Today we have a guest post on author and mother Jacqui Lockington. Her book co-written with her friend Natalie will have every mother chuckling and nodding along. We have 10 books to giveaway so read on….
If Only They’d Told Me…..” the words every mother utters at one time or another…
British Mum Jacqui Lockington had her world turned upside down when she became a mum. For someone who was incredibly organised and in control, her ‘perfect world’ was smashed to smithereens. Jacqui, a self-confessed ‘neat freak’ couldn’t understand why her baby didn’t conform to the time-table Gina Ford set out in book The Contented Baby. As a pregnant-in-heels Mulberry bag swishing advertising executive, she had sworn that her baby would not change her life one bit.
She’d had visions of parking a sleeping baby under the table of many a popular restaurant, of carrying on with life exactly as before and returning to the work-force after a few short months of.
She was not prepared for the reality of parenthood and how it would totally change her, her friendships and her relationship.
She decided to turn her struggles into writing for other parents. She was determined to write something real and honest and funny too, and provide an outlet of anecdotes and stories which mums could draw on to make them realise that they are not alone. If Only They’d Told Me was born.
Canadian-born Natalie Cutler-Welsh was at the same time in the planning stages of her own book, How to have a thriving (not just surviving) relationship in the early years. Her book was inspired by friends whose marriage broke down when they had young ones. She recognised the strains children put on relationships and was keen to address it with a book.
The two women only got together after the New Zealand Earthquake in Christchurch in February 2011. Nat, whose third child was born the day after the earthquake, relocated her family to Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand to start life afresh. Jacqui, married to a Kiwi, had at that point been living in New Zealand for a number of years. Both books were well underway and over the next few months the two mums would share tips and ideas before recognising that, by combining their writing, they would have something unique.
The book is even more hilarious as both Jacqui and Nat freely admit they are totally different from each-other. Jacqui was pregnant-in-heels, likes her designer labels, is an incredible neat-freak and likes to do things by the book with lists and routine. She was also very much all about Heinz baby food and disposable nappies. She went back to work full-time in advertising early on and juggles parenting, a highly pressured career and her writing.
Nat, on the other hand, is very much an eco-mum. All three of her children have been in cloth nappies, she loves everything organic, hunts out bargains in second-hand stores, organises clothing swops. She has been a stay-at-home mum for a number of years. Rather than heels Nat is very much flats and functional. She doesn’t believe in routine and housework is low down on her priorities. She calls herself ‘organised chaos’.
The two have recently been labelled ‘The Trinny and Susannah’ of the parenting world and their differences come through in their parenting styles and opinions too – meaning that there really is something for everyone in the book.
The book is born out of a desire to help other parents and, whilst they didn’t want to provide a ‘How To’ (Jacqui and Nat freely admit that they are not the experts), they recognised that by being honest and sharing real stories, laughter and tips, they could help other mothers cope and laugh at those hurdles children throw at us every day. They were also keen to shed some light on things from the Dad perspective and their book covers everything from what Dad thinks to tips to help your marriage thrive, sex and even friendships and how they change. The book isn’t just full of funny stories but includes some raw moments and personal issues as well as interviews and insights with other parents around world and some top tips from parenting experts.
If Only They’d Told Me, the book is just the tip of the iceberg. Three years ago Jacqui and Nat started their own blog www.ifonlytheydtoldme.com in order to share stories along the way and to test their material with other parents. The women also run a free podcasting service, publishing a podcast every week on iTunes and Stitcher Radio on a range of topics from How to be a happy stay-at-home mum and Top tips for getting ready for baby to Post Natal Depression, Parenting Twins and Thriving after separation. The podcasts are extremely popular (Jacqui and Nat have been on the iTunes What’s Hot list) since they launched – right next to Ellen and Chris Evans. Jacqui and Nat have almost 60,000 downloads to-date.
Jacqui and Nat recognise that parenthood isn’t easy. Jacqui says: “It’s an art which you learn as you go, making mistakes along the way. When you get it right it is an incredibly rewarding time, a time that you will never get back. There is no getting around the fact that you will have hiccups along the way. Sometimes knowing this before you start makes it an easier journey.”
We have ten copies of this book to giveaway. To enter simply leave a comment below and from all comments received by midnight on 21st July we will pick ten lucky winners.
If Only They’d Told Me is available at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com