And so I continue to buy my forty-year-old husband an advent calendar every year, because apparently I am his mum now, and he is a spoilt child – Gill Sims.
Why Mummy Drinks has been sitting on my TBR shelf for well over six months now. Maybe even longer. A part of me wishes I had read it sooner, but the majority of myself is so glad I waited until now to read it because boy, did I need to have laugh-out-loud giggles over the past week or so… I even snorted on my bus journeys to and from work. Gill Sims is a sensation, and her character Ellen is my kindred spirit, as she likes to find them wherever she goes in life.
I may not be a mother, or married, with two devils in disguise glued to iPods and iPads, or tripping each other up, or screaming and bellowing at each other, or trying to drag them to school whilst pretending that everything in my life is in tip-top shape and I am breezing through it. And I definitely do not have a mortgage to pay, or a family to maintain. But, I am a woman who is attempting to succeed in something, although God-knows-what right now, and create a life of my own etc. etc. Another thing I think the majority of us will have in common with Ellen is that when things get a little too much, we tend to go into stress overload and stick our heads in the sand whilst clinking glasses of some kind of alcohol to enjoy what is left of a stressful week… or day, depending how bad it is.
Ellen is a middle-class mother who works part-time in IT (much to her mother-in-law’s distaste) with every second Wednesday off. She runs the kids to and from school Monday to Friday, followed by putting them into their various after-school activities. She cooks, cleans, and shops for the household. It’s no wonder she takes to having a glass of wine or three most nights. Ellen has a dream of doing it properly. She dreams of her children eating a healthy breakfast whilst they talk about the day ahead, then skipping to school, hugging their mother and waving goodbye with smiles on their faces. In reality, she has to drag them to the school gates much to the horror of the pristine mothers who have nannies and hold their cups of lattes from the local coffee shop. She is nothing like those mothers, the Lucy Atkinson’s mothers of the school playground, the mothers who look like they have their shit together without even a twitch in their eyes.
Why Mummy Drinks is a year long journal of Ellen, where she writes whatever she is thinking and she thinks a lot, including swearing, visible eye-rolling, wanting to kill everyone around her and making mistakes like the majority of us. The reason why this book is such a winner for people everywhere is that Ellen is completely relatable. In fact, all of the characters are relatable in some way – even the mummies who live at home whilst their Busy and Important husbands chunner down their phones day in, day out. That is the best thing about this book: it deals with reality… perhaps sometimes a little extremely. It deals with parenthood, sibling rivalry, trying to impress others who you don’t even like, relationships and family dramas. It also deals with small doses of being a shopaholic, and my favourite part: the stress of Christmas.
December is by far my favourite chapter, primarily because it is Christmas right now. It has all of the feelings and emotions. It begins with the excitement of the first of December when the first lot of Christmas music is played and the fascination with the festive lights. It quickly turns into a massive stress ball that keeps on rolling, collecting more and more stress until it blows up in everybody’s faces. And then it’s all over, but everybody still has the best time ever. It is safe to say that I completely relate to Ellen in December right now.
It is like reading your eccentric best mate’s diary in a decade’s time. A scary thought actually. Do you need a bit of a light-hearted read with LOL moments that bring tears to your eyes? Get Why Mummy Drinks on your Christmas list now.
Love, Faye xo