In this wry, resonant and darkly funny memoir, journalist Grace Timothy explores a question most women will face at some point: if becoming a mother means the person you were before has gone; who exactly is left in its place?
Best described as The Wrong Knickers for mums, in Mum Face Grace explores motherhood as an issue of identity.
What begins as shock and then denial of how your life will change has to become acceptance when you’re too big to walk/waddle/work; you’re fully repurposed now; you’re a mum, in everything you do, and everyone knows it. From the physical and emotional changes you encounter to the way your agenda and daily life is altered, your identity is constantly up for redefinition. As the friends and colleagues who shape and support your sense of self slip away, work dwindles as every hour becomes a moment you should be with your child, and your confidence is knocked by the constant feedback from everyone, you try and fit in everywhere – old life, new life – and don’t fit anywhere. It’s the identity crisis that no woman is immune to, belying the credo that being a mother is the most natural thing a girl could do.
Grace has experienced mum rage, mom jeans, mum-tum, mum-hair and had to put on her mum face to cope with it all. These are the truths of motherhood too uncomfortable to flow forth at your NCT meet-ups. From bad sex, messed-up friendships and irretrievable labia to questioning everything and everyone around you. The hilarious book follows Grace’s journey from a young married woman at the top of her editorial game in London, to a thirty-something mum, confused as to how she can love someone as much as her daughter and yet feel lost as a person. Compulsively readable, irresistibly written and incredibly well-observed, Grace Timothy’s searingly-honest account of motherhood is essential reading for every mum trying to find their way after the mother of all identity crises.
I really wanted to love this book.
On the surface, it looked like exactly the type of book I would enjoy, however, once I began to read it, I found my experience a little disappointing.
I really like the fact that this book is jam packed full with honesty. The author holds no bars when describing her traumatic experiences and how she came to terms with the fact that she was having a baby. I like that she doesn’t sugar coat anything and that the reader gets an authentic story into her journey into motherhood.
What I didn’t enjoy was how negative the book came across in places and how it left me feeling a little jaded. I am already a mother and have been through this experience so I knew that this was simply one woman’s experience and not replicating of everyone. But if I was pregnant with my first child or thinking about trying for a baby, I think this book would have frightened me a little about what might be to come.
I don’t think that it was the authors intention to portray motherhood in this way and I can see that she was obviously just trying to show motherhood without the rose tinted glasses on, but I just felt that the book was overpowered with the negatives and not inclusive of all the wonderful things motherhood brings too.
I would read another book by this author but for me, this book was a little disappointing.