Which of us, despite our best therapeutic parenting intentions, hasn’t occasionally (or, um, more than occasionally) lost the plot with our children when things have all gone pear-shaped? Ellie Jelly and the Massive Mum Meltdown is ‘a story about when parents lose their temper and want to put things right’ by Sarah Naish, with illustrations by Kath Grimshaw. It’s suitable for children aged around 2–8.
I got my hands on the Kindle version for a sneak preview.
What’s the story?
In the book, Ellie wakes up and immediately starts pestering poor old Mum who is clearly run off her feet taking care of two children. Ellie stomps about and is rude. (Is this ringing any bells for anyone?)
Ellie decides to make her own breakfast while Mum is busy with her younger sister Grace, who has just been sick. She spills the milk everywhere and tries to mop it up… with a top of Mum’s from the laundry pile.
Grace throws up again.
Mum (understandably) is more than a little displeased with this turn of events, and shouts at Ellie. ‘You are a very naughty girl! … I don’t know why I ever bother trying to do nice things! You both ruin everything!’
She also throws a few things about in the kitchen.
Mum is exhausted. Mum needs some self-care. I identified with Mum a lot.
Ellie then goes and hides under her bed.
Mum feels awful about the yelling and sets about making things better with Ellie.
She calls Granny, who is clearly amazing, and she pops round straight away to help out with Grace and then deliver some top-notch distraction techniques.
Mum gets under the bed with Ellie and apologises. They have a cuddle and Mum takes back what she said.
‘You don’t ruin anything. You are my little girls and I love you both more than the whole world. Sometimes even mums get cross and lose their temper though. … My mouth was saying silly, tired words.’
Everyone is calm and happy again, and other than the broken bowl in the bin, life continues as before.Ellie Jelly and the Massive Mum Meltdown is 'a story about when parents lose their temper and want to put things right'. Click To Tweet
What I thought
I liked it. I think it goes without saying that I have blown my stack at Joanna and Charlotte on a few occasions. I usually stop at the shouting, but – confession time – when they have really wound me up I have occasionally retaliated by breaking things of theirs in return for them breaking things of ours. Not something I’m proud of, but I am human.
Would this book help them understand? Yes, I think it is a really good way of normalising the fact that parents have strong emotions too. My children often seem to be under the impression that no other parents ever get cross! This book does a good job of making it clear that children don’t have a monopoly on losing their temper!Which of us, despite our best therapeutic parenting intentions, hasn't occasionally (or, um, more than occasionally) lost the plot with our children when things have all gone pear-shaped? Click To Tweet
How to get your copy
Ellie Jelly and the Massive Mum Meltdown is out later this month. You can pre-order both print and Kindle versions using the link below.
If you have days where you feel like Mum, and you need a bit of encouragement and inspiration to look after yourself, click below to join The Adoptive Parents’ Self-Care Club for freebies, emails, and access to the private Facebook group.