So these are not written down as such but we all know and understand them…don’t we? I can’t decide…
Thou shalt get thy child to share
If you get a really polite pair of mums, you can end up with toddlers passing a toy between them potentially indefinitely. It’s a crucial element of the rules that it makes no difference if your child refuses to share; that’s what toddlers often do -it’s totally irrelevant.
Thou shalt not allow thy child to do something naughty without reacting
Things do happen, of course they do – but the key thing is that the eagle-eyed mother must spot such bad behaviour and respond appropriately. Laughing misbehaviour off or refusing to acknowledge your child has been naughty can lead to serious mummy fights!
Thou shalt keep an eye on thy child
This follows on from rule 2 – you do not dump your children in the play area and then ignore them for half an hour while you have a quiet drink.
Thou shalt not say anything negative about another mother’s young child
Comments like ‘What’s wrong with him?’ or ‘She’s got quite a temper, hasn’t she?’ are against the rules. Why? Because they imply the child is a problem, when the reality is that all small children are difficult sometimes and it’s not a young child’s fault if this is the case. You have no idea if that child had a bad night or is teething or something else so give other parents a break and back off!
Thou shalt not give uncalled-for advice
‘Helpful hints’ like ‘Don’t you think your baby needs another layer?’ or an accusing ‘He looks hungry’ said of a crying baby are hugely offensive to mothers who know perfectly well, thank you, that their baby has just eaten and hates too many layers. These comments often come from strangers, but arise between friends, too. There is one mum at school who specialises in comments just like these!
Thou shalt not be too gorgeous
OK, so some women just can’t help losing their baby tummy by going for a large poo and being stunning the minute they roll out of bed, but the mummy rules definitely state that going out in a top covered in sick, with straggly hair, quite a few extra pounds and comfortable footwear, is absolutely fine…at least this should be the case!
Thou shalt not be too smug
Whether it’s boasting that you have got a perfect sleeper, or about your child’s ‘spot-on’ developmental milestones, or how they never cry, smugness is one of the biggest mummy crimes.
Thou shalt make an effort socially
When you find yourself at a playgroup and someone sits next to you, it is in the rules to smile and make chit-chat; there’s nothing more irritating in the mum world than a frosty clique….but they are everywhere. They don’t stop at playgroup, hell no, they are ever present at school as well!
Thou shalt not publicly judge those who choose to work OR those who choose to stay at home
Woe betide you if you break this one. Even if you feel strongly that mums should stay at home, or go to work, or both … always at least act like you respect the other path.
Thou shalt give thyself a break
Sometimes, you just have to break the rules…whilst no one is watching!