When you have children, you inevitably meet other women who also have children. In my case, this was pretty much the only category of people outside of my husband that I met up with on a daily basis. This is perfect for sharing insights, joys and (sometimes) woes, but it also throws you together with the craziest mix of people who only have one thing in common-their recently spawned sproglets. Over time you do thin out for yourself a few people with whom you can actually imagine your “old self” hanging out with, and some curve-balls that your “new mummy self” also enjoys hanging out with. For the sake of entertainment and social interest, I thought I’d introduce you all to a few types of mums that I have come across. In the interest of spreading the love and supporting other women, I’m going to also tell you about the benefits each type of mum has for you, even if they sometimes make you want to tear your hair out:
1. The Ambitious Mum. You will recognise her either because she is trumpeting loudly to everyone nearby about her child’s achievements, or she is slyly pretending to show interest in your baby, only to then be “surprised” by your response, then replying her baby is better/faster/further than yours. And entolled into Oxbridge at the age of five. How Ambitious Mum can help you: she will know all the latest trends, baby courses, best schools, studies, books etc. because she does her research to stay ahead!
2. Organic mum – yes she has handmade teething cookies on the go and made all of her own clothes. She might (silently) judge you with your wet-wipes and Primani but she can help you when the babies are ill and you need some alternative ideas to mainstream medicine. She might also have some wholesome, tasty recipes to pass on when your darlings overdo it on the quavers.
3. Overly Careful Mum. She will feel faint if you meet at an ugly, crowded, worse-for-wear playground and she will be a flaky member of the group because she’ll cancel anything if there is the faintest sign of a sniffle. She knows the best ways to sterilise anything and she also knows who has emergency duty in the doctor’s surgery on a bank holiday weekend. Good to have her number on hand.
4. Glamorous Mum. Just her dazuling put-together presence in the group will remind you that you came out in a vomit-covered sweater and are letting your eyebrows grow into an interesting expression of facial caterpillars. Her shoes and bag will match, and her hair will sit, even after birth. A lady like this is a healthy reminder that we all need to take a bit of care of ourselves from time to time and if you need any beauty advice, she is your woman.
5. Chaotic Mum. I’ve seen pretty much every mum go through this at some stage because a chaotic mum is often Distracted Mum off duty. She has committments in other places (work, seven other kids etc) and deserves respect for keeping pretty much everything bar world peace together. Chaotic Mum will need your help sometimes with things she has forgotten, but she will be willing and honest about her experience with her kids if you can grab her attention for long enough for a cup of tea.
6. Overbearing Mum. This type of mum is the most difficult for me to deal with because she stifles a lot of freedom and joy. Overbearing Mum will correct her child, train her child, take over from her child and may do this to you too if allowed. Can leave a sense of failure behind if not put in place. The bright side here is to remind yourself to be a Moma Bear, stand up for your beliefs and defend freedom. Overbearing Mum will most likely be ablt to handle a respectful debate with you and offer good practice for you for standing your ground.
Ok, this was meant to be a little bit of fun and there are probably more types of mum I could think of, can you? The main point is, that all types of mum can be valuable to us and once the initial “we’re together because we have babies” has passed, even perfect-seeming mums will let their guards down and admit their hillarious mum-fails. Without my mummy friends I know I’d be lost.