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Since becoming a mother, I’ve read countless books, blogs and baby bibles about mum friends. “Grasp on to other mums!” they say. “Find mummy groups! You must only talk to other humans who have procreated, they’re the only ones who understand!”
So, knowing no better, I followed this advice. I did the mother's group thing for a while and, to be quite honest with you, found it only slightly more enjoyable than labour.
Most groups involve piling the babies on a blanket and then singing at them for an hour. The babies love it. The mums? Well… some enjoy it more than others.
On that note, here are 13 mums you’ll encounter at a baby group (disclaimer: I fall into at least five of these categories) …
She thinks the reason your child is ill is because you stopped breastfeeding too soon and gives a little shudder when you mention the D word (dummy)! But she’s not being judgemental, she’s just trying to help. Apparently.
This one who must've been a PA in her pre-maternity leave days, as she simply can’t help taking charge at all times. She’s the one who sets up the Facebook and WhatsApp groups and takes the lead on organising 'fun' activities such as the mums’ night out. God help you if you want to post your own idea – organiser mum will tear you a new one.
Constantly sipping from a coffee flask (at least, you think it's coffee), the stressed-out mum has unwashed hair, puke down her shirt, and can’t remember any of the sodding rhymes at mummy group. But she made it out the house today, so that’s a win in her eyes.
The mum pines after the days when she would have a leisurely, sophisticated (read: boozy) lunch with friends, with no milk or baby food or other mums in sight. She quite likes her own child but being in a room with 20 other babies and mums talking about teething and toilet habits is enough to drive her batty.
“Being a mum is the best thing ever, isn’t it the best thing ever? I just LOVE being a mum!” The loving life mum oozes enthusiasm for life and motherhood. You either love or hate this one.
She posts no-holds barred photos of her baby ALL THE TIME that dominate your feed. She must document every moment of her darling cherub’s life. Exciting milestones include Harry’s first trip to Aldi, meeting the postman and debuting a new hat.
A slightly more advanced version of the Facebook mum, her photos of little Oscar/ Sophie are a bit more arty, and involve snaps of a nice breakfast they’re sharing or a morning sunrise while out on a lovely walk. Each pic is carefully cropped and filtered to avoid showing the dirty dishes in the sink or the dog pooping in the background.
You know the one. She reads horror stories online about all the ways that babies can be injured and then posts constantly on to shared WhatsApp and Facebook pages. Sophie the Giraffe is full of mould! Is my car seat in correctly?! Can my nine-month-old choke on mashed banana?!?!?!?!
Aka. The one that makes you look bad. “For Archie’s first Christmas, I organised fake snow in the garden along with real reindeer and a fat man handing out mince pies to make it as special as possible!” Archie is three months old and doesn’t know his own name.
Singing in public is very few people’s idea of fun but there’s always one mum who just loves the sound of her voice/ likes to show off that she’s learned all the words to ‘big blue boat’ and you haven’t.
Chilled-out mum’s baby eats whatever she’s cooking instead of specially prepared meals and quite happily plays with ordinary things like mummy’s hairbrush or an old remote control. Mummy doesn’t quite know how much baby weighs or their exact age in weeks, but she loves them lots and they have fun together.
Isabelle is only given the finest organic pureed fruit and veg and wears the very best outfits from Boden or Country Road. Isabelle’s mum has never even heard of Kmart.
And finally, there’s the one who’s not a mum. Super Dad rocks up about once a month with the baby under his arm, hand in hand with a toddler. He doesn’t bother singing any songs, but manages to keep his brood in check and makes parenting look annoyingly easy.