Jen is the author of The Other Mother and a brilliant comedian. She is mum to twin boys and tells us about her parenting experience during lockdown.
This month we are celebrating motherhood in all its beautiful and varied forms. Jen Brister shares her challenges during the pandemic.
How would you describe your family set up?
Right now? Chaos. But in a less literal sense we are a lezza couple and we have twin six year old boys. My girlfriend (of 15 years, no we’re not married, yes we know we can get married, no we’re not in any rush) is the biological Mum and I’m the non-bio Mum and yes that is how we refer to each other at home. Like we’re boxes of detergent.
There’s very much two sides to this coin. On the one side I feel like I’ve really bonded and connected with my children over the last 12 months. I usually travel a lot with my job and I’ve literally spent the last 15 years on the road, I had also just started touring my latest show when the first lockdown happened, so I would have been away almost every weekend for 4 months. So, being at home ALL THE TIME has been great for us as a family and I think we’ve definitely got closer. The other side of the coin is that I AM WITH MY CHILDREN ALL THE TIME AND I NEED MY OWN SPACE NOW! It’s hard to feel yourself when the only solo time you have is in the shower or when you’re pretending to have a tricky poo. Someone asked me what I miss most since lockdown started. I miss being alone, finishing a cup of coffee while it’s still hot and listening to the radio without hearing, ‘MAMA I’M HUNGRY, CAN I HAVE A SNACK, CAN YOU HELP ME BUILD A LEGO ROBOT, PLEEEEEASE CAN WE HAVE TELLY PLEEEEEEASE.
My favourite moment being a Mum during lockdown was taking my kids for an evening swim in the sea in the summer and then sitting on the beach afterwards eating fish and chips and watching the world go by. That was blissful.
In terms of what I miss, there’s nothing I miss about being a mum because if anything I’m doing more with my children now than I have since they were babies. Saying that, I would love to be able to take them somewhere that isn’t a park or a playground. For my sanity as well as theirs. There’s only so many times you can feign interest or surprise at them sliding down a slide. Apparently you can’t say how you really feel, “Couldn’t give a toss mate, you know what that’s called? Gravity.”
Jen’s book The Other Mother is a funny and honest account of her experience of becoming a mother ‘from IVF awfulness to crying over the pages of sleep training manuals’ and is now available in DBHF packages. You can also find her over on Instagram.