Not long ago, I met a friend for drinks.
Not a crazy, drink each other under the table and regret everything the next day type drinks; more of a let’s chat and be someone other than ‘Mummy, MUMMY, MUUUUUUMMMMMYYYY’ evening.
I left my husband the task of feeding and putting the kids to bed, and off I went with a smile on my face and barely a backwards glance.
Po-tip: If you’re going to go out, go early, so you miss bedtime and you don’t fall asleep yourself. BOOM.
Now, a stay-at-home-mum to small kids in her natural habitat is easily recognisable.
Her hair, if she has not given in and chopped it off, will usually be scraped back into a bun. There will probably be bags under her eyes, which might be a little glazed over from lack of adult conversation.
Her outfit may well be something stretchy (because let’s face it, who has time to iron?) and will very possibly have snot or chocolate on it (you hope it’s chocolate), maybe somewhere she hasn’t yet noticed.
Now, once that mum has made an effort to get dressed up, plastered on the under-eye concealer and done something with her hair, she can be harder to spot.
However, one look inside the handbag of even an off-duty mum will tell you all you need to know.
On this particular evening I had not had time to clean out my handbag, and although I had removed the spare clothes and toys, in there with my wallet, keys and make up were:
- Raisins, for snacking/bribery emergencies
- Socks, in case of spontaneous soft play visits
- Crayons, collected from a variety of family-friendly restaurants
- And, of course, the Swiss Army Knife of the mothering world, baby wipes.
Yep. 100% mum.
Here are 30 other signs you are definitely a mum:
1. You hear a high-pitched screeching in the supermarket and feel a pang of sympathy. And a tiny bit of annoyance, you’re only human after all.
2. Everything is covered in stickers. Even you, and you don’t realise until you’re out in public.
3. You can’t help exclaiming an excited ‘ooh look!’ when you spot a fire engine/tractor/helicopter/aeroplane (even when there are no kids about).
4. You will eat food even if it has been nibbled, licked or dribbled on because anything you make for yourself gets stolen.
5. The words ‘please don’t lick that’ or ‘please stop playing with your willy’ could be your catchphrase.
6. You get excited when you start watching an episode of Peppa Pig and you haven’t seen it before.
7. If you skip a day’s washing, you feel as though you might as well just end it all now as you’ll never catch up.
8. There are patches on your wall that look cleaner from where you scrubbed the pen/pencil/crayon off.
9. You bath with 100 plastic bath toys because you just can’t be arsed to spend 10 minutes getting the damn things out of the tub.
10. You notice a brown smear on your thumb and don’t automatically lick it off assuming it’s chocolate.
11. You drive a full 45 minutes listening (OK, singing along) to Micky Mouse Clubhouse greatest hits with no children in the car.
12. You go to work with Weetabix on your jeans.
13. You have forgotten what is was like to have personal space.
14. You know NEVER to serve tea on the blue plate but also always on the blue plate.
15. You have deep and meaningful conversations about which CBeebies presenter you would snog, marry, etc with other supposedly sane adults (and judge them on their responses…).
16. You let someone else open all of your birthday presents. You don’t even get to blow out your own candles…
17. You always keep an eye out for a good stick.
18. You clean everything, including yourself, with wet wipes. Or at least you did before you were told they were polluting the earth.
19. You know the theme tune to Paw Patrol and can’t get it out of your head but don’t know a single chart song.
21. You can spot daddy pig’s voice in adverts for life insurance.
22. You spend a lot of time trying to stress the importance of sharing….
23. But you keep all the good snacks as high up as possible so you don’t have to share.
24. There is never any toilet roll left when you go to the loo but there is a potty seat and stool to navigate which all smells of pee.
24. Speaking of which, there are puddles on your carpet. It could be any number of things.
25. You only know the ‘celebs’ on Strictly if they’re kids’s TV presenters or 90s pop stars.
26. Your entire adult life is squeezed into a few hours after bedtime.
27. You had Pom Bears for lunch.
28. You can sense an out-of-bed child from three rooms away.
29. You pretend to call Father Christmas on the phone about once a day, probably starting around October time.
30. Your car is full of sand and crud.
Enjoyed this? Here are 30 things that I only do now I’m a parent.