12 Things You Should ALWAYS Say To A New Mum

"Yes Darrin, I do believe the Virgin Mary would be well jel of how serenely I handle Baby Tabitha..."

“Yes Darrin, I do believe the Virgin Mary would be well jel of how serenely I handle Baby Tabitha…” [Bewitched, ABC]

You need to tread carefully around a first-time mum. Say the wrong thing and you could find yourself more unpopular than a bottle of formula at a breastfeeding support group. And as there’s plenty of stuff out there advising on the things you should never say to a new mum, I thought I’d be really clever and do the opposite, putting a positive spin on the negatives; thus pretending that, unlike the impression you might get from my other blog posts so far, I’m a really sunny person. Well, actually you won’t get that impression from this one either. Nevertheless, I have more top tips to share, this time for the beleaguered family and friends of a new mother, who might otherwise unwittingly detonate a post-baby bomb with the wrong choice of words/ tone/ slightly sideways glance. So here they are – 12 things you should ALWAYS say to a new mum…

How not to piss off a toddler

My NOT Pete Docherty!

My NOT Pete Docherty!

After my two-and-half-year-old son Zain had yet another monumental, meteoric meltdown, sparked this time by the wrong colour of spoon for his mashed potato, I approached his jungle-themed lair tentatively. I asked if he’d care to enlighten me as to what turns an otherwise sunny, funny toddler into an angry, irrational African dictator – just so I might not reoffend again. After a quiet moment of reflection arranging his stuffed elephants in order of preference, Zain gave me a fleeting glance and told me to pull up a beanbag. “Listen Mummy, I don’t make the rules,’ he said, twirling the trunk of his favoured elephant the way a Bond villain might. “I’m two for Peppa’s sake! It’s the way we roll. But as I’m feeling generous, I think I can help a little…” He then shared with me his top tantrum-curtailing tips. I took notes so I might share these with you. It’s true what they say, kids are mean. We need to stick together…

10 Myths about motherhood – BUSTED!

Laugh it up! She is YOU!

Laugh it up! She is YOU! [Harry Enfield and Chums, BBC]

Expecting your first baby in 2015? Congratulations! Now stop reading. I have wisdom – well OK, bile – I’d like to impart and I don’t want to scare you. There are some myths and misapprehensions about motherhood I feel need addressing so if you don’t want the truth, look away now. Still here? OK then, I guess I’d better find some positive stuff to say too to soften the blow…


Ma Walton does not approve of controlled crying... [The Waltons, CBS]

Ma Walton does not approve of controlled crying…
[The Waltons, CBS]

Maternity leave is a minefield. Rhyme Time, coffee mornings, NCT meet-ups – whatever your choice of baby group, it can all become as tribal as the playground. As this is my second time on maternity leave, I’ve had my fair share of exhausting conversations with women I only really have motherhood as common ground. So, in case it’s useful, or like me you just enjoy the occasional judgemental laugh, I thought I’d share seven types of mum you might want to avoid arranging too many play dates with…