Confessions of a Bad Mother The Teenage Years by Stephanie Calman

Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years by Stephanie Calman

When I was invited by Tracy Fenton to read and review this book I knew it wasn’t something that I would normally read but the information sent to me made me laugh instantly.

We imagine the teenage years as a sort of domestic meteor strike, when our dear, sweet child, hitherto so trusting and innocent, is suddenly replaced by a sarcastic know-all who cruelly disregards the important wisdom we have to pass on.

But with her characteristic unflinching honesty and bracing wit,  Stephanie Calman debunks that myth.

Bad news: adolescence begins much earlier than you expect, around the age of seven.

Good news! The modern teenager is a compassionate soul, the product of political correctness, Circle Time and all five series of ‘Friends’.

Not quite so good news: the key insights you’ve gathered over four or five decades are still going to be brutally rejected, with a casual: ‘Like, whatever. Can I go now?’

Stephanie takes a fresh look at this whole process and finds that her teenagers are frequently thinking and feeling the same thing as she is: that the other person has all the power and basically hates them.

And having nurtured them through every stage of development, from walking to school by themselves to their first hangover, she finds herself dreading the separation – feeling

bereaved even – as they skip off to university without a second glance.

As the grown-up, you cannot let them see you in this pathetic state. It’s time to be brave and try to move on with your life’

The back of the book

The original bad mother is back, with the inside track on how to survive your kids turning from sweet little cherubs to troublesome teenagers.

When you’re pregnant you think: ‘I’m having a baby’, not a person who will eventually catch trains by themselves, share a fridge with ten strangers, go to a festival in Croatia without succumbing to a drug overdose, and one day, bring you a gin and tonic when your mother is dying.

And having nurtured them through every stage of development, you find yourself alone – bereaved even – as they skip off to university without a second glance.

With great honesty and refreshingly bracing wit, Stephanie Calman’s candid, touching and very funny, Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years, offers hope to despairing and exhausted parents everywhere.

Your teenager is not the enemy after all.

My Thoughts

I don’t have children but you don’t have to to appreciate the humour and goings on. Every chapter has something that will take you back to your own childhood and to that of any children you have. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, drawing attention from people around me wondering what I was laughing at.

Remember the arguments you had with your siblings or friends that seemed life shattering at the time only to be making up with them a few hours later. Remember the parents who had different ideas of how things should be done. How about talking back to your parents because you knew best and they were too old to understand. Confessions of a Bad Mother The Teenage Years has it all.

For parents out there this is a must read. Kids from all walks of life have their hissy fits, pull at the heartstrings, pit mum and dad against each other.

Stephanie Calman has such a brilliant way of putting all of the trials and tribulations of bringing up teenagers in this beautifully hilarious book. Writing from her own experiences makes this a refreshing read which most people will related to in one way or another.

I highly recommend this to everyone!

Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years was published on 16 May 2019 by Picador. Buy your copy here.

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