Author Shivangi Sharma shares how her musings, anecdotes and observations about her parenting journey became a book, ‘I Made a Booboo.’
It Started With A Blog…
I had started to blog about my journey as a parent a few months after my first child was born. Being at home the whole day with a baby who couldn’t talk or understand much then, there was a hell of a lot going on in my mind to express and share. So, I started to write every day about him, me, us, and the entire hilarity and beauty of parenting.
One blog post made a friend comment that I should write a book. I took that advice a bit seriously. I had no idea if I would be able to make an entire book from the thoughts I had in my mind. My aim was only one – to share what goes on in the life of a parent without any sugar-coating, and make others laugh while doing that, the way I would laugh at myself. There is enough seriousness in the world anyway.
There are also enough books in the world with parenting advice – I had read a few myself. I do not claim to be an expert. I am nowhere near qualified to advise anyone on parenting, even after all these years and two children in tow. If I’m asked, I can tell you what I did, but that is all. I used to read blogs on parenting like “6 Habits Worth Inculcating in your Children.” Then I’d scroll down to find that the author was not even a child specialist or a psychologist, but just another parent who had had her child a few years before I did. The habits were good, but the tone was a bit too preachy.
Unsolicited Parenting Advice
I once went to a birthday party of a boy almost my son’s age. I had to leave before lunch was served as it was my son’s nap time. The hostess gave me advice with complete authority on how I should be letting my child get used to everything. She had no more experience than I had with parenting. Then there were those veteran parents who couldn’t stop singing praises about their own parenting feats. They expounded upon how they had brought up their children so well and that we should follow them.
Enough of that “should be doing” I thought. So I just did what I did and wrote about it. I wrote because I felt I needed to. And, there was nothing else I would have rather done at that time. My writing was done late into the nights and on weekends when my husband was home. Post-It notes, Kleenex, and even my hand became my “paper” when a thought came rushing in. I wrote in the 20 minutes I got while waiting to board a flight. I never thought about how I’d get it all published, if it did become a book one day. At the very least, I thought, I’d have written enough material to post in different chunks on my blog. Plus, it would be a great way for me to capture my memories with my son to share with him when he grew up.
…And Then it Became a Book!
It turned out there was a lot I had to say. The more I talked to mothers around me from different parts of the world, the more I felt how we grapple with the same issues, as well as non-issues and wish for everything to be taken more lightly. And that’s sort of how I Made a Booboo was born – a book about parents (more specifically the mothers), as believe it or not, the parents are born with the baby too! They weren’t parents before the baby came. I finished writing it when our son was around two years old, so it captures our life up to then. Exactly on his second birthday, I sent it out to the publisher. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Writing about Parenting, Life, and Laughter
The title of the book signifies how I un-learnt parenting books and learnt parenting on the job while making a million mistakes along the way. Which is kind of how we live our whole life, I came to realize. The book covers several aspects of being a mother – the absolute wonder and bliss of being one, the feeling of not being good enough, the forgetful mommy brain, the sleepless nights, the quibbles with husband on how to deal with the baby, the pressure to be the ideal parent as defined online, the guilt at the idea of joining the workforce – to name a few. The book presents the good, bad and at times, the ugly of parenting – as it is. So it should resonate with and hopefully bring a laugh to many parents across the world.
We now have two children and a house full of laughter and noise. And no, it hasn’t gotten any easier, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Motherhood has been the most complete experience for me – messy and most beautiful at the same time. Again, much like life. And I can’t stop being in awe of it all, so I try to express my wonder and musings through words and laughter.