The Baby Diaries by Sam Binnie

The Baby DiariesToday’s guest blog is by author (and mum) Sam Binnie whose new novel The Baby Diaries has just been published. We have 10 copies of this brilliant book to giveaway. Scroll down to find out how to get your hands on a copy. Here Sam writes about how mums and dads divvy up all the work and things to be done around the house and how she is in awe of all her own mother managed when she was a baby.


My mother was over last night, for her weekly visit to look after the kids so both J and I Sam Binniecan afford to go to work. Tucked up on the sofa and avoiding the usual political discussions, we ended up watching One Born Every Minute, and she started talking about her three labours.

She told me how, with her first, she had to stay in hospital for a week, the norm back then. The start of that week saw my dad go off on military manoeuvres, not returning until the day she was due to come home, leaving this young French bride far from her family, visited only by the other wives on the base who she barely knew. With her second, he was around enough to collect my eldest sister from the friends looking after her each day, and give her a bed for the night before dropping her off again in the morning; my mum said he’d done so little to prepare his daughter for the new baby that my sister started screaming when she saw it feeding, thinking the creature was eating her mother. Easy mistake to make. Between those births and mine, my ma then had to pack up their entire house (while my dad was on manoeuvres again), drive across Europe and set up house on the new base, single-handedly.

When I look at what J and I are doing to prepare for our third baby (signing me up for antenatal yoga, packing a hospital bag full of jelly babies in case something goes awry and I can’t just have it on the sofa while watching Spaced, having our parents redecorate our flat so we can hopefully sell it and find somewhere to fit all five of us) it’s embarrassing, and humbling, and I’m grateful to my mother all over again.

My dad did no less than most men of his generation and his situation (British military), so no one can particularly blame him (although it is fairly absurd that he has his eighth grandchild on the way and has only just changed his first ever nappy). But it was easy to blame my ma when we were cross, tiny children. When my dad would show up between trips with a tan and gifts and adventures from the countries he’d visited, my mum would have been the one dressing, feeding and disciplining us. Being with someone who does at least half of everything in the house, I can’t even begin to conceive what it must feel like to do everything for my children, and be the villain too.

Here’s what I don’t do around our house:

  • 70% of the laundry
  • 100% of the hoovering
  • 95% of the washing up
  • 98% of the tidying
  • 60% of the shopping
  • 99% of cleaning the kitchen
  • 30% of cooking for and feeding the kids
  • 75% of bathing and bedding them

My mum had to do all those things, and she taught herself to be awesome at DIY at the same time. (This morning, while we were at work and she was looking after our 2-year-old, she fixed the toilet that we’d left broken for almost three weeks.)

Frazzled parentsI can’t tell anyone to be kinder to their parents (except for our own children, when they’re jumping on our heads). But I can invite everyone to cut all parents some slack. Whether you have children or not, whether your parents are still around or not, stop thinking about what you can see – a frazzled mum or dad, snapping at their child; a parent, letting you down – and imagine for a moment what you can’t see: a lone adult trying to do everything on their own, with no back up; someone trying to keep a tiny human from running into the road, when they’ve only had two hours’ sleep in the last three days; a loving carer who had to drive across a continent while their ‘other half’ is nowhere to be seen, and certainly not when their joint children are behaving like Tasmanian Satans on horse burgers.

Just take a moment, and give them a smile, or a hand, or just restrain yourself from judging them because they can totally see it on your face.

And if you don’t? Then the child of that judged parent might just grow up to be another writer. And no one wants that.


Win…win….winThe Baby Diaries

We have 10 copies of The Baby Diaries to give away. To be in with a chance of getting your hands on a copy simply leave a comment and from all those comments received by midnight Feb 28th we will pick out ten lucky winners. Usual Netmums terms and conditions apply.

