Confessions of a Grumpy Mother

I have a child about to start school in Lewes, and I’ve been pondering the ups and downs of parenthood so far. Having the personality of a warthog with toothache, negotiating motherhood has been hard. Having a baby throws you into being with groups of mothers you don’t know at precisely the time you’re knackered and flummoxed. I didn’t have social skills before, so why would that change by having an infant strapped to my chest? Clearly, there are women out there with the warmth and lightness of touch with chitchat that helps in bizarre new situations like attending a breast-feeding support group. I’m just not one of them. I sat there feeling like the most unpopular girl at school.

Over four years there has been a bit of improvement, but not much. I’m still woefully inadequate in the largely middle class world of Lewes parenthood. The nursery used to send home a soft-toy dragon called Puff, with a blanket, toothbrush and his own mini-dragon pet. And a notebook to record his adventures in. Oh how we laughed bitterly as we read about his exploits with families who apparently speak French to each other whilst eating organic croissants. Was it just us thinking ‘Bugger, not that bastard dragon again?’ as we bickered pettily on the way home, swearing in Anglo-Saxon, before opening a bottle of wine and feeding our child something non-organic and smothered in ketchup?

You can see Emma Chaplin's column in The Guardian here


Emma Chaplin splashes it all over