Of course motherhood is a warm and inclusive community with sisters sharing their advice and any hang ups from the past, a distant memory. Right?
Well here’s the thing. Becoming a mother doesn’t mean that those annoying people become less annoying. It’s worse than that; those annoying people now have a new platform from which to exercise their twenty shades of annoying. And then on top of that being a parent almost seems to make it worse. The whole parenting experience is so immersive and loaded in emotion that even the annoying trait or quirk of a good friend is rendered so extreme it’s difficult to stomach. There are six mums we love to hate and I’ve broken them for you so you can identify them in your circle.
The Fun Mum
Jeez. This mum has seriously devoted her life to this parenting shit and then sprinkled the whole thing with glitter, Peppa emojis and themed (hot balanced meal provided!) play dates. Her children not only enjoy craft afternoons and baking sessions but she’s got a rainy day cupboard jam packed with homespun activities that kids genuinely seem to enjoy. She offers the best play dates on the street, springing from room to room in high octane fashion throwing herself into hide and seek, pirates and shopkeeper all with loom band bracelets up one arm and cute fairy wings on her back. She even does “cross legged on the floor” playing and for more than twenty minutes! This lady is energetic, creative and always in a good mood. By evening she Pinterests challenging yet fun activities for her kids for the next day and manages her Etsy store of homemade kids clothes. Sure, she makes us all look bad but there’s no harm having her in your life. And anyway she’ll be reaching for the wine like the rest of us once she realises that without it she is heading for a serious burn out by Christmas.
The Cool Mum
This mum manages to look achingly cool despite having three kids under the age of four. She still goes to gigs of bands you’ve never heard of with her bearded husband and they take brunch with their kids in the same hipster pubs in Primrose Hill they always used to go to before children. She eschewed the NCT groups and nipple cream discussions in favour of forming a Mother’s Collective of creative women who are all developing their own app dedicated to humanist parenting. You have no idea how and why she bothers to layer all her clothes or add so much jewellery to each outfit. The only crumb of comfort is that kids ARE a leveller. She has bad days too where she’s covered in three bodily fluids by 9am, and not in a good way.
The Healthy Mum
AKA the Good Mum. Wow, this lady not only home cooks every meal from scratch so her children get their five a day from each meal but also makes sure the kids get exercise with 5km runs and cycle rides for the whole family. “That’s just Good Parenting!” I hear you cry. Of course it is, but hey, lady, a little chocolate bribery please – you’re making the rest of us look bad. And how about a bit less “Mindfulness Quiet Time” and a bit more TV. No one wants their kid to be the weird one in school who has no idea who Peppa is. Healthy is good, but so is addressing that cultural vortex. They’re all milestones on the development path of life. Plus there’s too much pressure when you’re kid comes over – a cheese sandwich and a bag of Wotsits is sooo not going to cut it.
She is immaculately dressed, super happy with contented, well behaved children. Overachiever mum how I hate you! She never has a bad word to say about anyone and seems to just roll with this whole parenting gig; great job, kids, house and husband with whom you’re pretty certain she STILL has hot married sex. Nothing seems to frazzle her but kids are unpredictable and one thing you can rely on is that hers will, one day, have a major meltdown at the worst possible moment; you can be sure that fixed grin will slide right off as she finally goes postal and loses her shit. With a bit of luck you’ll be there to witness the whole thing and offer a reassuring pat on the arm; “We’ve all been there, welcome to the dark side.”
The Shambolic Mum
We all have a little chaos in our parenting lives, but this mum is enough to set your teeth on edge as she stands calmly holding one child under each arm while another chomps at her ankles as she simultaneously tells you that not only is her building site house project running behind time and budget but ALSO her car failed its MOT and she has to go on her insane day trip to Leeds Castle with the three kids on public transport. And all the while their rescue dog is upchucking in her nappy bag. All it takes for you to feel flustered these days is discovering you’re down to the last frozen potato waffle while hosting a play date.
The Bummer Mum
OK we get it, bummer mum, your life is tougher than anyone else’s; your birth story was rougher than the rest of us, your husband works longer than anyone else’s and your kids have more stomach bugs, colds and allergies than is humanly possible. Cruising on five hours sleep? Bummer mum has had three. Ear infections in your house? Bummer mum has been to A&E. Your newborn has reflux AND colic – you can bet your life bummer mum can top it.
Which mums do you love to hate?