Wednesday, 5 October 2016


I don't think you ever properly appreciate your own mother until you have children of your own.

It's then that you realise how much she did for you. All those grazes kissed, tantrums diffused, stories read. And now that #1 is nearly a teenager, I am in awe of how pitch perfect my Mum was through all those difficult years (most of the time).

Looking back, she seemed to know exactly when to let me make my own mistakes, when to intervene with a guiding hand and when to keep her counsel, however hard that might have been.

Over the last few weeks I've been telling a handful of people about this blog, and the possible book. They've all been amazing - really supportive and genuinely enthusiastic (although I have, I think, chosen my audiences wisely).

But I have not told my Mum.

Then, last week, Mum, #1 and I went out for lunch together. Three generations of women, bound by genetics and by love, but very different in so many ways.

We're all happily slurping our ramen when #1 pipes up with "I'm so proud of my Mummy. She's had two agents call her about her book."


"Ah yes," I said, cautiously, "It's non fiction. I'll tell you all about it if it actually comes off."

My mother looks me firmly in the eye and says "I hope you're using a pseudonym?"

"I don't think I can, Mum," I reply, "as the publishers will expect me to do lots of publicity. You know, Woman's Hour, Loose Women, that sort of thing."

"Mmmm," she replies as we all stare into our bowls of noodles, and we do what we always do when there's an uncomfortable atmosphere: we change the subject.

And now this is making me think she must know already. Why else would she ask if I was using a pseudonym? I might be publishing a book about knitting, or fairy cakes.

When we were in Cornwall last year I told her I was writing a blog, because she'd accused me (jokingly, I think) of having an affair, as I kept sneaking off to use the laptop and closing the lid when anyone approached.

Did she track me down?


Love SM x


  1. A daughter who's changing lives, helping women -lots of women (and 'blokes' as well) - what's not to be proud of!! Might take her a beat or two to take it all in, but I bet she'll be leading the cheers right after that! Hope you,ll let us know...

  2. She could think it is about cancer and survival I suppose as well. But if she has discovered your blog, she is proud of you. You have been an absolute inspiration to so many and have so much to be proud of. Blowing the doors off the shame we all experience is an incredible step forward for women. It is the next step to help the broader public understand the issue and how very common it actually is. Having an articulate, well educated, intelligent woman tell the world "look it can happen to me," educates others that it can happen to anyone.

  3. Whatever struggles your mom may have with knowing your full story, she’ll support you in the end. She loves you, of that I’m sure.

  4. Oh my! I wonder what I would do in a similar situation? Just telling my sisters that I have stopped drinking at our birthday lunch was eye-brow raising. If i admit a problem... what about them? Good luck with the navigation... Lois from Canada on Day 30!

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  6. LOL! SM....I feel your angst..#itsaBritishThing xx

  7. Just as walls have ears, so does the internet.... 10 fold
    Wishing you SO much luck with everything.... Well done SM

  8. Too funny! I know that at the end of the day she will be proud of you! #breakingwithBritishstiffupperlip and all of that!

  9. Oh SM! Of course she is! And isn't it wonderful that she has kept her own counsel whilst you create this wonderful world! And 2 agents! Look at you!

  10. I am sure her comments come from an overall concern for you, how would you cope with that attention both positive and negative. There may too be an element of concern for herself as unveiling yourself may cast a negative light on her as your mother. Goodness only knows in these days the social media trolls can find the slightest thing and blow it up to epic proportion. Gosh that wasn't supposed to scare you out of your wits. I am sure you have weighed up the positive and negative of taking this forward and somehow it feels like this is what you were meant to do, if that doesn't sound too far out. I think this is part of your life purpose and if your immediate family are ok with it then that is all that matters. Compared to other blogs (mine included) yours is quite contained and would certainly ring true with thousands if not millions of mums (and dads) who are drinking too much and worrying about it but falsely pacified by the fact that everyone else they know is drinking the same amount. You are very relateable to people on the worried drinker scale before they slip into cause for concern drinking scale. Maybe a conversation with your mother will help you both understand. Sorry for the MASSIVE comment but I think you need to get this book out there. Ginger

  11. Do you remember hearing that "story" when you were younger about telling your family vs a stranger that you want to be an astronaut? The stranger will say "really? That is wonderful! How are you going to do it? etc, etc" being very supportive. On the other hand your family would say "what!?! That is stupid!" Or something to that effect depending on where one is from.

    Anyway, I just think that sometimes it takes our family that loves us with all their hearts a little longer to accept everything that we are.
    Still loving reading your thoughts. :)

  12. I think you're delightfully brave for going public, and I'm looking forward to reading your book! But I imagine the terror I had three years ago over what someone would think or say if I didn't have a drink at an event and they sussed out I had a problem. That terror was overwhelming to me, and it didn't serve me too well. Your book, and you as one of many new faces of sober living, is much needed, and will be such a valuable contribution to this public conversation about alcohol that we need to be having. I'm sure your mother will see how valuable your contribution is, and she will be as proud of you as your daughter clearly is once she gets over her initial motherly worries. xo