Sixteen months in and it’s safe to say I’ve been around the block with these groups.
It’s bizzare that while we all have one massive thing in common- our kids- we’re all completely different in how we parent.
Baby groups can be worse than the play ground, so I’ve complied a list of the stereotypical mums you’ll find most commonly at these groups and what to avoid saying with each one.
Of course, some mums are a mix of a couple of stereotypes and some might not fall into any category but you can bet your last quid that you’ll have met a few of these…
The Crunchy One
She’s one of the most obvious to spot. Baby will most likely be carried in a sling, wearing cloth nappies and probably having a drop of boob. Organic is the only option and coconut oil will fix everything.
She gave birth at home with no meds and a doula. She would never buy or dress the baby in anything mainstream and little Cosmo quite possibly will be dressed in hand me downs or second hand clothes that were definitely not made in China.
Co-sleeping is the way forward and circumcision should be punishable by law. She will be homeschooling her kids.
Her child is completely Baby-Led. Baby led weaning, baby led napping, baby led boob feeds, baby led bed times.
Amongst the most hardcore of the group are the anti-vaccers and herbalists.
Do not mention routines, mainstream purchases or recycling.
Dressed to the nines, her and her LO look immaculate leaving you to wonder how she does it? Does she keep tons of crisp, clean, ironed reserve clothes in the car in order to change herself and baby as soon as any speck of dirt touches them? Or does she actually have the only toddler in the world who isn’t a magnet for dirt?! I don’t know… I’m still trying to work it out.
This ones quite easy to spot. Mother and Daughter might be wearing matching clothes. The child will most definitely have something “pretty” on and her hair will be adorned with clips and hair bands.
Her and Designer Dad spent about 2k on Paola’s first birthday party alone; which included a Pinterest perfect birthday cake, a professional photographer, a baby sensory party and about £500 worth of balloons. Of course, all the decorations matched to perfection, down to the personalised party boxes for the kids.
Paola’s presents included a mini Lamborghini with a personalised number plate, a new puppy and several thousand pounds worth of designer clothes that she’ll grow out of in a month.
Do not mention gender stereotypes or attempt to buy anything that isn’t pink for the girl.
This is the one who gets down and plays with the kids and not just plays but absolutely loves playing! This one is most likely found running after a child that’s screaming in delight, possibly dressed in gym gear.
She can be a bit full on but all the kids love her and little Lucy and Charlie go to support her and Fun Dad at marathons and charity fun runs every weekend.
Fun Mum will be active at all future school events and will probably volunteer to go on all school trips as she just can’t bear to parted from her children for a moment.
Do not mention discipline.
This one has followed The Book from day dot. Her toddler is massively routine based.
She credits Gina Ford with her child sleeping through early and won’t mess with routine for shit.
She doesn’t come to any groups/coffee meets which could interfere with nap schedules or snack times.
Do not slag off routines in a negative light. This woman’s world runs on routines and she loves it.
Baby does NOT sleep through. This is evident from her appearance, mood and probably because she’s sat there yawning her head off.
Millie wakes on the hour, every hour and has done so for the past 18 months. I’m just impressed she managed to get dressed in the morning.
Do not mention sleeping or sleep training or routines- she’s probably tried everything.
She’s the opposite of The Crunchy One. Baby will be pushed around in the latest Bug-a-boo, formula isn’t thought of as poison and circumcision is a must.
Max has slept in a crib or cot from the word go in his own room and will be weaned on jars and most definitely not home schooled.
The Silky One opted for an elective caesarean, Max’s vaccinations will be up to date and she doesn’t home cook.
Don’t mention how great you felt for giving birth medication free.
She’s a worrier. She’s a bit insecure. If baby starts crying she panics and promptly shoves a dummy at baby- causing The Judgey One to raise her perfectly arched brow.
Little Bertie is only 8 weeks old so she’s new to the game and doesn’t know what to expect or what she’s doing.
She’s terrified of messing up. Be nice to her. Complement her. Tell her she’s doing a fab job. (We were all her once).
I love this one. She doesn’t give a shit what you think. She’s raised at least 3, maybe 4 or 5 and knows what she’s doing.
She knows she’s not perfect and doesn’t try to pretend otherwise. Her kids are probably wrestling in the corner or running around having a whale of a time, while The Judgey One and Competitive One look on.
The Mum With 3 Or More doesn’t care though. She’s just happy they’re giving her 5 minutes to drink a cuppa in peace.
