MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys

MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys

MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys

The trials, tribulations and unexpected triumphs of being a lone Queen in a Kingdom of Kings.

You know you've joined the MOB when you hear...
'My, are they all yours?'
'Bless you!' (Occasionally)
'Poor you!' (Frequently)
'Lucky you!' (Once)
And of course, the ultimate: 'So ... are you going for a girl?'

MOB Rule is the funny, honest and eye-opening account of Hannah's experiences as a Mother of Boys. Supplemented by recipes, quizzes, mnemonics and mysteries, it is the indispensible book for anyone who finds themselves adrift on a sea of testosterone, wondering when the lifeboat is going to show up.

You may be outnumbered, your face may be frazzled and your toe-nails black and bare, but know that, far from being alone, you're part of a very special club. Welcome to ... the MOB!

Hannah Evans has three small boys. In her world, farting is so much more interesting than phonics, dam-building trumps damsels in distress any day and, astonishingly, she now instinctively knows the difference between a Frontloader and a JCB. It's a world of mud - and just occasionally blood - sweat and tears. It is also a world of indescribable joy.

Hannah Evans has previously explored the world of the MOB in a number of articles, most noticeably in the Guardian. She lives with her husband and three boys in Hampshire.

MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys
Author: Hannah Evans
ISBN: 9781408830123
Price: $29.99

Interview with Hannah Evans

Question: Why did you decide to write MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys?

Hannah Evans: As lone female living in a kingdom of kings, I did find myself, at times, watching my three boys (and indeed my husband) and wondering 'why?!' I wrote 'MOB Rule' to capture those moments, to think about what it was like being a female living amongst men, and to reflect on whether my life might have been any different if we'd had a more gender-balanced brood. The FOB (Father of Boys) calls 'MOB Rule' my therapy, and I hate to say it, but he's probably right.

I also wrote it for anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of 'Oh, poor you… are you going for 'The Girl'?' 'MOB Rule' is, ultimately, a celebration of sons, and the resulting life of a Mother Of Boys.

Question: How easy was it write down your experiences: funny and eye-opening?

Hannah Evans: Surprisingly easy. Writing the book was my opportunity to reflect on my life as a mother of boys - a life that I didn't necessarily expect to have (pre-kids I always thought I'd have one of each, a boy and a girl) but one that I wouldn't change now for anything in the world. The main problem with the writing was finding the time - when I wrote the book I had two boys at school, one at pre-school and my Royal Navy husband was frequently away from home. I'd write in bite size chunks when I could grab a couple of hours… in between hanging out the washing and cooking tea!

Question: Can you share a story with us, about your family, that may (or may not) feature in Mob Rule?

Hannah Evans: The boy-bonding 'team hug' was born as a result of my telling my husband he should adopt a more physical approach with his sons. I, of course, meant more cuddling, kisses, 'gentle' physical. The reality, however, was slightly different. This 'team hug' took place in a tent, after a game of pre-supper cards.

"From the outside, it looks and sounds like a squealing plethora of under-fed pigs. Assorted unidentifiable limbs bulge and blight the straining sides of the tent, bellows and belches (bottom and otherwise) abound. I begin my silent count… one, two, three. By ten, there'll be moaning: 'It's my turn to sit on Dad'; by twenty, there'll be shouting: 'Ow… get off my head!'; by thirty, there'll be tears: 'He hit me on purpose!'

This time I make it to seventeen.

'Right, that's enough. Stop now, boys, calm down,' pleads the FOB, trying - in vain - to extricate himself from the clutches of his now predictably overexcited and out-of-control crew.

'Ow - let go of my wrist. I said… THAT'S ENOUGH!'

I wade into the sty and put an arm around the heaving shoulders of a whacked Smallest Son. Gently I lead my sweaty - and now suddenly subdued - children to the dinner table. Their 'male moment' has definitely been 'touchy', certainly 'feely', but somehow is not quite what I'd had in mind."

This episode, to me, epitomises my life as a MOB!

Question: What did you learn about your family whilst writing MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys?

Hannah Evans: I guess the main thing I realised was just how much fun it is being a MOB. Whilst living in a house fuelled by testosterone can be physical, loud and at times exasperating, it can also open up many opportunities. Surfing, for example. I decided, early on, that I could either sit shivering on the beach making yet another picnic whilst the boys were body-boarding, or… buy myself a full-length wetsuit, struggle into it, and join in the fun. My approach has been 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' - I even enjoy watching my youngest play football now - something I would never have imagined pre-boys. The only problem is that I, like many of the other mothers cheering on their sons, get a little bit excited and over-involved!

Question: Who did you write MOB Rule for?

Hannah Evans: I wrote it for many people. Childhood passes so fast, and some of my memories of the boys' early years are already a bit vague (probably due to the sleep deprivation we experienced at that time!). Writing 'MOB Rule' was a chance to capture some of those memories for myself, the FOB and of course, the boys. Now that the book is published, I've also had some really lovely letters from fellow MOBs who read 'MOB Rule', laughed out loud and smiled, knowing that they are not alone in their experiences, but that they belong to a very special club!

Question: What advice do you have for other mothers of boys?

Hannah Evans: The book is very much based on my experiences - good and bad - of being a mother of boys; it's not a 'how to' parenting manual and I am certainly not qualified to hand out advice! However, having spent many years now dealing with the trials, tribulations and triumphs of boys, I have learned a lesson or two!

As I said earlier, one of the best bits of advice is to join in with what makes them happy - even if it means doing things that sometimes (as a female) you might not instinctively enjoy or understand. Other 'top tips' include: ensure you exercise your boy 'pups' at least twice a day, learn to bake (boys are always starving and you'll be popular with their mates), never buy the same colour socks in different sizes: alternate, and invest in some really good stay-clean jeans. Finally, and if at all possible, invest in an en suite. That way your floor is dry and the loo seat stays down!

Question: Are you currently working on another book?

Hannah Evans: We are currently restoring a large country house in the southwest of England, near the sea, to run as a weddings and holiday business, so my focus is more on builders and bathrooms than writing another book! I'd love to write something else in the future… I've already had people asking me when the 'teenage years' boy book is coming out!

MOB RULE: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys
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