When you're pregnant you think: `I'm having a baby', not a person who will eventually catch trains by themselves, share a fridge with ten strangers, go to a festival in Croatia without succumbing to a drug overdose, and one day, bring you a gin and tonic when your mother is dying.
We imagine the teenage years as a sort of domestic meteor strike, when our dear, sweet child, hitherto so trusting and mild, is suddenly replaced by a sarcastic know-all who isn't interested in the wisdom we have to pass on. But with great honesty and refreshingly bracing wit, Stephanie Calman shows that adolescence in fact begins much earlier, around the age of seven.
And having nurtured them through every stage of development, from walking to school by themselves to their first all-night party, you find yourself alone - bereaved even - as they skip off to university without a second glance.
Candid, touching and very, very funny, Confessions of a Bad Mother: The Teenage Years offers hope to despairing and exhausted parents everywhere. Read it and discover that your teenager is not the enemy after all.