Mummy tribes

Haven’t we all been there…that playgroup, baby class, school playground even, where you can see the mummies tribes and have to try and work out where you fit in?

Me…I think I hover – I don’t belong to a gang in the playground or playgroup – perhaps that is because I have a strong group of girls that I spend a lot of time with and so when I am in those situations I would rather just chat to everyone and not worry for once?

But what are the groups have I noticed over the years…

  1. The ‘old hat’ mummies – you are the first time mum and they are second or third timers, very busy, don’t get flustered and have pretty much seen it all or done it all before. For a first-timer they can be intimidating – but take heart – they are also fonts of knowledge and could prove useful for a tip you hadn’t thought of!
  2. The ‘know-it-all’ mummies – doesn’t matter what number child they are on, they know it all – either by reading about it, google or just their sheer wisdom. Some days you can handle them and know that deep down they know that actually they know nothing (a la Jon snow), and other days when you are more delicate just avoid them for your own sanity
  3. The ‘have-it-together’ mummies – these mums look pulled together and in control and 90% of the time they are – maybe it is their organised personalities, or a great support network. But some days they don’t have their shit together, their kids act up and they need a break – so don’t judge if you are having a ‘hot-mess’ day and they are on it and be supportive when they have a rare ‘hot mess’ day
  4. The ‘hot-mess’ mummies – they consider themselves lucky if everyone is out of the house, dressed in ‘clothes’ and fed – maybe not wearing makeup, but their hair will be brushed. When they show up looking like they have it together you wonder what special plans they must have that day – don’t – it means that they got five minutes to themselves to gather their thoughts and shit together; and when they are a hot mess – you be that mum that sympathises that their kids was up a billion times in the night cos he missed them!
  5. ‘Those’ mummies – hard to have the right name for this group – but trust me – you know them when you meet them. Somehow things that seem like compliments, just aren’t. They are competitive about everything between your children, but very subtly so you can miss it or mistake it. And there are the little social digs that you pick up on towards you. To be honest all this is very circa 1999 and Sixth Form – and as adults we really don’t need people like this when you are already vulnerable – just either avoid like the plague, or take the high road and ignore their comments and be polite – and know that they must be feeling insecure about something to want to hurt others.

The thing is – with all these tribes I think we end up crossing over them from time-to-time. We go from nervous first-timer to being more experienced, sleep deprived to well-rested and being organised to forgetting lunchboxes. What we really need is one tribe – all supporting each other and that is what your gang is there for – I can never say it enough but I love my gang of mummy friends, and I love my older friends that pre-date all this – so shout out to those mummies that cheer us on when we need it and celebrate our little ones successes as if they were their own child’s success.

So, does it really matter about the tribes and which one you end up in? What other tribes have you met when you are trying to get to know other mums? Any tips or funny stories? Let me know what you guys think!


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