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Beingamum is tricky.. so what if you have a large glass of wine at the end of the day? SCOTS WRITER'S REALITY CHECK FOR 'INSTAMUMS' Gill Sims's hilarious blog posts about juggling motherhood, work and family life led to her writing a bestseller. As she prepares to launch her second book, she explains why it's OK not to be OK.


ANDS up if you've ever taken the kids on a day out that ended in tears but you still managed to post a perfectly filtered snap on Facebook? HWe've all done it. Social media has allowed us to be the stars in our own show and the ability to edit out the bad bits is all too tempting.

But a brave band of mummy bloggers are lifting the veil on family life and, well, telling it like it is.

One of those truth-seekers is 40-year-old Scottish mum Gill Sims. Her blog, Peter and Jane, is a hilarious, sweary account of bringing up her two "moppets" while juggling a career, housework and finding her husband's car keys.

Since Gill tapped out her first blog post in 2016, she has amassed almost 400,000 followers and landed a book deal.

Gill, who lives near Glasgow, said: "I never dreamed it would turn out the way it has. My friend read an article about the horrors of women who swear and she said, 'You swear a lot - you should write your own blog', so I did one for a laugh. I've always been an over-sharer so it wasn't much of a leap.

Gill Sims's blog posts juggling work and "I posted it on my Facebook page and some of my friends thought it was funny, so I did another one.

led to her "Then people wanted to share it with their friends so I set up a public bestseller.

Facebook page called Peter and Jane."

prepares her second " It was a post about the dreaded school holidays that first brought Gill into the mainstream.

she explains OK not Accompanied by a "selfie" of her drinking a large glass of rose, Gill wrote: 'Tonight, in a change to the scheduled performance, in which Mummy drank green tea and was serene and booze-free, instead Mummy is getting s**tfaced on Pink Sunshine Wine."

Gill went on to recount her exhausting day trying to keep the children out of trouble while she changed the beds, did the washing, cut the grass and sorted "eleventy billion different bins and recycling boxes'.

The post ends with her husband coming home and asking if "Mummy had a nice, relaxing day sitting in the sunshine?" It was shared an incredible 180,000 times and was widely praised by mums in the same boat.

It also sparked a debate amongst Mumsnetters, some of whom found Gill's tough-talking hard to swallow.

But Gill is unapologetic. She said: "All the blogs I'd looked at were like, 'I'm having a bad day but I love my children so much and I'd never change a thing #blessed blah blah blah...' "I thought, you know what, sometimes I shut the kids' bedroom doors at night and I just want to run away.

"There didn't seem to be many people saying they found being a mum tricky. It's OK not be OK sometimes - being a mum can be hard. So what if you have a large glass of wine at the end of the day? Often, it's not about the alcohol itself, it's a ritual that marks the transition from you the mum to you the person."

Gill is the latest in a line of women who are rebelling against the "Instamums" peddling an unrealistic view of family life. So-called "Slummy Mummy" blogs such as Hurrah For Gin and the Unmummsy Mum have more than a million followers between them.

Gill is careful to keep her children and husband's identity secret, referring to her son and daughter as Boy Child and Girl Child. But her husband, who makes regular appearances, has had to cope with comments from friends and family.

Gill said: "He knows it's an exaggerated version of himself.

He just laughs it off."

Alongside the tongue-in-cheek accounts of everyday life, Gill has also tackled the often taboo subject of post-natal depression. In one post, she laid bare her own experiences of "walking the streets at 2am in tears, pushing the pram, trying to get the baby to sleep".

hilarious Gill said: "The reaction was amazing. So many people got in touch saying, 'That was me too.' They'd never told anyone because they were ashamed or scared they'd have their baby taken away."

about motherhood, family life " When Gill was approached by publishers HarperCollins to write a book, she admits to being both delighted and terrified.

writing a As she to launch book, why it's She added "If HarperCollins make you an offer for a book deal, you don't say no, but also I was thinking, 'Oh God, what have I done?'" Juggling two children, a full-time job and writing a book could have thrown anyone over the edge but thankfully Gill has support.

to be OK She said: "My husband and my in-laws were brilliant. They provided a lot of hot meals, otherwise the children would have been living on pizza for four months.

"There was lots of tears and shouting and tearing my hair out. I'd do an hour here and there and then towards the end, it was a panic to get it finished."

Her 2017 debut novel Why Mummy Drinks stayed in the Sunday Times Bestseller list for 30 weeks and has sold over 250,000 copies. Her second book Why Mummy Swears is out on Thursday.

Gill has now given up her job in an engineering firm to write full-time.

Many of the themes she explores in her novels - equality at work, the struggles of the work-life balance - are from listening to the experiences of her female friends. It's this relatable authenticity that lies at the heart of Gill's success.

Reading the thousands of comments on her blog is like eavesdropping on a therapy session where mums can vent, laugh and support each other without judgment.

Gill said: "The absolute best thing about writing this blog for me has been the dawning realisation of, blimey, it's not just me who feels like that.

"Some of the mums who I thought totally had it together were messing up just as much as the rest of us. It wasn't that they were coping better - it was just that they were better at hiding it."

?Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims is published in hardback by HarperCollins on Thursday, priced PS12.99 TELLING IT LIKE IT IS Gill with 'Judgy Dog', who features in her blog


GLASS ACT Gill says having a glass of wine at night can be like a ritual
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 7, 2018
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