The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy

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9780099502883: The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy

For Lucy Sweeney, motherhood isn't all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints. It has been years since the dirty washing pile was less than a metre high, months since Lucy remembered to have sex with her husband, and a week since she last did the school run wearing pyjamas.

When Husband on a Short Fuse is no contest for the distractions of Sexy Domesticated Dad; Yummy Mummy No 1 has more cash flow than parenting advice; and Alpha Mum is putting a slur on your questionable domestic habits, it's hard to remember exactly why anyone would give up a career and their sanity for three raucous sons and less than blissful domesticity.

Lucy is living in a state of permanent emergency and the white lies to cover up the trail of chaos and illicit desire are about to be exposed ...

An irresistible first novel about the dilemmas of motherhood and modern marriage for those who never discovered their domestic goddess within.


From the Hardcover edition.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Fiona Neill is a features writer for The Times Magazine and author and creator of its hugely popular ‘Slummy Mummy’ column. After working abroad for six years, as a foreign correspondent in Latin America, she returned to the UK to become assistant editor at Marie Claire and then The Times Magazine. Brought up in Norfolk, she now lives in London with her husband and three children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I spot the blurry outline of one of the fathers from school walking down the road towards us. He is talking on his mobile phone and running his fingers through his thick dark hair in a gesture familiar to me from the previous school year. It's Sexy Domesticated Dad, with his disarming opinions about what constitutes a nutritional lunch box and a penchant for mothers' coffee mornings. But it's not those characteristics which fix him in my mind. It is the way he looks and the way he moves. Something much more primeval. In fact, the less he says, the greater his appeal.

Even from a distance I can recognise his shape. In that strange juxtaposition of random thoughts it suddenly occurs to me, that in appearing at this moment, he has inadvertently become part of the bigger picture. I curse my hastily thrown together second choice of outfit: tartan pyjama bottoms under a long grungy coat in what I'd hoped would pass for casual chic in underwear-as-outerwear fashion. But it's too late to hide in the hedge with my pint-sized sons, so I surreptitiously check for yesterday's un-removed eye make-up in the wing mirror of a stationary 4 by 4.

I jump as the automatic window slides down and someone looks over the passenger seat to ask what I am doing.

'My God, you look like a panda,' says Yummy Mummy No 1, my sartorial nemesis. She opens her glove compartment to reveal spa-like contents including a half bottle of Moet, Jo Malone candle, and eye make-up remover pads.

'How do you do this?' I ask her, wiping my eyes gratefully. 'Do you have systems?'

She looks puzzled, 'No, just staff,' she says.

'Good summer?' I ask her.

'Wonderful, Tuscany, Cornwall, how about you?'

'Great,' I reply, but she is already glancing down the road and tapping her fingers on the steering wheel.

'Must go or I'll be late for my astanga class. By the way, are you wearing tartan? How directional.'

Sexy Domesticated Dad ambles down the street towards me. I can see him waving one arm in the air and have no choice but to speak to him. Then I notice the other arm is in plaster. Oh happy fate, an obvious subject for conversation.

'You've broken your arm,' I say a little too enthusiastically.

'Yes,' he says. 'I fell off a ladder at a friend's house.' He looks at me expectantly.

Then he smiles and I hear myself say in an unnaturally slow voice. 'That must be really...relaxing.' Except I say it in a slow throaty way that makes me sound like Mariella Frostrup.

His smile fades slightly. This doesn't conform to the predictable pattern of social niceties among parents that he was expecting.

'What could possibly be relaxing about breaking your arm? Especially in Croatia.'

Sam looks at me, equally perplexed. 'He's right, mum.'

'Actually, Lucy, it's really...painful.' (Sexy Domesticated Dad is mimicking my intonation.) 'And I don't think that my wife would agree that it's relaxing. I'm not much use at the moment. Can't get any work done, it hurts too much to type.' He smiles.

Mention of his powerhouse wife brings me up short, because I have never considered him in the plural, and I arrange my features into friendly but businesslike mode.

'How is she, did she manage to unwind?'

'She's never very good at doing that, she's got too much energy. Look do you want to grab a coffee after you've dropped off the kids?'

'Great,' I say, trying to appear composed in the face of this unexpected incursion into my daydreams. Then I notice him looking suspiciously at my feet.

'Are you wearing tartan pyjamas under that coat?' he asks. 'Maybe we should do coffee another time.'


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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. For Lucy Sweeney, motherhood isn t all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints. It s been years since the dirty laundry pile was less than a metre high, months since Lucy remembered to have sex with her husband, and a week since she last did the school run wearing pyjamas. Motherhood, it seems, has more pitfalls than she might have expected. Caught between perfectionist Yummy Mummy No 1 and hypercompetitive Alpha Mum, Lucy is in danger of losing the parenting plot. And worst of all, she s alarmingly distracted by Sexy Domesticated Dad. It s only a matter of time before the dirty laundry quite literally blows up in her face. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099502883

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. For Lucy Sweeney, motherhood isn t all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints. It s been years since the dirty laundry pile was less than a metre high, months since Lucy remembered to have sex with her husband, and a week since she last did the school run wearing pyjamas. Motherhood, it seems, has more pitfalls than she might have expected. Caught between perfectionist Yummy Mummy No 1 and hypercompetitive Alpha Mum, Lucy is in danger of losing the parenting plot. And worst of all, she s alarmingly distracted by Sexy Domesticated Dad. It s only a matter of time before the dirty laundry quite literally blows up in her face. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099502883

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