fall asleep and pick it up the next night. Ideal. I would avoid Mumsnet at this stage of parenthood - unless you’re looking to become neurotic about and/or trolled for your parenting choices.

Toddler years

Katie Kirby’s Hurrah for Gin book and blog will have you weeping with laughter. If you’ve ever wondered how Postman Pat manages to keep his job or how Topsy and Tim’s mum manages keeps her celestial cool then you will love this. Her stick figure depictions of toddler tantrums are reassuringly relatable.

Primary school years

I love following Mother Pukka on instagram because her stories make me howl with laughter but she’s also written a great book called Parenting the S*** Out of Life which has excellent tips and insights on everything from flexible working to surviving soft play.

A book that deals with the perils of the PTA and the pitfalls of hipster parenting is the Scummy Mummies by Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn. It made me laugh so much that I did the hilarity version of ugly crying: I was all snot and snorts.

Teen years

I recently had a flick through Dr Christian Jessen’s Guide to Growing Up and thought it dealt with ‘difficult questions’ really well. It’s probably best suited for school years five to eight.

For older teen girls, Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman is excellent. I wish I’d had it to refer to when I was an angry 15-year-old.

Podcasts

When it’s Gardener’s Question Time on Radio 4 and the kids are hogging the TV, podcasts can be a lifeline. The Scummy Mummies do a brilliant joyful comedy podcast about parenting that will have you giggling while you load the dishwasher. Giovanna Fletcher interviews parents on Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast and is a calming listen. Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour does a good parenting podcast that can be really helpful.

Television

On Netflix at the moment is a fabulous programme called The Let Down. It’s beautifully written and hilarious and touching all at once. I also recommend Catastrophe on Channel 4’s on-demand service. I wouldn’t watch either of these shows with the children or the in-laws present though as both are full of swearing and bonking.

Instagram and blogs

On instagram, Brummy Mummy of Two is great to follow for her love of dressing gowns, box-sets and stripy tops. We Got This (Sometimes) is a must-follow for upcoming events in Norfolk. Local bloggers Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum and One Missing Mum write beautifully about parenthood. And obviously, obviously, my blog, Wife of a Wig Wearer, is the bee’s knees of literary parenting highbrow excellence. So come and have a look: wifeofawigwearer.com

Sarah Turner, The Unmumsy Mum, will be appearing, with Matt Coyne of Man vs Baby, at The Octagon Barn, Little Plumstead, near Norwich, on Thursday July 5. The event is organised by We Got This (Sometimes), set up by Norfolk mum Emma Victor-Smith. Tickets from wegotthisco.com

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