You finally get the kids to bed, the lights are low and you’ve sunk a couple of glasses of wine and are definitely in the mood. The child-induced sex drought is about to come to a (hopefully) mutually satisfying end.
Your other half peels off his jeans and boxers and throws them in a heap on the floor by the bed and gives you his best smouldering glance. And all the while, you are thinking “For God’s sake! Why can’t he use the sodding laundry basket?”
Inside your head, a little voice whispers softly, “I bet Tom Hardy/ Benedict Cumberbatch/ Bradley Whathisname (no, not Wiggins)/ Daniel Craig would NEVER do that!”
Maybe it’s something to do with the exhaustion of looking after little people or maybe it’s the fact that you don’t go out to work any more, or have grown-up conversations but that voice is so seductive.
As you snuggle up close, you shouldn’t, you really shouldn’t, but you can’t help it. You close your eyes as you embrace your other half and dream of Mr Make Believe…
Oh, come on. We have all done it, haven’t we? And even if we haven’t, we know “friends” who can’t get off unless they are thinking about a movie hunk. The bosses at the BBC know this. That is why they schedule Tom Hardy on CBeebies Bedtime Story, isn’t it? What self-respecting mother who has gone through yet another day of toddler tantrums wouldn’t scream “Yes, take me, Tom!” when Mr Hardy asks who’s ready for bed, with a twinkle in his eye. At least half the mothers of every child under five must be ready to throw caution and their knickers to the wind at that point.
Whether you are Hardycore or a Cumberbitch, I salute you. I got so caught up in the whole notion of having a Mr Make Believe that I wrote a book about it, starring a blogging mum-of-two whose formerly perfect life seems to have gone off the rails. When you’re covered in baby sick, your waist has expanded, your libido has gone south (possibly along with your career) and you haven’t slept properly in years, it can be hard to keep a grip on reality and fantasies are, frankly, quite nice and less demanding than the flawed reality.
Mr Make Believe never answers back. He doesn’t leave the washing up in the sink or his dirty clothes on the floor. He never moans about taking the kids to the park or gets bad-tempered when he is worn out with work. He hangs on to your every word as you relay the details of your fun-filled day at home with the children. He certainly doesn’t flirt with his ex on Facebook or stay out late drinking with his mates on Friday night, turning his phone off and pretending it has run out of battery, does he? And he never, ever snores and he smells like roses in the morning when he awakes, with barely a trace of stubble upon his perfectly-chiselled cheekbones. Unless, you like stubble, in which case, he is as scratchy as sandpaper. Mmmm.
But what if Mr Make Believe stepped into your life for real?
Would darling Tom Hardy leave the loo seat up or leave the empty loo roll on the holder, like so many less-than-perfect partners? Would you tire of Aidan Turner’s toned torso if he was really out there scything in the back garden (again! Honestly, that Poldark will do ANYTHING to get out of putting the kids to bed!)
Sadly, I fear Mr Make Believe may develop some flaws over time but I think that is a risk any self-respecting mother would be prepared to take…
Motherload Editor Alison McGarragh-Murphy had a sneak preview of Beezy’s book – here’s what she thought:
I’m a mum of two small children, and I’ll admit it, the book I started to read before #2 was born in erm… 2015 is still unfinished, on my bedside table. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but I never find the time. BUT when my copy of Mr Make Believe arrived I couldn’t wait to get started and I devoured it in 72 hours. I was completely sucked into Marnie Martin’s world, as domestic drudgery made way for heartbreak and then living out her fantasies. A funny, sexy, clever book which brilliantly reflects the chaos of motherhood and marriage, and kept me engrossed to the end. I know MOLOs will love as much as I did!
Beezy Marsh is an author and journalist and her debut novel Mr Make Believe is out now, published by Ipso Books. You can find more articles and book news on her website
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