How do you avoid parental guilt? Share the workload with your partner? And what about the role of Granny today? Katie Kirby, author of Hurrah for Gin, shares her wisdom with Christina Quaine
the five dilemmas of motherhood – solved!
KaTie Kirby, 37, lives in brighton with her husband Jim, and their two sons aged four and seven. Her first book, Hurrah for Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents, based on her award-winning blog about life with young kids, became a Sunday Times bestseller when it was published last year, selling over 130,000 copies. Her new book, The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams (Aged 2¼) , is out now.
Four years ago, when Katie’s youngest son was six months old, she had an idea to start a blog about her experience of motherhood. “We’d moved to Brighton from London, and I was struggling to get back into work,” she says. “I was in advertising, but long hours and a long commute meant it didn’t work well with children. While looking for work I thought I’d write a blog to keep my brain ticking along.”
She called the blog Hurrah for Gin because of its connotations with Mother’s Ruin, and began sharing her thoughts on everything from making new mum friends to the perils of soft play. Whenever she didn’t have a photo, she’d sketch out stick-people images in Microsoft Paint for the post.
“Friends told me they liked it, then people started sharing my posts on Facebook and it evolved from there.” Many of her musings have gone viral and she’s amassed over 400,000 followers on Facebook, meaning Katie has been able to leave advertising – and her commute – behind for good.
“I think it strikes a chord because of the honesty,” says Katie. “Motherhood is tough. When I started out I couldn’t find anything online that reflected my experience of being a parent. It was all rose-tinted. I wanted to write about the good times but also the trials and tribulations – essentially, being a normal mother. Mothers tell me the blog makes them feel OK and that they’re actually doing a good job.” With that in mind, we asked Katie how to navigate five common dilemmas that come with parenthood...