This is no brown-nosing exercise, nor is it fan girling. At a push it’s fan nosing.
But I’ve watched the meteoric rise of Giovanna Fletcher through the pixels and rooted for her success like I would that of my own daughter in future egg and spoon races. It’s a primal maternal support she ignites that filters into everything she does; from brilliantly normal everyday Instagram posts about blustery walks with her two sons Buzz and Buddy to infectious hyperventilating laughter with her husband Tom (of McFly acclaim) in the back of a cab. (Like, you can’t stop smiling when they’re on camera together; it’s not sickly or saccaharine, it’s simply real and snort-tea-through-nose-funny).
But that’s really at the heart of where Giovanna’s (I’ll roll with the more familiar ‘Gi’ until the restraining order lands) coming from – she’s not just a poster girl for womanhood, motherhood or rainhoods (in times of moist weather). She’s a bringer-together-of-the-people – men and women. For every post about a small independent brand she’s supporting, there’s a raw, unfiltered photo of her up close and personal with the caption ‘this is who I am. It’s just who I am and that’s OK’. All of this is peppered with clear support and a genuine ‘I dig you regardless of your odd socks’ love for Tom.
It’s inclusive, endearing, supportive and ultimately honest – much like her new book Happy Mum, Happy Baby.
In this brilliantly (at times eye-moistening) account of motherhood, she charts her maternal journey from the beginning (trying to get knocked up through the shitness of PCOS) to the end (splash down) with good, bad and ugly weaved throughout.
Reading about her fears of conception and all the medical implications around that seemingly simple process helps you see a woman who is – despite the hollering McFly crowds – just like us. Reading about her experience of miscarriage hit a few personal notes and, yet, somehow she delivers the experience in an inclusive way. If anything it’s like receiving a bosomy maternal hug through the medium of prose.
And that’s what the whole book is to me. It’s a maternal hug for those dark mastitis-addled 3am feeds. It’s a smile at the end of one of those days where you’ve found a cheerio embedded in your hair and you cried for no reason at all at the merrcat in the Compare The Market.com ads. It’s a non-preachy tome to accompany a rare hot cup of tea (and requisite Jammy Dodger) and it’s a heartfelt account of one woman – a woman just like us – who has laughed as much as she’s cried on this mad, meandering road through parenthood.
One thing’s for sure, Giovanna is certainly not just with the band. (And I will continue to fan nose.)
Happy Mum, Happy Baby is available to buy now here. Giovanna’s husband Tom’s new digital book There’s a monster in your book is available here. Here the pair are supporting our #parentfail campaign for charity @righttoplayintl: