Viral mum pens best seller after quitting job because of childcare costs

A mother-of-two who went viral with an MC Hammer parody of ‘I Can’t Teach This’ has become a number one best selling author with her debut book Tired and Tested: The Wild Ride Into Parenthood.

Sophie McCartney, who lives in Warrington, became an internet sensation after she left her job in PR when she discovered becoming a mum and trying to keep her career was almost impossible.

Having had her first child at 28-years-old, like many parents, Sophie worked out that despite having a well paid job for a Manchester public relations firm the expense of child care would mean she was left with £100 of her salary left at the end of the month.

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Trying to resolve the situation, she went part-time, working three days a week. “I just found my regular workload was squashed in to the three days I was in the office,” she says. “I was essentially doing five days a week and getting paid for three.

I fell out of love with my job and the industry and I thought, how can I earn what I want?” Sophie set out to beat the system and become her own boss – quitting her job and setting herself up as a comedian – doing stand up gigs at The Frog and Bucket and Tribeca bar in Manchester and creating comedy vlogs.

Her hard work paid off and she became a viral sensation in 2017 and has since built a devoted following – During lockdown, Sophie, who is related to Beatles star Paul McCartney, went viral when she brought out a parody of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” with “I Can’t Teach This” – resonating with exhausted parents who were attempting to home school their kids.

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Sophie McCartney

The parenting blogger also brought out her own humorous version of Ed Sheeran – The Shape Of You – renaming it ‘Smell Of You.’ Sophie is quick to point out that while her vlogging de ella may look easy, a lot of hard work goes in to her scripts, editing, filming and perfecting her videos-with her husband de ella, Steve Lilley, often acting as “a human” tripod” filming her.

She says: “There is an assumption that I have done something for three minutes on my phone. But I have worked hard writing a script. I appreciate I am not saving lives – but it is hard work.”

Winner of the 2020 Funny Women Award for Best Comedy Series, her online videos reach a global audience. Tired and Tested: The Wild Ride Into Parenthood is Sophie’s first book and is published by Harper Collins.

In her book, Sophie asks: “When it comes to adult life, and parenthood, you will never be ready. So what happens when you hit your mid-thirties and still feel like an out-of-depth teen trapped in the slightly sagging skin suit of a tired and tested mother of two?”

She describes her journey from wild child to with child… as a never ending exercise in expectation vs reality. Overwhelmed by love, but exhausted by life, she says, like most parents she has 100% NOT ‘got this.’ The book was named a Sunday Times best seller in February.

Sophie McCartney

Sophie says she is has increased her salary – and realizes that if it had worked out in PR she would not have got to where she is now. “I am earning so much more than when I was in PR, she says, “II am fulfilling all of my dreams and this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t found myself in the impossible situation I was in. “

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But she says she is aware even now, with her children Evelyn being six, and Jack, nine, that many mothers still find themselves in the same situation – and she says motherhood can be isolating. “You can lose your identity and you can lose your soul because it is a massive upheaval,” she says.

Sophie also credits her hard to impress husband for ensuring she is funny by being her harshest critic, saying: “If I get a laugh out of him – I know it must hilarious.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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