Surrounded by other mums AT NIGHT,” she moans when dragged out to the pub to discuss a carpool.
“I can just about handle it on the school drop but THIS! More often than not, Julia is trying to find someone on whom she can palm off her kids. ” she asks the school when their teacher calls her at work.
Work aside, drinking wine and swearing are what keep us adult, separate beings from our kids.
And they are the only mutinous activities we have the energy for.
” While Maxwell Martin channels her inner Basil Fawlty, Diane Morgan (aka clueless presenter Philomena Cunk) is brilliantly understated single-mother Liz, in a north London uniform of Converse and parka, whose instructions for scraping through motherhood provide some of the show’s best lines.
On hosting a kids’ party: “Buy four caterpillar cakes from Asda and put them together to make one big Human Centipede cake, then just let the kids help themselves.
In their different ways, these shows dramatise the deranged monologues that women often conduct in their heads.
In Julia, all split ends and barely suppressed murderousness, working mums surely have a new heroine. ” she says, a line I hear myself utter all the time.
It could be taken straight out of the script of anyone I know with kids.
A girlfriend who is returning to full-time work from maternity leave recently described to me a similarly mind-boggling tapestry of childcare involving nurseries, half-days and worn-down grandparents whose retirement plans have been thwarted.
Monday, her kids go to her mother-in-law after school; Tuesday, she does nanny share with the family from their street; Wednesday, she does a half-day; Thursday, it’s either the nanny share or her or the mother of the other family — they take it in turns — which just leaves one Thursday a month, which they rotate; and Fridays, her mum comes every fourth weekend from Portugal, so that’s covered, and the other Fridays, Johnny works from home or Amanda takes the day off and — I believe — she catches up with everything else on the Saturday.” There are many moments in Sharon Horgan and Graham Linehan’s new sitcom that will chime with parents.
More toxic than Outnumbered and more biting than Big Little Lies, it captures modern London motherhood in all its frenzied, guilt-ridden, logistical, competitive, comatose vainglory.
In the US there’s SMILF, a brazen TV comedy about a single mother navigating work, kids and sex, that has just started airing, as well as The Letdown, a darker look at the life of a constantly exhausted new mum.