Thirty-something Georgie Henderson is deep into single motherhood with her beloved six-month-old Pippa, a baby she never yearned for, but she’s now besotted by. Georgie’s ex Jase is making half-hearted attempts at being an involved dad, and Georgie’s best friend and flatmate Nina is having her own mid-life crisis after marriage breakdown and failed attempts at IVF. Nina is supposed to be involved with the child rearing, but she’s too busy hooking up on Tinder.
Meanwhile, Georgie must return to work, much to the disdain of many of her mother’s group, her own mother and definitely the baby Pip. It’s the dream job she can’t refuse – a fantastic role as editor of a weekend glossy – but pumping breast milk during lunch breaks, dealing with the unreasonable demands of her crazy boss and the expectation of late-night drinking sessions with the ad guys, is no picnic.
While everyone else seems to have it together – the gym mums, the organised mums, the foodie mums, the martyr mums – Georgie’s wondering what she’s doing wrong. The various demands of work and baby, not to mention her attempts to re-launch her dating life, start to spiral out of control until Georgie realises something has to give. While we’re with her all the way, in a realistic character portrayal, she often frustrates with her sometimes stubborn and foolish behaviour. She pushes her best friend away, focused as she is on her own issues, and she takes way too much crap from her insane boss in her attempts to cover up the struggles balancing working and mothering.
Crazy, Busy, Guilty is an honest – and comical – portrayal of what often happens when women go back to work. Georgie’s story is a familiar one – the story of mothers trying to have it all, of trying to keep up with images of ‘perfect’ motherhood brandished on social media pages, and the oft asked question ‘How do you do it?’ when in reality she’s not coping at all. Not with the juggling, the judgment, the exhaustion and, of course, the guilt. While they’re much-discussed issues, Sams’ take is fresh and funny and hits right at the heart of the the struggle, with hilarious one-liners and up-to-the-minute observations.
Crazy Busy Guilty re-visits the characters from Lauren Sams’ earlier bestselling novel She’s Having A Baby. If you’ve read the first book, you’ll love seeing how Georgie and Nina are moving on but if you haven’t, Crazy Busy Guilty can be read standalone and you’ll definitely want to return to Sams’ earlier novel.
Lauren Sams is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in ELLE, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Good Food, Delicious, Sunday Style and Daily Life. She lives in Sydney with her husband, daughter and two dogs.