Linda Barker on motherhood

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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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