The One Thing I Wish I’d Known Before I Became A Mum

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  • Becoming a Mum will change your life forever. We all know this to be the case. Yet how much do we really know about the ways in which it’ll transform our lives and the range of emotions we’ll unexpectedly feel? Whether you want to prepare for future motherhood or reminisce fondly, we know just the book for you.

    ‘Things I Wish I’d Known; Women Tell The Truth About Motherhood’ (£9.99; Icon) edited by Victoria Young is a new anthology of essays by some of our favourite writers and it’s searingly honest, reassuring – and very funny: the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Find out everything these talented writers wish they had known before becoming a mum, then share your experiences at

    Journalist, Bryony Gordon:

    ‘I hadn’t expected the first few days of motherhood to be fluffy clouds and rainbows, but nor had I counted on them being like a torture scene in Homeland.’

    Broadcaster and cultural commentator, Emma Freud:

    ‘Stay in pyjamas for the first week, or two if you possibly can. It reminds other people that you’ve just been through a massive experience, and that they should make you a cup of tea.’

    Journalist, Tiffanie Darke:

    ‘Guilt is a wasted emotion. Forget it – nobody benefits from a guilty mother. Write that emotion right out of your life.’

    Best-selling author, Adele Parks:

    ‘The hardest thing I had to come to terms with when I had my son was that I suddenly became public property.’

    Editor, journalist, television presenter and author, Rachel Johnson:

    ‘Do not worry about any of your children’s developmental milestones. It all comes out in the wash.’

    Best-selling author, Nicci Gerard:

    ‘Selfishness isn’t selfish – it’s good – for you and for the child.’

    Journalist, Cathy Kelly:

    ‘I am not the woman I was eleven years ago. Motherhood has changed me the way night changes into day.’

    Actress, Shobna Gulati:

    ‘Even now I still don’t think the word ‘mother’ suits me.’

    Journalist and writer, Clover Stroud:

    ‘Nothing about motherhood works out like you think it’s going to.’


    Writer, Jenny Colgan:

    ‘Never forget: toddlers want to fight you, and they have: a) nothing to lose; and b) all day.’

    Journalist, Esther Walker:

    ‘I had no idea that I would spend most of my life as a mother feeding my children. It was a horrible shock, the intensity of it.’

    Journalist, Anna Moore:

    ‘I’d never looked twice at another mother. Now here I was, floppy, flabby, leaking from every orifice – in a world I knew nothing about and didn’t much like.’

    Best-selling author, Kathy Lette:

    ‘Babies resemble the most selfish, demanding lover you have ever had. Always hungry, but won’t eat what you cook. Always tired, yet won’t sleep. Throwing tantrums, yet never saying he’s sorry. And possessive!’

    Actress, writer and comedian, Lucy Porter:

    ‘The first few months of parenthood we veered from feeling like we were in Guantanamo Bay with one tiny, sadistic guard, to utter, unadulterated bliss.’

    Journalist, Alix Walker:

    ‘Everywhere I looked babies were asleep. In cafes, in bookshops, in restaurants. But mine was always awake.’

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