Teacher’s novel way of coping with motherhood

Gazette & Herald: Malton School teacher, Rosie Liddle with her new novel  Surviving Planet Baby Malton School teacher, Rosie Liddle with her new novel Surviving Planet Baby

A RYEDALE teacher has been inspired to write a comedy novel about the early experiences of motherhood after having her first child.

Rosie Goodwin, who is co-head of English at Malton School, and previously taught at Ryedale School, has self-published 'Surviving Planet Baby', which she hopes will help other women to come to terms with some of the challenging aspects of being a new mum.

Writing under her maiden name of Liddle, Rosie said she had always encouraged the young people in her classes to discover their own writing talent.

“Since having a child of my own, I have been inspired to write comedy,” she added.

“ It was a strategy I adopted to combat the ‘baby blues’, with comedy and the ability to laugh often being vital for women who are struggling with anxiety and exhaustion after having a baby.”

Rosie said that she hoped that by writing humorously about the topic, she would be able to help other women to come to terms with some of the more challenging aspects of new motherhood by recognising that it is normal to find things difficult.

“After much research and interviewing many dozens of women in this area, I completed ‘Surviving Planet Baby’, loosely taking the form of travel writing, after I repeatedly listened to them describing motherhood as a ‘new world’ or ‘like being on another planet’ - it seemed an obvious metaphor and one that resonates with a lot of new parents,“ she added.

“The narrator crash lands in the opening chapters and spends the next two years trying to acclimatise to this strange world with its sleep-deprived inhabitants, learning the language - the ‘Mother Tongue’ - as well as visiting tourist destinations, one of which many local readers will recognise as the National Railway Museum in York.“

Rosie said the rural location of Ryedale was also part of the inspiration behind the novel, since the narrator finds herself feeling isolated and struggling to adapt to her new life with a child, away from her job and usual support network.

"I have been really pleased and impressed with how positively the book has been received by locals, for example at Captain Barney's in Malton where my son, Peter and I, are regulars. We have been attending a music group there since he was a baby and it is the inspiration for the music group in the book.

“Mothers describing it as ‘laugh-out-loud- funny’ on many occasions and relating to the comedy experiences as well as the feelings of alienation, loss of self-esteem, confusion over identity and general lack of sleep experienced by many women,” she added.

Rosie is now working on another shorter book set on Planet Baby at Christmas which she hopes will be available this winter.

Surviving Plant Baby is available through Amazon and anyone who would like more information can follow Rosie on Facebook.

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