Previously published as Mum Face.
Best described as The Wrong Knickers for mums, in this wry, resonant and darkly funny memoir, journalist Grace Timothy explores motherhood as an issue of identity.
What begins as shock and then denial of how your life will change has to become acceptance when you're too big to walk/waddle/work; you're fully repurposed now; you're a mum, in everything you do, and everyone knows it. From the physical and emotional changes you encounter to the way your agenda and daily life is altered, your identity is constantly up for redefinition. As the friends and colleagues who shape and support your sense of self slip away, work dwindles as every hour becomes a moment you should be with your child, and your confidence is knocked by the constant feedback from everyone, you try and fit in everywhere - old life, new life - and don't fit anywhere. It's the identity crisis that no woman is immune to, belying the credo that being a mother is the most natural thing a girl could do.
Grace has experienced mum rage, mom jeans, mum-tum, mum-hair and had to put on her mum face to cope with it all. These are the truths of motherhood too uncomfortable to flow forth at your NCT meet-ups. From bad sex, messed-up friendships and irretrievable labia to questioning everything and everyone around you.
The hilarious book follows Grace's journey from a young married woman at the top of her editorial game in London, to a thirty-something mum, confused as to how she can love someone as much as her daughter and yet feel lost as a person.
Compulsively readable, irresistibly written and incredibly well-observed, Grace Timothy's searingly-honest account of motherhood is essential reading for every mum trying to find their way after the mother of all identity crises.
'Hilarious in parts, poignant in others, [Lost in Motherhood] is essential reading for any woman who has ever wondered where the pre-mum version of her former self is hiding. Reading Grace's musings on motherhood felt like stumbling across the diary of a witty classmate. I wanted to hug her, thank her for reassuring me that I'm not alone in questioning my self-identity as a mother and then I wanted to invite her to the pub so we could chat about pregnancy wind and post-birth coital relations. Five stars plus a little bit of laughter-wee.
Sarah Turner, author of #1 bestseller Unmumsy Mum
'An honest take on the way we approach and define motherhood. It made me laugh and Grace is a refreshing voice on the subject.'
Lorraine Candy, Sunday Times Style
'Whether you have kids or you're planning to have kids - this book is a must. I howled with laughter, frequently missed my bus stop reading it and will never look at the breast pad in the same way again. A refreshingly honest, witty chronicle on the highs and lows of parenting.'
Lucy Pavia, Entertainment Editor Marie Claire
'Grace writes with wicked wit and real emotional resonance too - even though I'm not a mother I related deeply to her exploration of what it's like to navigate the world as a woman, and the expectations that are placed upon us all.'
'Honestly brilliant. I could relate to so much of it and it was hilarious in places too.'
Emine Rushton, Well-Being Director of Psychologies Magazine
'Grace has managed to express exactly how I felt as a new mum, complete with identity crisis and regular moments of 'what the hell-ness', but in the way you'd like your funniest motherhood anecdote to be told (even if your pelvic floor isn't quite up to the lols these days).'
'One (small) perk of no baby. More chance to read [Lost in Motherhood]. It's brilliant!'
Clemmie Telford (@ 40 weeks pregnant)
Grace Timothy is a features writer who moved from fashion to beauty and finally settled on motherhood when an episiotomy changed her sense of perspective forever.