The one where my baby girl gets a first class degree

Look at her, isn’t she just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?


Back then, I don’t think I would have been able to get my head around the idea that 20 years later she would be finishing a three year degree in London – I mean, cripes, I hadn’t even started my own degree at this point! I was still on A-level maths revision. 

Not only has Bee now finished her creative writing degree, but she got a FIRST!!! In fact, she got a better first than me – 78% overall. I am normally very competitive, but I can honestly say that there is not a single little part of me that feels anything but pride for the fact that Bee is now officially better qualified than me. 

It’s a weird feeling actually. It’s first and foremost a pride in Bee, who has just been amazing, moving to London all by herself, dealing with al sorts of problems so well, and clearly being an outstanding poet, but also a sense of pride in myself. As parents, we muddle along, doing our best, not ever entirely sure of what the right or wrong thing to do is, and then suddenly they are grown-ups, and you jump a little bit, and think ‘Oh! I didn’t do so bad then after all.’

Mainly though it’s the first bit.

I know as a parent that I have this weird mixture of high expectations and general ambivalence. On the one hand, I’m happy for my children to pursue whatever goals they want, so long as it makes them happy, but on the other hand, I suspect it feels like I’m very hard to impress, because my laid back style means I can be a bit ‘whatever, that’s nice’ about just about everything. I hope Bee knows though that I am genuinely, exceptionally proud of how well she has done – both in her academic and personal life.

So yeah, whatever, well done.



  1. 6 June, 2016 / 11:43 am

    Congratulations Mama! O never thought of the laid back mom being seemingly more difficult to impress (not that its the goal). My daughters always tell me I’m super biased towards them-most definately not laid back.

  2. 6 June, 2016 / 11:45 am

    Congratulations Mama! O never thought of the laid back mom being seemingly more difficult to impress (not that its the goal). My daughters always tell me I’m super biased towards them-most definately not laid back.

  3. 6 June, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    Amazing news, congratulations to you both! x

  4. 6 June, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Oh WOW! Huge congratulations to Bee and amazing all round. You must be super proud! x

  5. 6 June, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Amazing! Well done Bee! And I love your approach. Suspect Bee will love this post too. x

  6. 6 June, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    My baby boy is doing his GCSE’s and it’s terrifying that he’s so grown up but he’s doing amazingly well & I’m so proud. Congrats to your girl, that’s quite an achievement :)

  7. 6 June, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Love the fact that even then, she looked so like you! Congratulations to her, this is a HUGE achievement.

    • Jo Middleton
      7 June, 2016 / 9:23 am

      Haha! I do look a bit like a baby ;-)

  8. 6 June, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Congratulations Bee! You must be proud as punch xx

  9. 6 June, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Aww well done Bee!! And well done you too Jo you brought up a pretty ace human there :) xx

  10. Claire
    7 June, 2016 / 8:21 am

    Congratulations Bee and Mum!
    My daughter is about the same age as Baby Bee in the picture above and I’ve just got a bit emotional thinking about her being 20 (TWENTY!) years old. Seems impossible now but I suppose it’ll be here before I know it?!

    • Jo Middleton
      7 June, 2016 / 9:21 am

      Yes! My top tip, if your memory is anything like mine, is to take as many photos and videos as possible, and write stuff down! I got a bit sad the other night trying to remember what Bee’s voice sounded like when she was little, but I could only think of it now.

      • Claire
        7 June, 2016 / 1:53 pm

        Good tip, thanks. I have eleventy billion photos of her but not many videos – will make an effort to get more!

  11. 7 June, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    wow!! well done Bee! Such amazing news

  12. 7 June, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Congratulations Bee!! You must be so over the moon, that first must have taken a lot of hard work and dedication. Amazing for her!!
    I know what you mean about muddling along in parenting… I always find it such an odd thing until I get some external validation that year, I’m doing quite well at bringing these people up, and it’s always a shock to the system ;)

    GO BEE! x

  13. 7 June, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    That’s a fantastic achievement, and a credit to you don’t forget

  14. 25 August, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Congrgatulations! This must be very precious to you. My son is still too young to take any class like your girl but I think definitely I will take him to the guitar class when he is old enough. I can’t wait to the moment that I see my boys’s first degree. It must be so amazing!

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