How to be hard up and happy: Experimenting on the children

I could hear their desperate screams as I walked towards the door. Turning the door handle, I dreaded the scene that awaited me on the other side.

Sunday, 6th March 2016, 3:00 pm

Adrenalin pumping, getting ready for what I was about to witness. “MUM!” a blood curdling shriek from my nine-year-old Neve, “Tell her she won’t let me win!” – She being my teenage daughter Olivia.

It was happening again, they were doing something alien to me, playing together!

A while ago, I realised my life was considerably quieter than it should have been.

They would come in from school, grunt a few words and climb the stairs never to be seen again. Well, at least until they were hungry.

I should have relished the peace while it lasted, although with my almost terrible two-year-old Chase, it’s never totally quiet.

The girls were starting to resemble zombies walking around in a daze when not attached to their lifelines, their tablets. I decided something had to be done.

As easy as it was to let them disappear and be conveniently forgotten about, I knew it wasn’t right. I ran the risk of becoming the most hated person in my daughter’s lives, however, I decided on set days for internet allowance. Weekends being internet time and weeknights for creativity, homework and socialising…face-to-face!

It went down as badly as I expected, they sulked, protested and I was the worst mum EVER. Miraculously, the games under the beds, the books on the shelves and the pens and paper all became useful once more.

After so long, their purpose being only to gather dust, they were finally played with!

Not only that, but the girls started having an actual relationship.

They laugh, scream and play together, it’s marvellous. I’m now the best mum again a title I will always fight to hold.