Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ‘Confessions of a Bad Mother the Teenage Years’ by Stephanie Calman. Thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the invite and to the publishers for my paperback copy. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:

51cgfppZxwL“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.
We imagine the teenage years as a sort of domestic meteor strike, when our dear, sweet child, hitherto so trusting and mild, is suddenly replaced by a sarcastic know-all who isn’t interested in the wisdom we have to pass on. But with great honesty and refreshingly bracing wit, Stephanie Calman shows that adolescence in fact begins much earlier, around the age of seven.
And having nurtured them through every stage of development, from walking to school by themselves to their first all-night party, you find yourself alone – bereaved even – as they skip off to university without a second glance.
Candid, touching and very, very funny, Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years offers hope to despairing and exhausted parents everywhere. Read it and discover that your teenager is not the enemy after all.”

My Review

I used to love reading Stephanie Calman’s column in the Saturday Telegraph years ago, so I was thrilled to receive the invite onto this blog tour. I loved reading about her children, Lydia and Lawrence and was so excited to be reacquainted with her family once again.

This was such a fun book, full of hilarious, sweet and poignant, anecdotes from when the author’s children began to turn  into teenagers, right up until they left home to go off to uni. I laughed out loud on so many occasions when I was reading this, as well nodding vigorously agreeing with the author, especially when Peter, her husband manages to be portrayed as the cooler parent all the time!!

One of my favourite anecdotes was when a friend with older children encourages her to pay an interest in what Lydia is watching on TV. She then goes on to describe how hard it was to find something she could actually enjoy watching with her. I completely understood this as my son is always watching his favourite YouTubers and it’s quite difficult to find something I’d enjoy as well.

Particularly poignant are the stories about her son Lawrence’s comings and goings from  university. I really felt for her as he arrives home, ignores her hugging his sister instead. She’s desperate to keep quite and not make a fuss because he particularly asked her not to, how hard must that have been!

I loved this book, and thoroughly recommend it one if you’re looking for a nonfiction book that will make you laugh and also help you through those awkward teenage years.