Whether you met them at buggy fit, antenatal classes or - yay - on Mush, there are some key rules when you’re posting says Caroline Corcoran...
The only thing new mums love more than a large Sauv Blanc/sleep, I have learnt in the last few months, is a WhatsApp group. I’m one of them.
Being part of these groups means I can find someone who genuinely thinks my discussion on whether it’s ok to put the Tommee Tippee sippy cup lid in the dishwasher is a valid conversation for 11pm on a Saturday night and can reassure on such existential dilemmas as AM I TERRIBLE PERSON BECAUSE I DON’T USE REUSABLE NAPPIES.
All without my Real Life Friends turning up on my doorstep looking concerned at the serious decline in the quality of my chat. It’s ace: I can still be interesting (well, moderately) to them because being a one-trick conversation pony to my mum friends - all currently one-trick conversation ponies to me too - is ok. But still, there are some places you don’t go, even to your mum mates. Here they are...
1. ‘Have you seen this XXX horror story about the XXX thing we all use every day?’
My own favourite nightmare-story-from-Facebook-that turned-out-to-be-fake-later-anyway resulted in my lying awake all night staring at the side sleeper which by 3am I had convinced myself presented approximately the same level of danger to my baby as putting him in a motorbike sidecar and heading off down the M1. Bonus awful points if you send these messages after 6pm and they are about something to do with a newborn’s sleeping arrangements.
2. ‘We have to wake him/her up for a feed!’
May tip a friend who is feeding every two hours all bleedin’ night long over the edge. If you have a baby that’ll happily snooze for 12 hours when they are a week old and are only waking them on health vistor’s advice, just tell your mum about it or do that smug dance Chandler does in Friends instead. You want to hang out with these people. Don’t make them have uncomfortably vivid daydreams about kicking you in the face.
3. ‘Oh, I wouldn’t even have one drink while breastfeeding’
Fine, get a cup of tea - that’s totally your choice. But if your mate needs the wine, let her have the wine without a chaser of judginess.
4. ‘I’m on a serious post-baby diet’
See above, especially if they are about eight and a half stone anyway and were rumoured to have worn a crop top last week at baby yoga. The people in this group need biscuits. Don’t give them guilt about their biscuits.
5. Anything to do with politics
This is what I learnt when I tried to get some chat going on about Article 50 in a mum group I’m in and was greeted by radio silence then a picture of a small child with porridge on his face: no-one cares. They are here to discuss the merits of a rice cake and whether you can get a family pass at the aquarium. They do not want to chat politics. Also, it’s risky as unlike most other circles of your life, you are mixing with people from different walks of life who just happen to have babies the same age and you may not get the same echo chamber response you’d normally get from mates. Which means you may accidentally call someone a racist and get into a political row. And bloody hell, who has the energy for calling someone a racist and getting into a political row right now?