I’m listening to Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. From the opening line, I knew I was in safe hands.  Atkinson is a superb writer, sardonic and poignant by turns. I’m four chapters in, and she absolutely nails the bone weary tiredness of mothers.

“If they would all sleep all the time, she wouldn’t mind being their mothers,” thinks the pregnant Rosemary, already a mum to four girls.

Then there’s Michelle, the 18 year old  mum whose newborn baby WILL. NOT. SLEEP. As a consequence, Michelle is addled and fragile, with no time to do anything:

Imagine if you could knit time, Christ, her needles would be clacking day and night. . . . And anyway, where would she ever find the time to make  time? There was no time, that was the whole point.What if she stopped going to bed altogether? She could shut herself away like someone in a fairy story, in a room at the top of a tower,  and spin time like gold. She could stay away until there was so much time, lying in golden hanks at her feet, that it would last her the rest of her life and she would never run out of time again.


Happy Mother’s Day to all, both new and experienced and especially to my own mother.

3 thoughts on “Mothers

  1. And Happy Mothers’ Day to you too. Mine is adding up to be fantastic. Telephone calls from each side of the pond and dinner tonight with my son and my grandchildren, who made me Mothers’ Day cards, Is there anything sweeter than a home made greeting card? Annie

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