Embracing motherhood for the first time is full of wonder and ‘wow’ moments. Then there are those terrifying ‘aaargh’ moments when you feel yourself floundering and thinking ‘Am I really cut out for this?’ The good news: you’re not alone. Your cheerleader? These can-do mamas with attitude.

Subtitled How To Embrace Motherhood and Still Be You, the agenda of this parenting tome is firmly set right from the very start. It recognises the wonderful and amazing privilege that motherhood brings – I mean, wow, you’ve created this perfect brand new little human being! – whilst also recognising that you are still a woman who is not entirely defined by her baby. This book helps you find that elusive thing we all yearn for: work-family life balance.

Taking motherhood by its nappied chubby bottom, the emphasis of this modern manual is all about making a smooth transition into the next exciting chapter of your life with tons of practical tips, checklists and from-the-heart straight talking from other mothers who are also going through this life-changing experience. Far from being preachy, patronising or holier-than-thou, this book is warm, funny and disarmingly honest. It acknowledges the bad days, tearful moments and confidence-fail, but shows mothers how to get through those moments and lstrut your stuff again. Shake it off, as Taylor Swift would say.

This is not some secret sisterhood or an elite members-only club. Mothers of all shapes and sizes are welcomed with open arms – it just so happens that most of them are pretty gorgeous. Their mantra? It’s cool to be a mama, sure, but this is about keeping it real too.

Divided into chapters from the nitty-gritty of giving birth and breastfeeding to post-baby fitness regimes and healthy eating to returning to work and setting up your own business. Each section is a lively mix of easy to dip into snippets (perhaps for mothers on the hop!) with lots of fun lists and Top 10s that combine wisdom and wit. There’s also a host of real-life case histories to offer up all manner of suggestions and  solutions to everything from coping with a colicky baby to giving yourself a morale-boosting brow makeover.  Expect a few smiles and giggles, too, with some of the more unconventional contributions, including some baby shower snapshots of a near-naked mother-to-be wearing only a trio of Kinder egg for modesty!

What we love Filled brimful of anecdotes from modern motherhood, what is most refreshing about this wonderful book is its honesty. It shows that there are no one-size-fits-all rules for motherhood: instead, it’s all about tailoring to suit your own needs and having the courage to be true to yourself. All hail mothers!

A taster
‘Before I had Sonny, I thought I was pretty organised. My job as a freelance graphic designer was really demanding – not only was I being flown all around the world for various jobs, I had a pretty full-on social life! So fitting a kid into the equation was going to be simple, right?

Me and the Mothers Meeting mums have discussed at length the ways in which we think being organised can improve your day, your wellbeing and stop you from going mad! Here are our ten ‘How to get sh*t done’ tips:

  1. Routine is key Get up at the same time every day, try to go to bed at the same time, and follow a morning routine.
  2. Internet Shop Buying your groceries online can save time and huge amounts of stress. As your kids get older, the food shop is the one thing that can get harder.
  3. Get a cleaner It may sound decadent but paying someone to come to your home for an hour a week to wash the bathroom and kitchen has saved many a relationship! The best way to find someone is word of mouth.
  4. Direct Debit Pay all your bills by DD; the less you have to remember, the better.
  5. Do the dishes Wash up before you go to bed at night. Waking up the next day to a clean sink will bring so much joy!
  6. Lists Lists Lists Make to-do lists and post-it notes around the house. Create a hierarchy of ‘Must do now’ for food and washing, ‘Can wait’ for cleaning the floors and fridge, and ‘Probably can’t be arsed’ for making new curtains or baking once a week.
  7. Stop hoarding Downsize: if in doubt, chuck it out! Owning less stuff means less to clean and put away, which is a blissful thought.
  8. Plan Meals Work out a week’s favourite meals and take it from there. Trying to come up with a new meal every night will only send you bonkers!
  9. DIY Breakfast Once your kids are old enough, get them to fix their own breakfasts: not only will they be independent, well-adjusted humans, you will have less to do in the morning.
  10. Plan!!! The more you plan your day, the more free time you will have to do the fun things like meeting up with friends for a coffee, or spending time with your family, or even just having a bath.

Author notes Jenny Scott is an art director and designer who has worked for many high-profile global brands, including designer Gareth Pugh, Nike and Coca Cola. She is also founder of Mothers Meeting, an events communications agency for parents to connect with like-minded creative individuals. She lives in London with her partner and two children.