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Mum's Response: How to Have Your Child Back Home

Updated: Jul 15, 2018



This week we welcome a VERY special guest writer to provide a dangerously candid response to dealing with the unscheduled return of your 'financially independent' 'grown-up' children. Mumma Bird - over to you.


1. Get sick with excitement at the prospect of seeing them because you’ve missed them so much


2. Completely forget how clever nature was for making you long for them to go a year ago


3. Run to hug them and drink in their smell (cigarettes and a trace of last night’s alcohol)


4. Listen to them talk about themselves for an hour or two (only extracting yourself to run a few errands for them)


5. Come back to their belongings sprayed all over the stairs, bathroom, kitchen and hall


6. Watch them like a hawk in case they ‘borrow’ another pair of your cashmere socks


7. Sigh to yourself as they flick a butt-end over the fence. Be quietly grateful it isn’t down the hard-to-reach bit at the side of the house where the others they think you don’t know about are rotting into a stinking mulch


8. Try not to yell when they use all the hot water


9. Explain calmly that you needed to turn their bedroom into a storage place for your old luggage and the books you don’t want to throw away in case you want to read them again


10. Take her for a driving lesson. Go round Hyde Park Corner five times because she's 'too scared to change lanes'. Eventually swap over into the driving seat in the middle of the roundabout in order to get home. Swap back and maintain beatific calm at the scraping sound of the left hand door panel being demolished whist parallel parking


11. Ensure younger siblings are staying with friends to avoid a rerun of the debacle with the Bambi DVD


12. Pretend not to notice they’re reading Jilly Cooper


13. Try not to shrink their ‘dry clean only’ clothes again


14. Hide all your expensive shampoo


15. Leave their old apple cores, empty tea cups and worn socks on their pillow as a lovely surprise but pretend the dog did it


16. Leave some fake post for them to throw away whilst secreting the bills/bank statements in their bag as they leave


17. Cheerfully wave goodbye whilst shaking your head and thanking Christ they’re someone else’s problem now


18. Worry they’ll soon be homeless because they’re so badly house trained


19. Clean up the debris they’ve left behind


20. Promise yourself you’ll hold onto this feeling to protect yourself from how much you immediately start to miss them again


Written by Sophie Cottrell - Jess's mum

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Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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