• Amy Mifsud

The Panic Years by Nell Frizzell

Learning about the Panic Years before I'm in them, has allowed me to feel empathy for the women around me going through them.


Being the youngest of three girls I've been watching the Panic Years way before I was in them. This book was on my radar but over Christmas 2020 when I got the glorious news that I was about to be an Aunty I rushed to read this book and understand more about what my oldest sister went through / was about to go through / and will experience when my niece is born...


To put this review bluntly, I think this book should be on the curriculum.

That's it. I could leave it at that really, but it won't do a very good job at swaying you to actually read it... but seriously, whoever you are, however old you are, you should read this. Especially if you're a man.


We have a long way to go in the UK to even out the inequality of family life but the first step comes with awareness. Educating ourselves on the struggles of individuals feeling the strain of the panic years might help alleviate a lot of suffering.

Book Summary


The Panic Years by Nell Frizzell is an honest memoir of the authors life. It weaves together interviews with friends, well known writers and informative facts about our world. Babies are everywhere, it's quite hard to escape them, but we aren't having enough conversations about the process before having a child, or even those isolated co or solo parenting months right at the start. Nell goes through it all in details, using her struggles and her friends opinion's to help the reader gain an honest perspective of what it means to be in the Panic Years.


My Thoughts


I think this book is incredibly enlightening for many. Gone are the days of having a child young, the average age of a first time mother is getting higher with our career focused society. The sad truth that this book highlights is that our environment is in no way designed to help women who want to be a mother and also have a successful career. It is an impossible juggle, there are women doing it (bloody well done), but our system (in the UK) is not designed the way it could be to optimise everyone's experience of a family life, this includes the child and father as well as mother.


We have a long way to go in the UK to even out the inequality of family life but the first step comes with awareness. Educating ourselves on the struggles of individuals feeling the strain of the panic years might help alleviate a lot of suffering. Some companies are making moves in the right direction such as Channel 4 came out with a Pregnancy Loss Policy in April of 2021.


To conclude, add this book to your list. Although it covers all the heavy subjects listed above Frizzell tells it all in an amazing way, making you laugh and also want to pull her in for a cuddle.