In advertising only 3% of Creative Directors are female. The number of those that are Mums is far far less. I don’t have a stat but its definitely on the shit side of depressing.Imagine my joy when I met Sue Higgs. A fan of leopard print (good start) a CD and a Mum to teenagers. And really funny with it.  She was a ray of light and living a proof that being a Mum and a Creative was possible.

I’m so deeply focused on surviving this stage of parenting/juggling that I hadn’t stopped to think about what is to come;  what it might be like when they are TEENAGERS!! Here Sue gives us a glimpse into our future.


I was lucky to work with the lovely Clemmie for a few months at Grey before she left for exciting pastures new, good luck you’ll smash it!! But in our short time together, I’d come in in the morning usually with a moan/ gripe/anecdote about something my children had done.  I say children. I mean teens two girls 17 and 15, a boy of 12.

I think I was more prepared for the baby than the teen, holy mother, one minute you’re making sand castles and pureeing veg the next you’re advising them not to drink white wine and stick to a spirit. So I’m slightly ahead most of yous.

I’m also a single mum, who works full time as a creative director so it’s all pretty full on in our house … *emoji scream face.

Here’s where I got to…

  • Starting on a good bit, you can leave the house without looking as if you’re going on holiday for 2 weeks, and without having to book a babysitter. That is a lovely big change.

  • I’ve learned to understand what it must be like to be a PA to a celebrity. Could you just order me this?, Oo I need this.. tomorrow? Has my xx come? Have you booked my y? I really need a new xx etc etc

  • Teens are selfish and don’t do stuff unless they’ve done it. “I didn’t leave that towel, it wasn’t my mug…” So it’s more like living with flatmates than kids. I’ve tried spreadsheets, withholding pocket money and screaming at the top of my voice about not being a servant. Not cracked this yet. It’s all normal and part of their development allegedly.  Gin helps.

  • Teens bankrupt you. It’s all about the uber. If I’d had 1p for every time I’ve been asked to put money in their account for an uber I’d have at least £200. Then there’s the festivals. The clothes.  Someone at school will always get more pocket money than them.

  • I really have turned into my mum,  “ You can’t go out wearing that! ‘’There’s barely enough fabric in that top for me to blow my nose on let alone cover your body”  “Take a coat” “Don’t loose anything”, “ Be back by 11”, “This music is just noise etc ” Repeat ad finitum.

  • They look at photos of you when you were young and say stuff like “you used to be so pretty”. Used.

  • When they all go to a party, and there’s always a party or “ gathering”, they all drink bottles of Sprite, it’s 95% vodka.

  • The words “ literally” and “ basically’ are the cornerstones of every sentence.

  • The years of diligently Annabel Karmelling, pureeing and vegetable hiding have transmogrified into Nando lust.

  • You can’t buy clothes for a teen. I stopped when they girls were about 12. It will be wrong. They looked at my last offering as if I was handing them a suit made of hair.

  • Peng. Buff. Henge.  Streak. Just some of the words I hear and ask “What the hey are you’re going on about? ” “Oh mum they reply, they probably didn’t have those words in your day, was everything in black and white? ”Cue me walking off muttering some four letter words of my own.

  • In the teen years, I think you really find out what kind of a person you are. How did I get so shouty/strict/moral/relaxed etc

  • Having said all this I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I think parenting is a bunch of phases thrown together and we’re all just muddling our way through trying not to f*** it up!!

  • The biggest clue that I may be doing ok came one day when my eldest was recounting a tale of another mum’s “ terribly strict” treatment of her friend, which concluded in her saying:

  • “ Thanks mum for not being a psycho.”

  • I’ll take that.

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  • Reply Louise wickens January 24, 2017 at 10:10 am

    This is absolutely brilliant, so many memories of being a teen myself I can imagine my mum saying all of this, God help us with it all still to come.

  • Reply iwannabealady February 26, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Oh yes! Just the acknowledging that I am not a psycho is a bigger gift then they’ll ever realize! My son is 12 and my bank account is already feeling the pressure of yet another dance, trip, cool new thing. Sigh. I have a blog for teen girls at if you think these girls might listen to another woman who isn’t their mom (and you dads too). Great post; great humor.

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