01/03/2013 11:43 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mums Like Us

Are you sick to death of mum-upmanship at the school gates?

Have you had your fill of Mother Superiors who lose their baby weight in six weeks while you're still carrying yours years later?

Do you crave the company of like-minded mums who will admit motherhood smells not of roses but of dirty nappies?

Well, look no further than Mums Like Us, the debut novel by Parentdish writer Laura Kemp.
A support group in a book, unlikely heroine Stella Smith hosts a weekly cake and coffee meeting in her kitchen for members to let rip about kids, husbands and work – and she'd like to invite you along...

Attention lardies!

It is time to prepare the barricades.

Gather your Ikea furniture and drag over those massive plastic toys taking up too much space in the house. Stock up on wine and bring as many doughnuts as you can pack into your bag for life.

Once you've put the washing out, that is.


For we are coming together to face the artillery fire of perfect parenting, which is shoved down our throats every day to make us feel like failures. And fat ones at that.


Until now, we have been the silent majority, going about our business, sometimes feeling we don't fit in, wondering how on earth we can live up to the ideals presented to us in endless surveys and reports from 'experts'.

But if you step back, which I know is hard when you've got children hanging off you, you'll see you're not alone. You are a Mum Like Us.

And it's about time we organised ourselves into a united collective to campaign for good enough parenting.

I mean, look how fab we are. We're resourceful, creating space-themed outfits out of foil for an undeclared dress-up day, announced five minutes before we leave for school.

We're all for encouraging our children's independence – as in "go and play, go on, or switch the telly on, just do something and give me five minute's peace".

We're really up for introducing our kids to new experiences. Such as giving them cake for breakfast because we've run out of cereal.

We're a good laugh, particularly when it comes to laughing at ourselves, even more particularly after some wine.

And we're the best friends you could have, stepping in at pick-up if you're running late.

It will not be an easy struggle. For the myth of perfection is peddled in the playgrounds and supermarket aisles by Mother Superiors, who use mum-upmanship at every turn to make us feel small.

But let me assure you, we can do this. (Any doubts, just remember how you beat that hangover last week even though you had two kids all day.)

And to fortify us, there will be cake – plenty of cake.

So, arise, mothers of the stained jumper! Hear my call to arms: let's feel good about being good enough.

Hope to see you here at the next meeting of Mums Like Us. By the way, my house is the one with the wonky knocker. Yes, hilarious.


Stella Smith, Mums Like Us Chairwoman

"Fantastically funny!" Allison Pearson, author of international best-seller I Don't Know How She Does It

"I loved it" bestselling chick lit author Milly Johnson

Mums Like Us, published by Arrow at £6.99, is out February 28.
There's 25% off if you go to and add it to your basket, using the promo code MUMSLIKEUS before you make your purchase.

More by Laura Kemp: 50 things motherhood teaches you