Book Review: I Forgot To Take My Pill

Sharyn Hayden is a woman of experience. She’s done a lot. She’s seen a lot. She’s bought (and probably puked) on the t-shirt. Of all Sharyn’s experiences though, motherhood has been the most exciting ‘journey’. But don’t call it a ‘journey’. ‘Cos that’s just annoying.

This *adventure* (ahem) has inspired the very funny and very readable ‘I Forgot To Take My Pill’. It charts Sharyn’s journey (dammit) from pre-baby to mothering a toddler, and takes in all those experiences that happen to everyone but may not get talked about and certainly not written about. It is a book about REAL motherhood.

Sharyn’s writing is fun, authentic and full of tongue in cheek comments. These comments lend themselves to a clear, comedic voice; the book is pure personality, and when reading, you might as well be chatting to Sharyn and swapping stories about poo.

The book would make a fabulous baby shower or newborn gift for new Mums (and Dads). Here’s six reasons why:

1) The Truth

Motherhood. Laid. Bare. The ups, the downs, the highs and the baby lows, all the emotions and feelings and thoughts and things you didn’t even know you thought, but you did, are here. It’s the most honest read you’ll ever find about what it really FEELS like to be a Mum.

2) Time

All those books you stacked up for maternity leave may be sitting winking and laughing at you now, but I Forgot To Take My Pill is very readable and really suited to Mums who just don’t have time (or the energy) to sit down and read. And it feels like you’re speaking to a friend, getting good advice and offloading a little

3) Reassurance

Right, so that happens to other people too? And I don’t have to feel bad about it? Sometimes things happen that you just can’t vocalise to other people. (You know, that time when you watched the baby roll off the couch or you let them run around naked for a while because you couldn’t bring yourself up the stairs for a nappy) I Forgot To Take My Pill is full of stories that will help reassure you that you’re grand, you’re doing your best and sometimes wiping up pee IS easier than climbing the stairs

4) The Laugh

Sharyn is a comedian so expect wit, humour and laugh out loud moments. There’s a chapter called Licking Tim Minchin. Yes, she did, she really did.

5) Manderstand

While the book is probably aimed at Mums, as I read, I thought, God, it would really help if my husband knew this. Partners should read it too. Essential reading in fact. But be warned, she likes to talk about vaginas. A LOT!

6) Making a new friend

Because Sharyn is so down to earth, you feel like you actually know her and are friends with her as you read. She reveals everything, (everything!) so by opening up, you trust her and what she is saying. As a new Mum, I could relate to almost everything she wrote about; handling the dog and the newborn, being “pre-programmed to give a shit about housework”, trying to force your old life into this new baby-filled one, and feeling guilty and angsty and suffocated a little, while also being the busiest, most creative and productive you have ever been. (We’re just miracle workers really.) I would have loved to been given this book before I had my baby. I think it would have helped with some of the pressures I felt.

The overall message in the book is: stop being so hard on yourself, try to relax and everything, including the child, will be grand. As ambitious, hard-working and social creatures, us high-achiever mothering types do tend to be very hard on ourselves. With experience, we may learn to cope better, or separate what really matters from all the mummy/ baby/ life white noise. This book will help you on your journey there. GOD DAMMIT!

I Forgot to Take My Pill is available to download from Amazon from 20th May 2015. You can read Sharyn’s blog at www.raisingireland.com.

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