From the outside, Angela Mollard had it all: a successful career, husband, kids, a house, travel… and yet she wasn’t happy trying to do it all. She felt she was missing out on her two young daughters’ lives and missing out on meaningful family life. At a crisis point, she resolved to focus more on what matters.

I’m liking

The Smallest Things is different to a lot of happiness/family/parenting books out there as it’s a true mix of her memoirs and her practical tips for a happy family. In the first half of the book, you really get to know the author and what led her to get to where she is today. Because of this, I was able to appreciate and listen to her ideas for parenting much better.

Angela has a great sense of humour and her writing and experience is completely current and relevant to life as a Mum in 2014 in New Zealand. Unlike a lot of books, it’s completely relatable to life in New Zealand (while she now lives in Australia, she was born and brought up in New Zealand and visits family here regularly).

I love that Angela covers a broad range of topics (technology use, discipline, food, sport, academic achievement, nature, books, pets, art – very brief and funny! etc.).  She’s very balanced and not extreme or precious in her thoughts on topics so has broad appeal.

There’s excellent resources too that I’ll be flipping back to – for example: a New Zealand/Australian-centric list of books to get kids to read at various ages.

Things that made me go hmmmm

There were a few things I wish I could have learnt more on. I’d love to know what a typical week is now – after the changes she made in her life – to know how she fits in the ideas she suggests, and what she’s cut out of her life as a result. I guess I’m saying: I’d like to know more about what she’s juggling now and how she’s doing it – I find this topic fascinating.

The conclusion

I highly recommend this book to mums who juggle work and home life and enjoy reading about ideas for working on having healthy families. It’s easy and enjoyable to read, funny and incredibly practical.

You can read our Q+A with Angela Mollard here.


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