With the release of the new book Mad About The Boy, Helen Fielding chats to us about Bridget and the world of modern parenting
Proving that hold-in pants are a yes, sieving gravy is a no and that nice boys really do kiss like that, the original Bridget Jones remains a key staple on most of our bookshelves.
Now, in the recently released third installment Mad About The Boy, we see Bridget in her 50s, getting to grips with toddlers, Twitter and toy boys (yes, we all now know Mark Darcy isn’t around *sob*).
Author and mum of two Helen Fielding, 55, chats to us about motherhood – and how everyone’s favourite heroine takes parenthood on.
One theme I wanted to write about was the way parenting has almost become another thing you have to be good at.
Maybe it’s a product of women having children a little later in life, when they’ve got out in the workplace, and they’re used to the bar being quite high.
You’re playing your baby Mozart before they’re even born, you worry about what age they say their first word… And when you apply all that to Bridget and how she parents, you realise it doesn’t really matter. The main thing is she loves them.
Having children can begin to seem like another thing you have to succeed at, but life and love are what’s important.
Bridget’s always reading self-help books like French Children Don’t Throw Food and Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting.
But the moments where you most see it working with her as a parent are when she just loves her children Billy and Mabel.
There’s a scene where she’s had botox and it’s all gone wrong. She picks them up from school and she can’t talk and is drooling, but then she puts her arms round them and just thinks how lucky she is just to have them.
Anyone with two children who both start having diarrhoea and vomiting in the night knows there are very comic elements to that situation.
If you have someone who is dealing with that on her own, as Bridget does, it gets even funnier.
With Bridget, it’s about taking one thing and making it a bit madder
All the way through she’s thinking ‘I’ll just have a glass of wine’ but then there are sheets with diarrhoea on, and she’s putting one child down and then another thing happens…
With Bridget, it’s always about taking one thing and exaggerating or making it a bit madder.
I wish I’d known that the parent equipment would be more trouble than the baby.
You’ve got the stroller, the car seat, the bottle warmer, the bottle steriliser, the nappy changing table, the electronic mobile that goes on top of the nappy changing table…
Then when you actually get the baby you think I didn’t really need all these things! They come home from hospital and all you want is a couple of nappies and a cushion.
Social media and Twitter are fascinating for Bridget.
When I wrote the first book, there was no email and all that messaging with Daniel Cleaver was done through their office messaging system.
So, all this new electronic communication gives a lot more potential for Bridget making a mess of things.
My best “Bridget moment”?
I had my daughter by C-section, and I had a plan that I was going to send out a group email announcement because I knew exactly when she was going to be born. So, I got the draft all ready – and then I accidentally pressed send.
So then I had to send another one saying, ‘Look I’m really sorry, but I haven’t actually had the baby yet’ and I got all these replies saying, ‘Who does that?!’.
Buy Mad About The Boy here now. Image: Alisa Connan.
Fess up – what’s been your ultimate Bridget parenting moment? We’ve got four copies of the book to give away to our favourites, so let us know in the comments box below! Usual T&Cs apply and we'll announce at the end of the week who we've picked.