Maternity leave can be a minefield. Rhyme Time, coffee mornings, NCT meet-ups; whatever your choice of baby group, it can all become as tribal as the playground. And I hate to break it to you sistah, but you are just as tribal…
She believes sacrificing sleep, night after night, for her ‘helpless little one’, similar to the way Christ sacrificed his life, is the measure of a good mum. She regularly posts in baby forums under the username ‘Amelia’s mummy’ and loves to punctuate with a twee ‘LOL’ and smiley winky face. However, emojis soon turn to angry, frowny faces should anyone dare mention – whisper it – controlled crying…
She’ll smugly tell you her children sailed through teething without so much as a whimper; were potty-trained at one; started walking in the womb… blah, fucking, blah. Don’t be fooled. Only half of it will be true – her insecurities are as big as her huge, very expensive, double buggy. Liar liar, pull-up pants on fire.
Perhaps the one most defined by her style of parenting, this mum hates routines for children, and also won’t allow her child any TV or sugar. When you spy that lonely, awkward kid wearing the authentic Himalayan poncho in the corner of the playground – the one glumly licking home-made hummus off a Tupperware lid – you’ll know he’s hers.
This mum type will rant loudly, in crisp well-enunciated words, about the sort of parent who takes their child to McDonald’s or uses Peppa Pig and a big bag of Mini Cheddars to babysit their kid. Expect to hear the words ‘lazy’, ‘irresponsible’ and, in especially scornful tones, ‘chavvy’. At mother-and-baby groups, she’s also prone to frequently checking her watch and jangling her car keys just to show this badly dressed rabble she’s not planning on stopping long.
Complain about the extra three or four stone of post-pregnancy weight you’re lumbering around to this mum and she’ll pinch a titchy bit of skin (without which she’d be dead frankly), before bemoaning the whole three or four pounds she’s been trying to shift – and her baby is already FOUR WEEKS OLD! Try to resist the urge to punch her in the face because then everyone will really know you’re just a jealous, fat cow.
This mother is probably one of the youngest mums in the group and, while nice enough, is a bit dull frankly. Very provincial, she’ll sweetly tell you a long and boring story about how she and her best friend gave birth within days of each other, which apparently is just ‘so funny’ because they’ve always done everything together. She’s also a huge cat lover and nauseatingly refers to her beloved moggy as her ‘fur baby’. Refrain from making a crude ‘muff’ joke here. It won’t be appreciated.
Likely to be the more mature mother of the group, this mum-type is so visibly stressed, she looks almost savage. Dare to speak to her as she attempts to bundle a toddler and baby into the car and you’re likely to get shot a look that makes you feel as if you’ve just defecated on her doorstep. She’s easy to spot at mother-and-baby groups, as she’s usually the one with the feral hair, last night’s red wine all over her elasticated jeans and pendulous breasts thanks to a very ill-fitting maternity bra she hasn’t had time to replace. Why? Because she’s very, VERY busy, OK?
(Yeah, that last one was totally me.)
From: Everything I’ve Learned About Motherhood (From My Single-Parent Dad) by Zeena Moolla is out February 24th.