Laura Rachelle Taylor, an acclaimed writer, uncovers the multifaceted and often unspoken aspects of motherhood in her insightful book, A Mum Like This. Delving into the challenges faced by many mothers, such as navigating conflicting advice, dealing with the overreach of others, contending with antiquated societal norms, and the struggle with unsupported postnatal recovery, Taylor’s work is a revelation.

The book, structured as a 52-week memoir intertwining poetry and prose, meticulously documents the first year after childbirth with weekly diary entries and poems. This narrative captures the full spectrum of emotions associated with new motherhood, a journey during which Laura was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a critical yet frequently overlooked endocrine disorder that significantly impacted her life for many years.

Taylor bravely shares her experience with severe PMDD symptoms, including a meningioma (brain tumour) and debilitating cystic breast pain that severely limited her physical capabilities. She offers a heartfelt account of how her undiagnosed condition led to self-destructive behaviours, affecting her personal life and relationships during periods of hormonal turmoil. Laura’s narrative is a poignant exploration of her battle with “the PMDD monster,” chronicling her path to diagnosis and the discovery of moments of reprieve amidst the disorder’s storm.

Written primarily while caring for her newborn in a shed during home renovations, Taylor reexamines the essence of motherhood, challenging societal pressures and opting for a simpler, nature-centered approach to parenting. Her experiences with nature, time spent in libraries, and the meaningful connections established in her community of Northwich, Cheshire, paint a serene picture of maternal life.

A Mum Like This speaks to a broad audience of mothers who face similar challenges, offering comfort and a sense of community in the intricate world of parenthood and PMDD. Taylor’s memoir acts as a reassuring voice to new parents and those suffering from PMDD, affirming that their experiences are both valid and shared.

Set to be released in paperback on Amazon from 19th March 2024. For more insights into Laura Rachelle’s work and personal journey, be sure to follow her on Instagram: @laurarachellewriter.