You know you’re a Mum when….

Written by Kirstie Pelling

You know you’re a Mum when….

…you stop fancying pop stars…

I was watching a programme about boy bands the other night. It described different types of fan and their subconscious relationship with their post pubescent pop heros. And it went something like this: “The teenage girls want to explore their feelings in safety but ultimately want to sleep with their idols. The twenty and thirty-something fans just want to sleep with them. And the forty and fifty-something fans want to mother them… and then sleep with them.”

The mothering type…

What they didn’t go into was the type of fan who wants to mother them instead of sleeping with them. I think I’ve just fallen into that category and it’s more than a little alarming.

I blame the support act. She sets the scene for the night’s concert.

“I’m so glad this day has finally come,”she says, smoothing down her emerald green maxi dress. “Supporting Rhydian has been in our family diary for a long time. And he’s really nice. So lovely and kind. I have three little boys myself and if they grew up like him I’d be dead pleased.”

Lovely and kind!. It’s hardly rock and roll is it?

A Christmas and Mother’s Day treat…

Rhydian rose to fame during the UK X factor
Photo: Identity Chris Is

Rhydian was my Mum’s Christmas present. Not the Welsh X Factor singer himself, but two tickets to a one off gig he’s giving in my childhood town. Coincidentally he’s playing at the same theatre where my mother used to perform in the local panto, but that’s another story. This gig falls neatly the night before Mother’s Day so I’ve driven over for the day and it’s all been a bit of a treat. We are accompanied  by my friend who proudly announces she has all of Rhydian’s albums.

“He’s only made one though hasn’t he?” asks my Mum.

“Has he? Well maybe I’ve got two copies of that one then.” she muses.

By the time he comes on stage we’ve sat through forty five minutes of his support act singing ‘songs from the shows’ and we’ve had a raffle. My Mum is just launching into one of her stories when the former X Factor runner up appears at the back of the theatre, a spotlight catching the white of his hair and the blue of his eyes.

Rhydian (It’s not just Madonna who doesn’t need a surname) struts onto stage in black leather trousers, jacket and waistcoat singing Thunderball. The first two rows of the audience are on their feet immediately. He picks out a woman on the front row and dances with her. She fans her hand in a swoon. The ladies in the row behind us sigh, ‘He should have won’. The ladies in the rows in front of us get on their feet..

In between songs Rhydian sips from a mug. It’s all very wholesome, but when I come to a gig, I expect my pop stars to be chucking beer and shouting insults at the crowd. I don’t expect them to be having a nice cup of tea. And I cant get that phrase out of my head. “So lovely and kind. I have three little boys myself…” I keep thinking how he’s not much older than my oldest and wondering if his Mum has turned up to see him.

No crush in the crowd for me

I used to go to concerts to lust after pop stars. Well, didn’t we all? It was the whole point of an Adam and the Ants gig. Even Duran Duran’s reunion tour where Simon Le Bon had developed a double chin and an expanding waistline had me body surfing the crowd in the hope of falling at his feet. And as for the Take That boys….

Rhydian. Is it wrong to just want to mother him?
Image: Rhydian

But all I can think of during this gig is how I’d like to get on stage and straighten up the trouser leg that seems to have got caught in the young man’s socks.

And then I’m thinking he shouldn’t be all on his own tonight in a hotel. Especially not if it’s the Travelodge over the road. But not because I want to be there with him. Just because he’s so far from home and hotel rooms can be lonely. Who will look after him? Has he had his tea yet?

What is WRONG with me? It”s not Mother’s Day yet and I didn’t give birth to this one. I never even saw him on the X Factor.

“He’s VERY attractive isn’t he?” whispers my mother as she watches him thrusting with the mic.

Eeeeuuuugh. Unlike me, my mother doesn’t want to look after him at all! This is more information than I can deal with, but then I suddenly feel relieved. Looking at my mum, heart all a flutter, I realise there must be an age where it all changes and instead of wanting to mother pop stars you start wanting to sleep with them again. Now there’s something to look forward to in old age.

Happy Mothering Sunday!

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.


  • OK, so I didn’t know this one over here, but your post made me look him up. Sorry, not much older than your oldest? Didn’t seem to match the photo you provided, and in fact Wikipedia acknowledges he’s approaching thirty. Perfectly legal to want to sleep with him. Perfectly understandable not to want to. But then again, I am a man, who am I to ask?

  • And wasn’t it a fantastic show ! No need to worry about Rhydian though – his girlfriend was there, and, yes, so was his mum !!

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