The Sh!t No One Tells You

November 29, 2013 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction, Self-Help 12

16073050Title: The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year
Author: Dawn Dais
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was often funny but also had sections that contained really useful advice and heart-warming empathy for new mothers.

“There comes a time in every new mother’s life when she finds herself staring at her screaming, smelly “bundle of joy” and wishing someone had told her that her house would reek of vomit, or that she shouldn’t buy the cute onesies with a thousand impossible buttons, or that she might cry more than the baby….Eschewing the adorableness that oozes out of other parenting books, Dais offers real advice from real moms—along with hilarious anecdotes, clever tips, and the genuine encouragement every mom needs in order to survive the first year of parenthood.” (Source)

Obviously as a woman with no plans to have kids, I am not the target audience for this book. However, as a sponsor of the Shirley You Jest Humor awards, I was happy to review this winner of the non-fiction category. And let me tell you, the judges picked a great winner! With short chapters, this book was like a collection of humorous essays. Even though this topic wasn’t one I’d read on my own, I found large portions of it very funny. Some of my favorite jokes were the cartoons and one-liners beginning each chapter, but there were jokes through-out that kept me laughing too. I did have two small complaints about the humor in this book. First there was one joke of exaggerating numbers that got a bit repetitive. And second, I personally prefer that if an author is going to use curse words, they just do it. “F’n” or “farkin” seems a bit juvenile to me.

In addition to the parts that kept me laughing, there were parts that would be far more helpful to people with babies or babies on the way. Each chapter tackled a particular issue new parents might face, discussing tough issues with humor and empathy. At the end of each chapter, the author polled a panel of mothers in diverse life situations for their related advice. I suspect this perspective from experienced mothers could provide some very helpful insights. So, as I began, I am not the intended audience for this book, but I found it quite funny anyway. However, there are enough serious bits and bits about giving birth that you just don’t want to know unless you need to, that I would only recommend this book to parents or parents-to-be. For new mothers in particular, I think the humor, advice, and emotional support in this book would make this great holiday gift.

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12 Responses to “The Sh!t No One Tells You”

  1. Masanobu

    I understand what you mean about the curse words, but trust me that when you have a kid, you start using mild substitutes instead. So her use of farkin makes sense to me, given her topic.

    • Masanobu

      I hit enter before I had finished!

      I was going to add that in print, it can really become obnoxious, though. Great review!

      • DoingDewey

        I didn’t even think about it, but I’m sure you’re right that avoiding cursing would quickly become a habit once you have kids. It did bother me in print, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be true for everyone.

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! A lot of the issues the author discusses are things she says that people don’t like to talk about (tough things like feeling bad about not instantly bonding with your baby, for example) and it seems to me that just letting women know that other women are facing similar challenges is a great service this book provides. Plus lots of laughs 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Good idea 🙂 I don’t think this is so good that everyone should read it, but if you are the target audience, I think it has a lot going for it.

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, I bet! I’m glad I read it too. Even if it wasn’t as helpful to me as might be to someone with a baby, it was a fun, light read 🙂