If David Sedaris and Sheila Heti had a baby… well, there'd be a lot to unpack there. But the ensuing stories would be brutal and hilarious and endlessly readable. And they'd look a bit like Sad Mum Lady.
'If people knew how bad this was,' I said to a friend two weeks after the birth, nipples flashing red like emergency lights under my dressing-gown, 'they would be sterilised on their thirteenth birthdays.'
It sometimes feels like there's a rule for parents: if you're going to say anything mildly unhappy about parenting, you must also be at pains to stress that it is all worth it. What joy! What wonder! How lucky we are!
But then there's the crying. And the body horror. The tearing and the leaking. And the crippling isolation. And the sleep deprivation. And somehow a dead rat in the cubbyhouse and the endless judgement of peers and neighbours and the internet.
But fear not. Ashe Davenport is here. And she's not afraid to say it's fucked.
Unapologetic and frank, Sad Mum Lady navigates the joys of motherhood in ways that will be familiar, hilarious and essential reading for parents and non-parents alike. Savage, true and deeply relatable - finally, a book that resists the sanitised, acceptable face of parenting. You might not feel better, but at least you'll feel less alone.
Ashe is a copywriter and family columnist for The Design Files. She used to have a blog called Sad Pregnant Lady and later, felt compelled to change the name to Sad Mum Lady. Ashe has a one and three-year-old. She loves her children and hates motherhood, comparing the latter to receiving a brick to the face. She and her three sisters were raised by their single mother in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. After completing a Bachelor of Media she worked as a receptionist for a company that sold pre-recorded sports content to cable channels in the Middle East. These days, she writes from home in Northcote, citing 'day care' and 'supportive partner' as the reasons she's able to do so as a parent of young children.
Allen & Unwin
Author: Ashe Davenport