Her house is covered in Lego and Play Dough and more often than not she co-sleeps just to get some much needed peace.
No need to avoid any topics, it’s an open house.
Blossom and Artie are perfect. Perfect. They have never had a temper tantrum or any kind of faux pas in public, so when your kids having an off day and decides instead of clapping along to the music she wants to go over by the door and inspect the contents of all the prams, she looks at you in disgust.
The Judgey One always has her child’s hair perfectly gripped in place so if you’re unfortunate enough to have a child who likes to pull out hair grips you’re out of luck. The Judgey One will eye your child up like she’s a hardened criminal and poor Blossom will milk the incident for all its worth while your left looking and feeling like a bit of a tit.
You won’t be invited to any play dates or birthday parties in future when she checks out your little hooligan but rest assured, 10+ years down the line when your kids are all at secondary school, your child will come home one day and casually mention that Blossom has fallen pregnant and that Judgey Dad has had an affair and left Judgey Mum. Not so perfect after all.
Don’t mention well, anything, really.
If you see her be nice (I’m probably in this category and maybe a bit Scrunchy). Chances are her child is going through an uncooperative phase and she’s not quite managing to get anything done. She’ll probably arrive late to the group or will have forgotten something.
Her kid may be quite high maintenance, vocal, boisterous, nosey and probably doesn’t pay much attention to Mummy in public. No the child doesn’t have ADHD and no the mum isn’t useless at discipline, she’s just decided there are some battles she doesn’t need to win. And screaming at a child in public isn’t fun, not to mention that it doesn’t work and leaves you looking like cock.
Avoid talking about how well behaved your child is.
She’s a full time stay at home mum, she goes to baby groups daily in between keeping a spotless house and baking.
She probably has a vegetable patch and a rich husband.
She’s a bit Crunchy but not enough to be a full on Crunchy mum, she’s a Scrunchy mum, which is a mixture between Crunchy and Silky.
She uses eco friendly disposable nappies and shops at Waitrose but recycles and bakes her own snacks for baby.
They holiday abroad three times a year, have a Merc and Grace and Henry attend a variety of music and sports classes.
Do not ask her if she gets bored.
She’s lush. She doesn’t judge. She smiles at everyone and never mentions milestones or routines or sleeping through or formula. She laughs when your kid knocks her kid over and says “Don’t worry!” She’s a rare creature, so if you find her befriend her and dear god, don’t let her go!
Julie is 9 months old and can already count to 10. In French. Grayson is 5 and plays Beetovens Symphony 9 to perfection on the piano. They are both district champions at Gymnastics and were walking at 7 months old. Slept through from birth.
Did you know Grayson’s been shortlisted for MENSA? Quite surprising considering he’s sat in corner with one finger up his nose and the other stuck in a wedge of play dough whilst staring vacantly into space… In all seriousness she’s not that bad- just uber proud of her kids.
Don’t mention any milestones in front of her.
Rarely seen at an actual baby group, she’s mostly seen picking the kids up from holiday clubs or any type of club which doesn’t involve mummies direct participation.
She has a hands free stapled to her ear, wears a crisp dry cleaned suit and her nails are perfectly painted. She mainly communicates by hand squeezing and pointed stares at the kids, as she’s still on the phone.
You wonder how she found the time to actually get pregnant by Corporate Dad, who you see every now and then and your sure he hasn’t the slightest clue which kid is his as he appears to collect them.
Maybe they synced iPhone calendars and had their secretary schedule a 5 minute coffee break between big-important-business-meetings and they had a frigid quickie right there? With hands free still intact, of course.
You don’t need to avoid any topics with this one as you most definitely won’t get the chance to even have a conversation with them.
Now I know it’s a post about mums but you can’t forget the Dads. The Dads are great.
They tend to be nervous at first, and you can’t blame them really what with the mental array of women on offer at these things, but once they’ve been a few times they happily get stuck in with all the fun.
All the fun, none of the bitchiness. Must be the Y Chromosome.
Avoid talking about anything too womanly. Men get scared in social groups at the mention of episiotomies and breast pumps.
Although you will find that frightening type of Dad (I call him Far Too Open Dad) who will merrily discuss his poor wives hemmeroids and ask if your boobs are still tender and how many stitches you had.
They’re awesome. Chances are monkey music and baby sensory classes didn’t exist 30+ years ago and if they did, they probably wouldn’t have had the time or the money to take their kids so they relish doing it with their Grandkids!
Not much to avoid here, they’re usually quite friendly.
Pictures all from Google