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This entry was posted in Authors, Books and reading, Competition, Grandparents, Home, motherhood, Mums, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to The Baby Diaries by Sam Binnie

  1. natasha shaw says:

    Looks like a good read x

  2. Great reminder… Lets all try to be kinder to one another x

  3. A great reminder. Lets all be nicer to one another x

  4. Helen says:

    After being awake since 4am, on day two of attempts to use reward chart instead of shrieking, crying over the kitchen worktop this morning because a bowl of wheetos had taken 2 hours to eat, this;

    “a lone adult trying to do everything on their own, with no back up; someone trying to keep a tiny human from running into the road, when they’ve only had two hours’ sleep in the last three days; a loving carer who had to drive across a continent while their ‘other half’ is nowhere to be seen, and certainly not when their joint children are behaving like Tasmanian Satans on horse burgers.
    Just take a moment, and give them a smile”

    Has genuinely put a smile on my tired face and maybe even a little hope of stranger/neighbour kindness…I may even brush my hair this afternoon!

  5. Rebecca Jack says:

    I’d love to read this during my sleep deprived nights!

  6. aly c says:

    Looks like my kind of book!

  7. Michelle says:

    Looks great, would love to win a copy.

  8. Sarah G says:

    Very true and hugely humbling, we often chose not to look below the surface but this reminded me of why its important thank you

  9. JenniferB says:

    id love to read it

  10. georgina johnson says:

    looks like something i would like a read of

  11. Melanie says:

    Really puts things into perspective having recently lost my own mum. It’s made me realise just how much she did for me and how much she was taken for granted. I’m sure she’ll be smiling down on me now that my realisation has dawned! You’ve managed to revive long forgotten fond memories. Thank you x

  12. Kayleigh says:

    Would love to have a copy of this, really makes you realise what other’s go through when raising their kids.

  13. Kirsty Fallis says:

    Mums- unique,selfless,loving,humble and brave. Love mine and maybe don’t tell her enough.

  14. S.Main says:

    would like to read this book, could do a new book to read while my little one is asleep 🙂

  15. says:

    I am due any day now this might just keep me sane and smiling during night feeds. I wonder if it covers letting your 2 year old paint while you cook tea, not something I will be doing again! I now have a red floor (luckily laminate) and a blue child! looks like a funny and clever read.

  16. Sherry says:

    I’ve been the on the receiving end of some of those looks lately as I struggle on crutches (SPD) nearly full term pregnant with my four year old who has chosen that moment to run away and do something dangerous. I would rather yell and draw looks than have him get hurt. Thanks for making me smile!

  17. louise says:

    I’d love a copy to take to my mummy book club and discuss.

  18. Sam Walsh says:

    I would love a copy pleeeeease :0)
    looks brilliant!! xx

  19. Karen Hollis says:

    I like the sound of this too. I have a one year old son and love reading pregnancy and baby books 🙂

  20. Corrina Lunn says:

    Really thoughtful blog, made me reflect on the differences between my mother’s experience and my own – thanks x

  21. caroline says:

    i do wonder how my mum used to keep the house lovely and our clothes always washed and ready when we used to ‘lose’ at least two evenings and one morning a week to religious meetings, i can’t keep up as it is……

  22. Debbie Burfoot says:

    Looks a fab read

  23. Sonia says:

    Can’t wait to read as it really bought home how special our parents are and how many struggles they have had to go through go get us where we are today

  24. Reminds me of similar curcumstances in my own childhood and now as a SAHM I can relate to it myself – would love a copy:)

  25. Kirsty Fox says:

    This sounds great, please count me in for this giveaway

  26. Elsie macpherson says:

    I remember my father doing everything for us, the mundane and the weekend treats. I didn’t know how to thank him until we had a little boy and he said the best way to thank him is having more, no chance!

  27. Leanne Thompson says:

    This looks like something I could dip into during my son’s naps! Hopefully!

  28. catherine says:

    nice looking book

  29. Debbie P says:

    Being a parent is one of the hardest but rewarding jobs in the world. This book sounds inspirational

  30. julie says:

    Oh I’d love to read. Being pregnant and having long night’s at the mo would be great to have something interesting to read.

  31. Lynsey Hamilton says:

    My friend in my work is pregnant and I really think that she would love to have this book and it is her 1st pregnancy, I would love to win this for her.

  32. emma edwards says:

    At last!!!! A book we can relate to!!!! :o)

  33. Katy says:

    Looks expecting my third child so I’d be interested to read this.

