Confessions of a First – Time Mum by Poppy Dolan
Publishing Date: 25th June 2018
Source: Received from the publisher via netGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 266
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
Stevie’s life has changed beyond recognition since having her first baby. Stevie loves being a mum, but between the isolation and being vomited on five times a day, she really wishes she had someone to talk to.
With husband Ted working hard to keep the family afloat, Stevie really doesn’t want to burden him with her feelings. Turning to the internet, Stevie starts the anonymous First-Time Mum blog and blasts the rose-tinted glasses of parenthood right off her readers.
In the real world, Stevie meets the formidable Nelle and gorgeous Will, along with their own little treasures, and starts to realise that being a ‘perfect mum’ isn’t everything. But when the secret blog goes viral, Stevie must make some tough choices about who she wants to be, and whether she’s ready for the world to know the truth…
A perfect laugh-out-loud read for fans of The Unmumsy Mum, Gill Sims and Emma Robinson.
In Poppy Dolan’s book, “Confessions of a First – Time Mum”, our main character Stevie is … yes, you guessed! A first – time mum! And let’s be honest – she doesn’t cope so well, which, of course, is totally understandable. Her husband Ted works hard to provide them a comfortable life, all her friends are working, her parents are on another continent… So Stevie starts to write about her feelings on her First Time Mum blog that quickly turns into incredible success. But, as it usually, where you find success you also often finds defeat and troubles… Will Stevie, with the help of new friends Will and Nelle, a) realise that there is no such thing as perfect parenting, b) save her marriage?
This book tells it how it really is to have a baby. I mean, you can attend all kinds of antenatal classes but the reality is in any case going to slap you very, very hard and nothing can prepare you for the shock. Thanks god my baby was not as extreme and demanding as Cherry was, even though then I thought it couldn’t be worse but now, in perspective, I can see that she really was uncomplicated, and we didn’t have such adventures as Stevie and her daughter. But I can imagine that there are babies like Cherry, and I so really well understood Stevie and her frustrations, desperations and problems – Cherry was not a child I’d call cute, to be honest.
Every mum can recognise herself, more or less, in Stevie, our main character. Stevie, with her brand new daughter and her feelings of happiness and love mixed with confusion, uncertainty, failure, loneliness. I really felt for her, for her struggles, for the fact that she was so authentic. Also, Nelle and Will were brilliant addition to this story and did well as Stevie’s new friends – I’m still friends with the girls I got to know when I was pregnant and it’s almost seven years now, although I think that none of them is as sharp and honest as Nelle and Will, sadly – every new mum needs such friends as those two.
This book started in a brilliant way and I couldn’t put it down at the beginning. However, somewhere around the middle, it lost the whole impact and it started to feel repetitive and flat. It also felt too full, as if the author wanted to cram all possible events into the story. I don’t know, I can’t put my finger on exactly what was wrong with the second half, it simply read differently and was not as lightly written and as full of joy as the first part.
Altogether, “Confessions of a First – Time Mum” was brutally honest, incredibly funny and also poignant, a read that I could easily relate to. It gave a very realistic look at motherhood generally. Poppy Dolan has really brilliantly captured how it is to be a first – time mum – a mum altogether, showed both sides of motherhood, this of incredible happiness and being proud but also this of feeling totally misunderstood, alone and desperate. A story also about friendship and support and backing up your friends no matter what. It isn’t only about being a new mum but it also explores many more issues, and even though I sometimes felt a little overwhelmed with the number of events, I still enjoyed how different and colourful those subplots were, and because of them the pace felt really quick.