From that first angelic role in the nativity play to that first love, from broken hearts and best friendships to school bullies, life as a parent is an emotional roller coaster. And amidst the practical chaos of finding swimming goggles, making packed lunches, cleaning out the rabbit and refereeing sibling squabbles, many of us long for help, for a little wisdom to help us do the job well.
Here is that help! Wisdom in stories and bite-sized chapters to help navigate this challenging season of parenting and family life – sayings to read in a few minutes while waiting for the kettle to boil, to commit to memory and draw upon at a second’s notice, and hilarious cartoons to bring a smile.
So put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, turn the page, and if you forget everything else as a parent, remember this…
What people are saying
“Katharine has created a rare thing: she's written a book about parenting which doesn't make you feel guilty, but still inspires you to do things differently. It's not about the impossible ideal of perfect parenthood; her writing is unpretentious and realistic. With searing honesty and good humour she shares stories from her own family – many of which are about the mistakes she has made – and rounds each one off with a droplet of wisdom. Katharine's writing and David McNeill's entertaining cartoons are a great combination which will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think and make you glad you're a parent.”Mark ChesterAuthor and Founder of Who Let The Dads Out?
“Katharine's new book, coming out of her own experience of parenting four children and having talked to thousands of other parents, is honest, engaging and practical. Remember this is hugely encouraging and will remind you as a parent that you are not alone in facing the daily challenges. And, what's more, the advice Katharine gives is easy to remember! We recommended it to every parent.
This is a great book for all parents of children of primary years, or who are nearly there. There is a gem on every page leaving you thinking ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ It provides practical insight and empathy from someone who has been there and has listened to others who have shared their experiences with her.”Nicky and Sila LeeCo-Authors of The Parenting Book.
“Katherine draws on her experience as a mother of four as well as using her experience of speaking to parents in her work for Care for the Family. These stories bring life and reality the points she is making.
The chapters are short enough for busy parents to read quickly but the power of the advice is not diminished at all.
I read it in three short sittings whilst looking after 2 children under 4 and was able to apply some of the ideas there and then. It is a compelling read and a real page turner that will prove an invaluable asset for many parents.”Dave LumsdonEducational Psychologist; Professional and Academic Tutor, Newcastle University; Principal Psychologist for dblpsychology.
“Parenting is the same as most things in life - better to build well on good foundations than try to repair later. Easy to read, with bite-sized chapters full of memorable tips and pointers, this book is a gold mine of practical help and wisdom for busy parents”Glynn HarrisonProfessor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of Bristol
A note from Muddy Pearl
Editing this book took me straight back to when my own children were young – conjuring that scramble in the morning to find the lost plimsoll or the permission letter for the school trip; the chatter and banter around the table in the evening. And the friends – who are still friends – that we shared those days with.
Being a mum or a dad is the most important job in the world, but the real training is all on the job. We do our best, we make mistakes and we learn from them. And we so need a friend, to share our struggles, joys and pride without fear of being judged or criticized or ridiculed – and to guide us through the pitfalls of parenting.
This book is like a good friend. Deeply honest, down-to-earth, funny and generous, Katharine openly shares her own mistakes – like the time she accidentally left her daughter in London – and gently shares the wisdom and perspective that she has earned as a mum and professional, through stories and as short, easy-to-remember sayings.
Those days go so quickly – and you get only one chance to get it right. So, if you forget everything else, remember this…