The-Smallest-ThingsThe Smallest Things is a book for all those parents who devoured Baby Love and What to Expect When You’re Expecting but find themselves dumped by Baby Inc. after the first year – right when toddlers are shoving their fingers in power sockets and you’re hotfooting it back to work. Just as Nigella Lawson wrote How to Eat and Caitlin Moran wrote How To Be A Woman, journalist and television commentator Angela Mollard has effectively written How To Be A Mother (although unfortunately her publisher didn’t go for this title).

“Childhood, Mum had once said to me, is not preparation for life, it is life. But in the tussle between home and work I’d forgotten what a privilege it is to be a parent – to have in my hands and heart two small souls I have for only a short time to guide and teach and enjoy. If I pressed on, driven by deadlines and a stultifying work ethic, then I’d miss everything that really mattered.”

This is Angela’s story of wanting to be good at her job while still getting a gold star for parenting; of her challenge to give her children an Enid Blyton childhood without moving to the country, giving up technology or bribing them with ginger beer. Throughout this sweet and funny memoir (including her many parenting fails), Angela provides readers with real and helpful parenting tips including:

  • The Child Success Index and The Child Talent Index and why they are bonkers.
  • Why mothers sometimes have to actually mother.
  • Why bronze medal parenting is best for your child.
  • Why we need to put nature back into nurture.
  • Why kids need to be bored.
  • Why humour is at the heart of good parenting.
  • Why parents need to attend to themselves as well as their children.
  • Why aiming wide rather than high is ultimately more fulfilling.

“This is not my story of becoming a Play School presenter-type parent or how I learned to always carry baby wipes (I didn’t). It’s about navigating (and enjoying) the modern world but also holding on to something that feels enriching and wholesome. I’ve written this book because while it is my story, it is also every mother’s story. It’s possible to have a fulfilling life that includes both work and parenting but it takes thought and care to get it right. By sharing my story, I hope others might find inspiration or consolation,” says Angela.

The Smallest Things is in book stores from March 1, 2014.