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Laura Perrins: Supermum Horlick has to fix the housing crisis before her baby talk can work


Nicola Horlick is a ‘City Supermum’. I am not too sure what this means. Does she wear an actual cape while serving the pancakes with smiley faces made out of banana finished with chocolate sprinkles? Perhaps she is a Supermum because she does all this before flying out the door (with the aid of said cape) briefcase under arm to be a fund manager in the City. Who knows?

Anyway Ms Horlick has given the next generation the benefit of her wisdom when it comes to mating and motherhood. Before I get to what the advice is, I have noticed many slightly older women, such as TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp and Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine, passing on their insights to the next generation

It is strange to see these feminists dispensing knowledge like a traditional matriarch when, let’s face it, they probably ignored any words of advice from their own mothers. But now, now, when it is their turn to guide the next generation they have embraced this role. Interesting.

Women have been guiding the next generation for centuries, sometimes around the campfire, now through Facebook, Twitter and the Daily Mail. So despite the urge to tell them to go away, let’s just go with it for now, shall we?

Ms Horlick tells us that women should do the motherhood thing early – mid 20s. She had her first child at 25 and her last at 38 and “my advice to them [her daughters] is not to leave it too late to get married and to have children in their twenties if possible. It is better for you and better for the baby.” She tells us, “I noticed a major difference between the first and the last in terms of my body.”

Now I am not being rude when I say that with or without children there is a big difference in the female body between 25 and 38. Hell, I had my first at 29 and third at 34 and there is big difference. And all of this early motherhood business is obvious but there are some caveats.

We are told – “I don’t think women should be stay-at-home mums because if you are an ambitious and intelligent woman what are you going to do sitting at home whilst your child is at school?”

I don’t know, do all the things you get the hired help to do? Make a home, cook some meals, help with the PTA, call in on a neighbour, check the grandparents are all right, attend the school trips that cannot happen without parents volunteering, pick up the children from school and supervise homework as well as listen to their problems. Is that enough to justify our existence to Supermum?

And notice she only cares about “ambitious and intelligent” women. I suppose this means that those that do stay at home are unambitious and thick. Good to know.

Mind you, mind you working mum, I don’t know what you are looking so smug about, the matriarch also tells us – ‘But I don’t think it’s particularly acceptable for mothers to do jobs that involve them working later into the night and all weekend. If you are doing that then what is the point of having a baby?’

Why indeed?

Anyway back to the early motherhood thing. This would be sound advice if it were not for the astronomical cost of housing now. The housing crisis has been catastrophic for conservative values.

No 25-year-old can marry another twenty-something-year-old now because unless your mother is – I don’t know, a fund manager – they will not have anywhere to live. They cannot get married because they cannot afford even a very small flat together.

As for children – this is a fantasy. Housing is simply too expensive. It is stopping couples that would otherwise get married from doing so. It is stopping the married couples that have managed it, from starting a family, and those with an only child from having any more. And for those couples who have done the 2.4 children thing, both parents have to work now anyway so the kids must do long hours in nursery care.

It is a scandal and a disaster. If Ms Horlick wants early motherhood and family to be a realistic prospect for women she should start campaigning for politicians to take serious action on the housing crisis. Not even Supermum and her supercape can fix that problem.

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