Linda Barker on motherhood

by Alix Walker and Sian Merrylees on Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Linda Barker lives in south London with husband Chris and their daughter Jessica.

The change in Jessica from 13 to 16 has taken my breath away. I realised she was growing up when she became unusually snappy. It was a surge of hormones!

She has always been mature for her age, and now she’s a young adult I trust her. Her friends might think I’m laid-back, but I’m also the one at the PTA meetings saying, “Give them more homework!”

I love holidays in our home in Yorkshire. We’ll sit in the kitchen gossiping, and having that insight into the minds of teenagers is fascinating, and a privilege at the same time. Jessica is very bright and I’m proud that she can talk to anyone and hold her own.

I’ll often ask her advice about a new outfit and she’ll tell me if it works. Sometimes she tells me the eye shadow I’m wearing isn’t a good look. I feel like saying, “Thanks! How did I cope without you for all those years?”

Jessica Barker is taking her GCSEs this year and plans to stay on to do A levels.

I’m lucky that I can talk to my mother about anything. I’m an only child, so I don’t have any problems with sibling rivalry, and this has made us closer.

If I could alter one thing about my mum, I’d want us to be the same size so that we could swap clothes!


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