Saturday, June 25, 2011

'Go To Sleep'

* This blog contains some coarse language. If you are easily offended, perhaps this one isn't for you.

Right now my new favourite thing is this book...

Me and a billion other people who have all rushed out and bought it.

This book isn't for people who are easily offended. If you don't like swearing, you probably won't like this book. If you have perfect children and perfect sleepers, you probably won't like this book. If you are a first time parent, you probably won't understand this book.

This is not a book for children. Any parent who reads it to their children is clearly missing the point. In case you really have been living on Mars for the last few months, here is a taster of what you've been missing:

You can also listen to it being read on youtube, but not by Samuel L Jackson anymore,  as have claimed copyright laws on it.

When I first read this book, I cried with laughter and almost wet my pants. It made me feel a sense of relief in that the guilt we feel as parents (and more specifically as mothers) are not isolated incidents.
With a little help from the media, us parents place enormous pressure on ourselves in our quest for perfection. It doesn't matter how hard we try, or how much we perservere, we always feel like we could be doing something better. And we are hard on each other. Should we deliver naturally or with a c-section? Home birth or hospital birth? Are we right to breast feed or bottle feed? Circumcise or not circumcise? Use cloth nappies or disposables? Immunise or not immunise? Control cry or not control cry? Do we smack or yell or do neither? Is bribery good or bad? Whatever it is, we all have our own ways of doing things and our own reasons for doing it. We are all trying to be the best parent possible for our child. We all just want to get it right. We want our kids to grow up and be healthy, happy and uncomplicated. And the arguments and passion parents (especially mothers) feel in relation to specific topics are all because we are so INVESTED in our childrens upbringing that we have to fight for what we believe in. The energy and conviction that goes into raising our children needs to be justified.

Being a parent is hard. Much harder than you ever think it is going to be. And this book acknowledges that.

I have three children. Two of them have been pretty ordinary sleepers. And now that they are that little bit older, we are going through the motions of 'sleep procrastination'. I should add that they are mostly pretty good, but this book still gives me piece of mind. We have a night time routine. We brush our teeth, have a quick sip of water, go to the toilet, do the 'tuck in' thing, tell a story or sing a song and after a kiss and a cuddle, THAT'S IT! In theory... We all know the truth as parents. Any parent who says they've NEVER hoped and prayed that their child would sleep through for a solid 8 hours at ANY point in their lives is lying!

The swearing in this book doesn't bother me. I do swear. I try hard not to do it in front of my children, and mostly I succeed. I'm not perfect though. Does 'Go The F&^% to Sleep' give parents everywhere the thumbs up to speak this way to their children? I don't believe so. No more than it is to be used as an actual children's bedtime story. Any parent who thinks that is the purpose of the book probably has other issues going on as well. And yes, there are groups who have been actively trying to get this book banned because of the nature of the text. I think those people are missing the point of the book though.

I think this book is an affirmation that parents everywhere struggle with this. This book has put into words, what I have spent years bottling up inside. And it feels good to know I'm not alone. This book is about giving voice to frustrated parents everywhere.

If you haven't already done so, do yourself a favour and go and check it out.


  1. I bought this book, and then I went and bought ten more, to give to all my friends who had recently had babies. It actually made me cry, remebering those nights by myself (my husband is a FIFO worker) with my beloved small child cying in his bedroom, and me crying in the loungeroom, three hours after I had first put him to bed! It is funny and it is so true, and it is such a relief to be reassured that all parents feel like this. I have read some really negative reviews of this book (all based along the whole "we must honour our children and never admit, not even to ourselves, that parenting is tough because that must mean we don't love our kids" line - personally I think we need to admit that we must love our kids to bits to put up with parenting, its so tough!) which I think is a shame, because anything that makes us laugh while reminding us we are not alone, has got to be a winner. (Its not like we are reading this book....
    Thanks for brining it more people's attention.

  2. Hi..

    You are an amazing writer.. and your posts are a very good read... I am preparing for an exam and a blue print for a business.. you are my diversion..


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