The Mammy Handbook is the brainchild of Evelyn McGlynn and Meg O’Gara. Together they have captured phrases, advice, words of wisdom, words of reassuring, words of necessity for Mums, the world over. Parenting can vary in different homes, countries etc. but a Mammy is always a Mammy. And the very title of this book makes it universal.
Being a Mum of three grown up sons, I know only to well the benefits of hindsight, the wisdom that comes with age. Having been a Mummy blogger for many years I always focused on the reality of being Mum. I wasn’t perfect and I didn’t know everything. But being on the other side now (empty house…kids all away etc), I’m a lot wiser and and lot more confident in much of what I actually did do over the mothering years; or rather the hands-on mothering years. One never stops being a mother.
When I discovered, just a few weeks ago, that this book had been published I was very excited to read it. And on completion I was literally wishing this was in circulation 20 years ago. It’s so good, it’s therapy. And it’s cheap therapy at that.
What is the Mammy Handbook? First of all, what’s it’s not is, a self-help book. It’s not a book to help you be the perfect Mammy. And it’s not a book you’ll turn to, to get all the answers. What it is, is a book of reassurance. It’s a book of advice. It’s a book of nurturing you Mammy, and helping you to be you.
In today’s world there is so much strife around achieving perfection. The world evolves for young people having to be the best at everything. And that now includes parenting. You just have to be the best. And you have to be ‘seen’ to be the best.
Pause: there’s no such thing as perfection. And there’s no such thing as the perfect Mum. And needless to say, there’s also no such thing as the perfect child. No, yours is NOT perfect, contrary to what you might think.!
Evelyn and Meg have captured beautifully that each one of us Mums is different. They have captured that each one of us has felt insecure and indeed inferior at various times in our mothering. And most of all they have captured that it’s OK to be such. Not begin perfect and not having the perfect child is totally ok. In fact if you want to be normal, then this is as close to normal as possible – accepting that you are not, will not be, and cannot be, perfect. They have captured the importance of the self. Of the individual. They have captured that it’s ok to fail. That it’s ok if your baby cries more than your friends. And it’s ok if you don’t do the same as the other Mums.
From beginning to end, The Mammy Handbook is a collection of phrases, anecdotes, poems, words of advice, words of reassurance and more, about how it’s ok to be you. It’s ok to be doing what you are doing. And it’s ok to trust your instinct as opposed to someone else’s instinct.
By the time you reach the end of this book, you will discover that you know more that you ever realised. Like everything in life today, we are always questioning ourselves and our ability. This handbook will teach you that you have more ability that you ever imagined.
The Mammy Handbook is not a go-to when something is wrong. It’s not a book to make anything better. But it is a book to make you realise that you are as good as everyone else. It’s a book to help you be reassured that all the various parts of motherhood are different for everyone and yours is ok too.
One of the things I love most about this handbook is it’s encouragement for Mums to take time for themselves. This is something I have written a lot about over the years. Our children grow up and will one day go off and make their way in life. It’s so important as Mums, that we never lose our identity of who we are. Because when the day comes that those little babies, go off into the adult world, you have a whole new life to embrace then for you. Don’t forget that’s another important part of Motherhood. Time for you: not just when they’ve gone, but right now, as they grow.
The Mammy Handbook is available at many stores throughout Donegal. It really would make a lovely gift for a Mum this Christmas. It’s something to dip into again and again when you need reassuring. I can see myself sipping coffee and smiling for many weeks and indeed months to come, as I return to this again and again – just to reminisce on my own days when I had three little boys running around.