Great Britain

I party with my daughter, 22, until 2am and we get mistaken for sisters

A 41-YEAR-OLD mum who goes clubbing with her daughter until 2am says they're regularly mistaken for sisters.

Gemma Clarkson and daughter Cherie, 22, spend virtually "all their time" together and often go to pubs, clubs, festivals and gigs.

Although some tell full-time mum Gemma, from Swansea, Wales, she's too old to party, she says "life's too short" to care.

Gemma, who home schools her son Brady, 11, full-time, said: “I still remember going down to our local for our first drink together when Cherie turned 18. Now, we’re out together most weekends.

“We’ll go clubbing together, to gigs, to festivals – we just love spending time together.

“I get the odd negative comment, with people insinuating I’m too old to still be clubbing, or that I’m crossing some sort of parental boundary, but I'm still Cherie’s parent. We’re just very close.

“A lot of the time, when we are out together, people won’t immediately realise we’re mum and daughter. I hate to say it but they do mistake us for sisters.”

Gemma, who's married to chef Jeremy, says she was still "fairly young" when she had Cherie, a professional party planner, and says the bond between them was instant.

“We go everywhere together and there’s always a big mix of ages when we hang out,” she said. “Her friends will invite me out and vice versa.

“If I’m not there, her friends will ask, ‘Where’s your mum?’”

Gemma used to run a pub, which Cherie would hang out in as a teen, socialising with people older than her.

Gemma said: “She wouldn’t be drinking alcohol, obviously, given that she was underage, but she’d come and hang out while I was working - playing pool or having dinner with her friends.”

A lot of the time, people won’t immediately realise we’re mum and daughter - they do mistake us for sisters

Gemma Clarkson41

Cherie's gran Adele, 60, even comes out with them sometimes.

“My mum isn’t a massive drinker, so she certainly wouldn’t want to come out clubbing or anything like that,” laughed Gemma. “But she will join us in the pub or for a girly day out.

“It’s nice to have that quality time – three generations all together.”

Although they have faced some criticism, Gemma says life's too short to stress about it.

She said: “You do hear people say, ‘My kids would be so embarrassed,’ but that just makes me really sad. I don’t understand the concept of not wanting to spend time with your parents.

“Life is too short to worry about what other people think. I lost a couple of loved ones last year, and I know how much their children would want to spend more time with them, so I want to make as many happy memories as I can.

“We may have an almost 20-year age gap, but Cherie and I are actually very similar. We like the same music, have the same hobbies and love going out and having a drink.”

Gemma got up at “the crack of dawn” to bag free tickets for her, Cherie and their friends to Radio 1's Big Weekend in Swansea in 2018.

She also took Cherie to a Carrie Underwood gig in Cardiff for her 21st birthday.

“Cherie shares everything with me," she said. "Sometimes, it can be slightly too much information, but I am glad she feels comfortable enough to tell me.

I get the odd negative comment, with people insinuating I’m too old to still be clubbing

Gemma Clarkson41

“I know she would never be afraid to tell me something, or ask me for advice or help. I’d never want her to feel like she has to hide something from me.

“I find it easy to talk to youngsters, so her friends confide in me too. Nothing is off limits.

“Some parents might worry that being this way would blur boundaries, and cross a line, so that I couldn’t tell her off if I needed to.

“I’m lucky that my children are very well-behaved, but if I ever do need to discipline them, of course I know I am still their parent. I will just raise an issue and then move on.”

Gemma raised her daughter with an "open door policy" for all their friends and says they're now "one big group", despite the age gap.

The mum says she can "just about" keep up with those in their twenties and insists other party parents shouldn't worry about being judged.

She said: “I’m on the same level as Cherie and her friends and can just about keep up with them.

"We went out last weekend and I didn’t get to bed until 2am – but as long as I get a bit of sleep, I’m fine.

“I understand people are worried about being judged, but I honestly don’t see it as my problem if someone can’t see where I’m coming from.

“It’s important to retain a good relationship from a mental health perspective, evolving and being involved with your children as much as you can.

"I see quite a lot of youngsters who are desperate for some quality time and guidance, so hopefully this will help prevent future issues.

“I’m not hurting anyone, I’m just spending time with my daughter and we’re both having fun. I hope one day, she’ll have a similar relationship with her children, and we can all go out together.”

Cherie said: "Some people seem to find the idea of their parents having fun cringey, and say they're too old, but I don't see it that way.

"I know everyone's relationship with their mums is different, but mine is my best friend. I've never been afraid to tell her anything. Communication in the whole family is open, and we tackle problems together.

"I think if you come down too strict on your child, that's when they rebel as they get older, but I've never wanted to do that.

"My friends love Mum, and vice versa. We're like one big group. I love spending time with her and life is too short to worry about what others think."

We recently reported on a gran, 55, who claims she gets mistaken for her daughter, 20, and eats burgers for lunch - despite her toned physique.

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