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.
When I was pregnant and later a new mum I was desperate to hear what I was feeling – the self-doubt, the guilt, the fear, the frustration – was normal. I wanted to have a frank discussion about what happens to your identity when you have a baby. And that the love simultaneously makes you feel better than you could have imagined feeling and wracked with the pulsing fear that it’s your responsibility to keep that perfect person alive and well in an increasingly hostile world.
So I wrote MUM FACE – an honest and unflinching memoir of how I struggled to work out, if becoming a mother means the person you were before has gone; who exactly is left in its place? My story is full of 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.
‘Grace takes on the ‘post-truth’, heavily edited version of motherhood so many new parents are vulnerable to, taking a deeper, more raw look at what being a modern mother means for a modern woman. What Bryony Gordon did for the twenty-somethings in the Wrong Knickers, Grace has now shone a similarly funny and candid light on motherhood. With Mum Face, Grace has managed to express exactly how I felt as a new mum, but in the way you’d like your funniest motherhood anecdote to be told.’
Helen Whitaker, Journalist
‘Hilarious in parts, poignant in others, Mum Face 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.’
Daisy Buchanan, Author of How To Be A Grown Up
‘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
Clemmie Telford, Influencer and founder of Mother of All Lists
‘I would recommend without hesitation…Low on data but high on empathy, this is the memoir on the overwhelming identity crisis that becoming a mother can be.’
Alexandra Heminsley, The Pool
‘I read it cover to cover without putting it down. It’s the first thing which has made any sense to me since having my baby girl, and articulates, with an eloquence and clarity I couldn’t ever, EXACTLY how I feel. Today seems so much better because you have helped me understand why it is I feel confused and lost, despite adoring my daughter. I really feel like it was a moment for me which helped saved my self and make me a better mama.’
‘So entertaining and laugh out loud. A must-read for any new parent who just wants a giggle.’
‘I genuinely cried because FINALLY someone said, “I love motherhood but, don’t you find this a bit hard?” This was exactly what I wanted to say to my guy but struggled to put into words. It was exactly what was necessary.’
‘She is insightful, raw, brilliant, and so funny. She shares all the thoughts and private moments that most people won’t share with you, but that most (if not all) new moms go through. Reading this felt like hanging out with a good friend who will bare it all, no judgement, in an effort to try and let you know you’re not alone and lift you up too with a good laugh about it.’