Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Mummy Code

I watched What to Expect when you're Expecting last weekend. I was chatting about it with my favorite Mummy friend, and she said she was talking with her husband about the 'Dad code' that the Dads in the movie had. He asked her if there was a Mummy code.

And there totally is!

The more I think about it, the more I see it. There are so many things that are deemed acceptable and appropriate when you're a Mum. And Mum's just seem to know. Heck, I know it all too! Nobody ever told me.... there wasn't a Secret Mother's Business pamphlet that the midwives handed me when I left the hospital, and I'm pretty sure I didn't get a microchip of Mummy wisdom implanted in my brain during pregnancy. But somehow, we have 'The Code' too.

So here are a few things that are part of the code in our own little Mum's group that meets every Tuesday. They apply especially when you are talking to new mothers who you don't know very well. You might go home afterwards and give your friend a call and say "Wasn't that weird!?" But at the time, you must remain completely non-judgmental.

1. You don't judge about religion. And you make no verbal judgment on any religious/spiritual ideas about parenting. You believe that your child doesn't have a soul until you do the naming ceremony, which has to occur on a full moon when your child is precisely 150 days old? Alrighty then.

2. When a new mother brings her baby... it is always beautiful. It doesn't matter if that is the ugliest, funniest looking kid you have ever seen, you must talk about beauty/eyes/hair/something. Cute is a good word. Cute can mean anything. And thankfully, babies are cute. You are also expected to say 'Oh what a lovely/cool/great name!' no matter what the child's name is. It doesn't matter if they named their kid The Terminator. The name must be praised.

3. When another parent completely loses it, you make no judgment whatsoever. Because lets face it, we've all been there. You act like it's perfectly normal, say kind things and hand over the wine/chocolate/coffee. It is also extremely helpful if you talk about your bad parenting. However, it is not okay to tell your tale in a story-topping way, but rather in a comisserating, comerades-in-arms way.

4. You never discuss the comparison of the SAHM vs Working mother thing. You might chat about it all- but you don't put one over the other. (No matter what your personal views are.)

5. You never, ever, ever put another person's child down. Same goes for another person's parenting.

6. You don't compare breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. You are allowed to chat about the two, but you never put one or the other down.

7. (This one relates solely to our town) You are very careful when you discuss school. You don't talk in absolutes about public vs private school. You are allowed an opinion, but you should leave yourself some wriggle room.

Where did we learn it all? I could go on, and on. But the general rule seems to be, no judging. And if you do have an opinion on something, leave yourself some wriggle room! Are there any specific things that you think are a part of The Mummy Code?



  1. Oh yep you hit the nail on the head with this one. I haven't seen the movie but I certainly agree there are some things us mums just seem to know that I am sure I didn't know before I was a mum.

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

  2. So true, it's almost as if during child birth we receive a gene that enables us to be the most amazing, patient, fence sitters ever. I certainly wasn't a fence sitter before I became a mum but I am a pro now.

  3. Yep, I agree with all that!! I haven't seen the movie yet but your code is spot on ...
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  4. Another thing to be wary of - commenting on clothes/equipment. By all means comment on cuteness or fantastic functionality, but don't make her think about how much money she's spent on these things. As much as it's easy to justify spending money on our kids, it's also so easy to buy stuff you don't ACTUALLY need!

  5. So true. But there is always a blunt person that breaks the rules, don't you think?

  6. Lol. I can relate to pretty much ALL of these. I wonder if part of it is that mums seem to get offended so easily! Making a (personal) decision contrary to someone else seems to make mothers feel that we are judging them for the decisions they have made... and judging is the ultimate sin according to the mummy code (even if you are not judging at all).

  7. Haha so true. I think I instinctively live by these rules. I just like to make everyone feel loved and accepted because that it how I like to be treated too.

  8. Awesome post Robyn! So true, and there are probably more rules out there I can't remember right now.

    I loved the movie! It was weird though how some of it was quite realistic but some was not (twin mum's crazily low-risk pregnancy and birth!) But I saw it 8 weeks after Timothy was born and at the end when babies were being born, I was shielding my eyes and saying, "TOO SOON! TOO SOOOON!!!!"

    Because I REMEMBERED how birth felt. Ohhhhhh I remembered.

  9. Don't talk about sleeping! Co-sleeping, controlled crying, whatever! That's a big no-no!

    Great list Robyn. Maybe you should make a pamphlet to hand out at mothers groups. :)

    Funnily enough, I think it often takes two babies to get the code in full. The first baby usually makes you an expert and its not till the second shatters the equation that you realise you know nothing!

  10. So very true! My mothers group has only been in existence for a few months but we seem to have started with these unspoken rules.

  11. And don't talk about what they eat!!!! I made the mistake on the weekend when a friend told me she doesn't force Miss 2 to eat breakfast to reply "well Master 5 gets breakfast, and if he doesn't eat it, he gets it for morning tea, and if he doesn't eat it then, he gets it for lunch". Immediately I knew I had broken the code :( - whoops!!!


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