I so enjoyed Gill Sims’ Why Mummy Drinks, reviewed here, that I was delighted to be given the chance to read Why Mummy Swears and would like to thank the publishers for the opportunity.
Published by Harper Collins, Why Mummy Swears is available for purchase in all formats through these links.
Why Mummy Swears
Monday, 25 July
The first day of the holidays. I suppose it could’ve been worse. I brightly announced that perhaps it might be a lovely idea to go to a stately home and learn about some history. As soon as we got there I remembered why I don’t use the flipping National Trust membership – because National Trust properties are full of very precious and breakable items, and very precious and breakable items don’t really mix with children, especially not small boys.
Where I had envisaged childish faces glowing with wonder as they took in the treasures of our nation’s illustrious past, we instead had me shouting ‘Don’t touch, DON’T TOUCH, FFS DON’T TOUCH!” while stoutly shod pensioners tutted disapprovingly and drafted angry letters to the Daily Mail in their heads.
How many more days of the holiday are there?
Welcome to Mummy’s world…
The Boy Child Peter is connected to his iPad by an umbilical cord, The Girl Child Jane is desperate to make her fortune as an Instagram lifestyle influencer, while Daddy is constantly off on exotic business trips…
Mummy’s marriage is feeling the strain, her kids are running wild and the house is steadily developing a forest of mould. Only Judgy, the Proud and Noble Terrier, remains loyal as always.
Mummy has also found herself a new challenge, working for a hot new tech start-up. But not only is she worrying if, at forty-two, she could actually get up off a bean bag with dignity, she’s also somehow (accidentally) rebranded herself as a single party girl who works hard, plays hard and doesn’t have to run out when the nanny calls in sick.
Can Mummy keep up the facade while keeping her family afloat? Can she really get away with wearing ‘comfy trousers’ to work? And, more importantly, can she find the time to pour herself a large G+T?
Probably effing not.
My Review of Why Mummy Swears
Ellen Russell’s moppets, Peter and Jane, are growing up, but life hasn’t changed much!
Oh dear. I really shouldn’t read Gill Sims in public places as I am in danger of getting myself arrested or sectioned. People tend to look askance when you’re literally crying with laughter and, just like Why Mummy Drinks, Why Mummy Swears reduced me to a giggling, snorting heap so that I couldn’t read on because of the tears of laughter in my eyes. Once again my own long suffering version of Simon had to wait patiently whilst I pulled myself together enough to read him the passage that had just had me sniggering like a lunatic. It doesn’t matter at all if a reader hasn’t previously encountered Ellen’s life in Why Mummy Drinks before reading Why Mummy Swears because the references to the first book are seamlessly woven into this story.
Gill Sims understands family, marriage and parenting dynamics completely and through Ellen’s comments is able to present what all of us might have felt or experienced at some point. The first person narrative made me wish I could meet Ellen and talk through some of her ideas, thoughts and opinions with her. At times I felt she had looked inside my mind and then articulated my thoughts far more eloquently than I could ever have managed. Although I don’t have children, I found Ellen’s honest descriptions of Peter and Jane and her relationship with them truly entertaining.
Why Mummy Swears has a sparkling wit and a fast pace through the different dated entries as a complete year in Ellen’s life passes. Very frequently Ellen uses dreadful language (the clue is in the title) but not once does it feel inappropriate because it is the basis of so much humour as well as the result of her frustration which makes her so very human and believable.
Whilst Why Mummy Swears can be enjoyed (and my goodness I enjoyed it) as a very funny and entertaining read, Gill Sim’s consideration of the role of women in the home and work place is clever and thought provoking. She skilfully reveals the way sexist attitudes from both men and women perpetuate and I’d love to see both genders reading this book and pondering how they might respond in the different scenarios.
I loved Why Mummy Swears. Making me laugh aloud is no easy task and Gill Sims did it splendidly.
About Gill Simms
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.