Full-time mum Jess has had enough, and her husband, Chris, has just the solution to vent her frustrations – a blog.
Jess loves her daughter more than anything, but sometimes she just wants a little bit of freedom – some time for herself. Queue a laptop, a glass of wine and the beginning of a life-changing journey.
Overnight Jess’s inbox is full of notifications and before long she is officially a ‘mummy blogger’ but this new life comes with its own set of rules and regulations. With Queen of the Bloggers, Tiggy, blanking her in public, people recognizing her on the street and her life decisions suddenly judged by strangers Jess’s idea of ‘me time’ is slowly becoming a full-time job.
Will Jess be able to find the right life/work balance? Or will she wish she’d never turned to a world online?
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK!!
How it all started…? It was pitch black and very nearly silent, bar the occasional roar of a car passing on the street below. Her left arm was now completely numb and her left leg, which was taking most of her weight, was starting to prick with pins and needles. But she didn’t dare move an inch. A small human being lay below her, its breathing soft and shallow. Squinting in the darkness, she didn’t take her eyes off the child, waiting patiently until she saw the rise and fall of her chest grow deeper, accompanied by the gentle snuffles of sleep.
Now came the escape plan – and she knew it wouldn’t be easy.
She slowly removed her hand from the rising chest, finger by finger.
Thumb, then forefinger, then index finger, then ring finger, and finally her little finger. As that last finger gently lifted, she paused and held her breath, listening to the sound of the breathing.
She exhaled quietly with relief as the snuffles continued, undisturbed in their rhythm.
Now to escape. Taking a deep breath, she glanced at the sliver of light coming from underneath the door behind her – and carefully dropped to the floor, beginning a slow, steady crawl in its direction. There were a couple of floorboards that squeaked with too much weight, so she made sure her hands and knees avoided them. Slow and steady, she thought to herself, as she danced to the left and then to the right, towards the promised sliver of light. Don’t blow it now.
But as she placed her left knee back on the floor, touching distance away from the door, she felt pain sear through her leg. Every part of her wanted to scream ‘FUCK!’ and roll around in agony – but the consequences would be dire. She gritted her teeth so hard that the pain flooded into her head and roared into her ears, before pulling a small Hello Kitty toy out of the skin on her kneecap. She wanted to rip its head off, but instead she glared at it fiercely and tossed it onto the chair by her head.
I’m winning this battle, she thought to herself, as she crawled awkwardly towards the door. Reaching it, she climbed slowly to her feet and gently pulled the door open.
And it was then that she heard the unmistakable clatter of metal in the lock of the front door.
‘No!’ she muttered under her breath, lunging for the door. ‘He’d better not… No… Please… He’d better not…’
But it was too late.
‘Honey! Bella! Daddy’s home! Where are you?’ The shout echoed up the stairs, followed by a loud clunk as he threw his keys and phone onto the sideboard in the hallway.
‘Shut up!’ she hissed. ‘I’ve just put her down!’ She raced towards the top of the stairs, adding, ‘please… shut up!’
He was starting to climb the stairs now: ‘Sorry, honey? What was that? You OK? You both upstairs? Is she in the bath?’
And just as his right foot hit the top of the stairs, a trill scream was heard from the nursery.
And that was that. A wasted forty-five minutes, contorting her body over a cot, numb limbs, and an imprint of Hello-fucking-Kitty on her knee – and he’d blown it all with yet another badly-timed arrival home and yell up the stairs.
It was 6.45 p.m. Bella was usually asleep by 6.30 p.m. – after all, she was fourteen months old – and despite Chris requesting endlessly that they move bedtime back so he could see his little princess when he made it home from work, Jessica had always had quite enough by then. If he wasn’t home by 6 p.m., he didn’t see Bella; it was as simple as that. Unless he woke her up, that was, which was becoming a bit of a habit. Just as he caught sight of his wife standing on the landing with a face like thunder, Bella called out again from her cot – and his face dropped with realisation. ‘I’m sorry, honey. Did it take a while to get her off?’ He pushed open the door to her nursery and made his way to her cot, while looking back at her. ‘Has it been a tough day?’
‘Has it been a tough day?’ she echoed hollowly, while rubbing her bruised knee. ‘You could say that, yes.’
She considered pushing past him and heading downstairs to pour herself a large glass of something cold and alcoholic but had second thoughts, and followed him into the nursery instead, standing alongside him as he scooped Bella into his arms. ‘Do you want to know how our day went? Really? It started at five-thirty this morning when you woke her up getting into the shower. Well, that was fucking brilliant, because I’d already been awake four times in the night while you lay there snoring.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise’s blog, Mum of Boys and Mabel has over 100k followers. Having moved to Dubai with her family she’s now back in the UK and is enjoying writing. From Mum with Love is her debut novel.