Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! is the third is the series featuring Ellen and her beloved ‘moppets’ Jane and Peter. I read and giggled my way through the previous two books and you can read my reviews of those if you would like to by clicking on the titles: Why Mummy Drinks and Why Mummy Swears. I laughed my way through this book too.
In this book, Ellen and her family enter a new phase as the children are now fully fledged teenagers, they have moved to a quaint cottage in the country and have acquired a new dog called Barry. Don’t worry, Judgy dog is still very much part of the family and he’s not too keen on this interloper! The quaint cottage isn’t quite so idyllic as Ellen hoped with patches of damp, tiny rooms and horror of horrors, for Jane anyway, only one bathroom.
My own precious moppets are slightly older than Jane and Peter and I can honestly say nowhere near as irritating. However, there was so much in this book that I recognised. For instance, where are all the cups and plates? Scattered about various rooms of course and when they do make it to the kitchen, they are helpfully left by the sink… Then there is going to the fridge to get the one vital ingredient for tea which has now vanished, having been randomly eaten by someone for breakfast or lunch. To be fair, that’s just as likely to have been my husband as my children. I could really identify with Ellen’s frustration at times. And yet at other times, her children could be really sweet and perceptive.
You never know whether you’re coming or going with teenagers. One minute they are screaming at you about how much they hate you, the next they are offering you a cup of tea like nothing has happened, then five minutes later they’re back to hating you for some perceived slight that has ruined their life for the eleventy billionth time that day.
Ellen also dips her toe into the world of dating again and has the self-doubt that I would imagine many women her age do. Her children are less than helpful and quite disgusted that she wants anything to do with men – such an embarrassment. In a society where many relationships break up for one reason or another, Ellen’s experiences cannot be unique and I expect many women will recognise some of the things which happen as she experiments with internet dating and speed dating.
There were also some surprisingly poignant moments in this book with one particular scene really resonating with me. It is at times of crisis and sadness that families often come together and in their own ways, Ellen’s children were there for her. Thank goodness because her awful sister wasn’t! It’s hard to write about this without giving anything away but one family gathering turned out to be comedy gold, at a time when you might least expect it.
If you are looking for a book which is laugh out loud funny, if you have teenage children (and/or a husband/partner) who drive you mad, if you are wondering if there life can still be a joy in middle-age, then this is the book for you. It might be a slight exaggeration of life as the parent of teenagers (I hope!) but that’s what makes it such fun to read and might just make you feel that you and your family are doing okay after all.
My thanks to Lucy Brown at Harper Collins for sending me a review copy of the book and inviting me to take part in the blogtour. Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A ****! was published yesterday in hardback, audiobook and ebook formats. It will be available from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A ****!
From the back of the book
Family begins with a capital eff.
I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilised and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase.’ Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks where apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’ When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?
Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever, is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bisto turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.
About the author
Gill Sims is the author and illustrator of the hugely successful parenting blog and Facebook site ‘Peter and Jane’. She lives in Scotland with her husband, two children and a recalcitrant rescue Border Terrier, who rules the house.
Gill’s interests include drinking wine, wasting time on social media, trying and failing to recapture her lost youth and looking for the dog when he decides to go on one of his regular jaunts.