Welcome to the first Vox Populi column of Term Three, where we invite Year 13 student Samantha Mills to examine the hilariously insightful ‘Diary of an exhausted mum - Why Mummy Drinks'.
As a seventeen-year-old (who knows absolutely everything about anything) I often find it hard to relate to my mother, who, from my point of view has her life entirely together and has never done anything fun. Ever. Why Mummy Drinks was a delightful wake up call to my slightly skewed worldview.
Gill Sims tells the story of Ellen, a 39-year-old middle-class mummy who navigates life around two delightful children, a gadget-obsessed husband and the grueling politics of the primary school playground.
This comedic slice-of-life story is relatable even to those outside of its niche intended audience. Drawing conflict from mundane experiences, such as having to take medicine or dealing with extended family. This exhausted mother’s diary pulls no punches with its brutal honesty on topics of insecurity, dysfunctional families and how life changes in unexpected ways. Ellen works as a character with such specific personality traits that she becomes relatable as she reflects our everyday struggles and insecurities. Sims addresses insecurity masterfully throughout, showing how, even if we outwardly seem put together, underneath we may be questioning every decision we make. I’m sure almost everyone can relate to this at some point in their life, whether it’s at a school, a work party or dealing with other so-called 'perfect uber-mummies' who in reality are probably also asking the same questions of themselves.
With a target audience being slightly older, Why Mummy Drinks does contain some language and themes that may not be entirely appropriate for younger audiences. However, if you enjoy stories that tackle everyday life (or perhaps want to understand why your mother yells more often than she likes), this book is a great way to sympathise with a demographic that is often written off as unimportant and goes under appreciated a lot of the time.