Writer and former Northern Echo journalist Beezy Marsh spills the beans on motherhood, the mayhem of raising kids and the movie stars who provided the inspiration for her new romantic comedy, Mr Make Believe

I HAVE always been a daydream believer, someone who enjoyed the escapism of a good romantic film, but it wasn't until I was subsumed by the exhaustion of being a mum that I fully appreciated the allure of those heroes of the silver screen.

With two young children under my feet, a growing pile of laundry and a freelance career to attend to, it was little wonder that I started to wish that one of those handsome leading men would just appear at my door and whisk me away from all that domestic drudgery. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a case of not loving my husband, its just that Mr Make Believe never left the washing up in the sink or his dirty clothes on the floor.

Mr Make Believe would never leave the loo seat up or stifle a yawn as I told him about yet another fun-filled day at the park with the kids.

Every time my husband did what husbands do, a little voice in my head would whisper: "I bet Aidan Turner/ Daniel Craig/ George Clooney would never do that!"

Talking to other mums, it appeared I was not alone. Everyone had their Mr Make Believe, their favourite man of the moment, especially when their other half was in the dog house. I realised that poor Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch must have been worn out, helping mothers while away those hours at home with the little ones. Some mums were completely open about their little crushes while others were more secretive. One even developed a passion for the unlikely figure of Mr Tumble, the kids' TV presenter from CBeebies. I put that down to sheer exhaustion and gratitude that he could keep her toddler entertained for half an hour, while she grabbed a coffee.

I picked up that theme of having a daydream hero and took it to an extreme, playing with the notion of what would happen if a mum, whose life wasn't turning out the way she'd hoped, got to meet her Mr Make Believe. Would living out the fantasy help her find true love or was the flawed reality better?

By combining the temptation for harassed mums to have a Mr Make Believe with society's changing expectations of marriage and motherhood, I had

the beginnings of a very good plot for a book. Just over ten years ago, when I had my first child, motherhood was all about having the perfect sleep routine, whizzing up organic, home-cooked food and feeling like a failure if your exclusively breastfed baby didn't get 12 hours' kip a night. All too often, mums struggled on their own and became isolated, or kept it quiet if they weren't coping. A decade later, I have noticed that this has changed a great deal. Women are proud to be "imperfect" mothers (myself included), uploading pictures of our baking fails on Instagram and flaunting the fact that we sometimes give our kids oven chips for tea when we're too exhausted to start steaming organic vegetables of an evening. Mothers are blogging about their lives with the kids and the struggle is real (especially with the laundry, which in my house, is never-ending).

Publishing is snapping up memoirs from "imperfect" unmumsy mums all over the place and films such as Bad Moms are further evidence of this trend, if it were needed.

Even Gwyneth Paltrow tried to get in on it recently, revealing that she lets her little ones play on the ipad for twenty minutes a day because she is a "relaxed parent". This caused hilarity on one internet mums' group - with most women reporting that their kids regularly got that much ipad time in before breakfast. That revelation would probably be enough to make Gwyneth choke on her kale smoothie but my heroine Marnie Martin would definitely agree, as she struggled to get the children ready for the school run, that the iPad is a great weapon of mass distraction for imperfect mothers everywhere.

Mr Make Believe, published by Ipso Books, is out now in Kindle (£1.99) and paperback (£7.99) on Amazon