Mandy Nolan is an Australian stand-up comedienne, journalist, scriptwriter and artist. She lives in Northern New South Wales and has five “semi-related” children (with three different fathers), ranging in age from toddlerhood to teenage young adults. Her life is far from conventional or banal. What I would do if I were you (in the Author’s own words) is a riotously funny disclosure of “the challenges, the failures and the struggles of parenting and family life without the necessity of providing solutions”.
Nolan delivers the book with self-deprecating Australian wit and a sprinkling of self-flagellation, interspersed with her own comedic artworks. I loved the Australian undertones that seep from this book. The front cover itself screams of humour. I mean, when was the last time you saw a sassy mama of five, hanging out some washing (ok they’re sexy knickers!) on her Hills Hoist whilst sporting a short black skirt, suit jacket and some shiny red high heels? Of course you can’t judge a book by its cover but you pretty much perceive the tone of the book when you glance at the cover!
I indulged in reading this book whilst sitting at my favourite little café and the proprietor commented “You have had a wicked smirk on your face for the last hour. I need to know what are you reading?” I found the book hilariously funny, easy to read and thoroughly, refreshingly pleasing. Nolan managed to touch on the most mundane of parenting tasks such as tackling head lice, being responsible for ”Mum’s taxi” when you have a suspended licence, attempting to child-proof her kids and face head-on the issues of sex and drugs (whilst hoping to conceal the digressions of her own past), all whilst frantically trying to appear “in control”, combating eternal sleep deprivation, her plummeting body image and doing her best to regain her own self-identity. Life certainly isn’t mundane when you’re dealing with kids, family life and love. Lucky Nolan has a sense of humour!
This woman’s life has been very, very colourful and I give her full credit points for the following confession, “If I was to tell the complete and utter truth about my experience of being a mother, I’d have to admit that I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. Basically I’m making it up. I’m just better at it”. She certainly isn’t afraid to say what others would hesitate to think, let alone utter out loud. I guess this is an attribute of openness comes with being a stand-up-comic.
I am not a fan of stand-up comedy but what I really like about this book was that the author delivers her life in the form of a stand-up-comedy-act that you can read sitting-down over coffee! So on that note I am recommending that if you are a sleep deprived parent, you need a laugh or could benefit from taking a Berocca, consider reading this book instead!