  34. Sally Cops says:

    Mum’s are brill. I have a lot to learn 🙂

  35. Charlotte says:

    Now that my little one is actually sleeping at night I’d love to give this a read!

  36. Cheetra R says:

    I love to have a copy of this please;-)

  37. Laura Cowan says:

    I could be in my own living room this is so true to life it is funny!

  38. Kat says:

    I’d love to win a copy.

  39. Geoff says:

    I’d love to win a copy. 🙂

  40. vicki wharton says:

    Hi mother to 4 daughters and my last is on way Good luck ladies xx

  41. Umm Naseeha says:

    Wow… Your mum seems like a suoerwoman. and I thought I did a lot. Mum’s (and dad’s) are truly amazing. I love mine and have a lot of respect for them, I just hope my lil one feels the same way about me =D

  42. Umm Naseeha says:

    Wow… your mum seems like superwoman. I’m from a family of 4 siblings and I’ve just had a lil girl and my dad still hasn’t changed a nappy yet lol. Mum’s (and dad’s) are amazing!

  43. alan says:

    Looks great, would love to win this book

  44. Yvette says:

    Looks like a fantastic read, I’d love a copy!

  45. yes please 🙂 a bit of frenglish culture… I like 😉

  46. Ami says:

    Only when you become a mother do you realise how much you appreciate your own 🙂

  47. Marion says:

    This looks like a fabulous read, quite a lot resonated with me – I’d love to win a copy.

  48. Rachel Vickers says:

    Looks amaaaaaaaaazing! Love the cover too!

  49. Heather says:

    Looks like a fab read, would love to win a copy of it xx

  50. cassandra says:

    A great read just confirms my theory: do you want to speak to the man of the house or the woman that knows exactly what’s going on?

  51. enyliram says:

    This looks like a very interesting book. I love books that shows me “what we don’t see”.

  52. Rowena says:

    My mum had three small children, a small holding of chickens, pigs, about 30 sheep and two goats that she milked every day because of my sisters lactose intolerance, 3 part time jobs (because she wasn’t contributing to the family finances!) AND made all of our clothes from scratch and did sewing for the neighbours. This all done in rural Wales with only friends for support, no family. I can’t even comprehend it….

  53. Hannah says:

    Looks absolutely brilliant! Can’t wait to have a read x

  54. Asha says:

    Read this blog when I was taking a break from my 21/2 daughter and a 4 week old son. It really cheered me up! I like your writing style Sam. Simplistic and engaging. Would love to read your book if I can get my hands on it!

  55. TJ says:

    Looks great, would love to win a copy.

  56. carol says:

    I would like to give this book a go.,

  57. Samantha Blane says:

    Is nice to see something on my wavelength, with a toddler and a 5 month old , you have to just sit back and go with the flow sometimes.

  58. christina says:

    Sounds like a must read 🙂 would really enjoy this!! xx

  59. MANDY DOHERTY says:

    I’d love a copy – sounds just my kind of read

  60. Maria says:

    I would love to read it

  61. Looks entertaining, would love to read this

  62. Teresa Maxwell says:

    Sounds like a very good book, would love to read it!

  63. great blog post. Since becoming a mum I suddenly realised just how truly amazing my mum was bringing us up on her own but sadly she was no longer around by then for me to tell her that! I think of the mornings that wake up cry of baby comes and i’m just too tired to get up straight away and hubby steps in and helps, or when the kids are being sick and it takes two of you to clear it up, or that nappy poop explosion that again needs two to bath baby and clear up. My poor mum never had anyone around and had to deal with all that and more by herself.

  64. ransirini says:

    Ooh, would love to win a copy as I feel I’ll really enjoy reading this one:)

  65. Iisa says:

    This book definitely makes you think and makes you realise you shouldn’t judge people, I hope when people see me looking bedraggled with my three year old boy because he’s running around in the supermarket or trying to eat other people’s cucumbers from the conveyer belt, that they don’t judge me lets hope they’ve read the book and realise I’m a tired poorly pregnant woman with a three year old who loves to run and just be a boy!!!!!

  66. raihana says:

    would love to win this book, looks good

  67. raihana says:

    looks like an entertaining book to read

  68. yotobe music youtube says:

    I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!
    ! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I
    have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

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