Fam­ily firsts

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

Woman & Home - - Editor's Letter -

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...

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