After a decade of climbing the career ladder collecting business cards, box files and an assortment of baffling acronyms, Charlotte Moerman leaps off into the great unknown of motherhood.
She gamely enters into her new life and soon can't imagine a world before Pampers wipes. But without appraisals or targets to guide her along the way, Charlotte also realises there's an awful lot to learn. Scratching her head over egg-and-soldiers etiquette, the appeal of paper pants, and her instinctive new urge to rock shopping trolleys whether or not there's a passenger on board, Charlotte also surrenders any last hope of achieving household minimalism, what with submarines in the bath, marbles underfoot and a villainous nappy bin that would give Doctor Who a run for his money.
Instructions Not Included follows the joy and the pain of becoming mum to three small boys, from juggling multiple demands and accepting going to the loo as a group activity, to finding 300 ways to describe being knackered. Charlotte's days in paid work soon seem distant. So, frequently, does her Dutch husband. Armed with a sharp wit, an encyclopaedic knowledge of children's literature and a nit comb, Charlotte allows women to celebrate their own uncertainty as she guides them through her experiences of the potential minefield that is motherhood.