Five Simple Steps to Becoming a Beta Mummy

Now, as you will know if you have read my (frankly brilliant) poem Introducing Alpha Mummy & Beta Mummy, I believe that all mums lie somewhere on a spectrum. At one end you have the True Alpha Mummy – practically perfect in every way, and nice to boot. At the other end of the scale you have the True Beta Mummy, who is… err… the opposite.  In fact, the True Beta Mummy is probably dangerously close to requiring an intervention from Social Services to be honest, but this is a light-hearted blog so let’s just say she’s a bit shit but means well.

I think many of us start out (pre-getting upduffed) imagining that we will be like Alpha Mummy, but if you’re anything like me you have gradually yet steadily bumped and skidded your way along the spectrum towards Beta Mummy-dom.

Here are my five steps to simply giving up on achieving Alpha status, and just accepting that inevitable decline:

  1. Don’t bother buying any pregnancy or parenting books. Accept that nothing (NOTHING) goes by the book as far as that pesky little wriggler inside you goes. Your bump will be too big or too small, you will put on too much or not enough weight, baby will almost certainly not arrive on its “due” date – and once it has made an appearance, it most certainly will not sleep/feed/burp/shit on cue. Tear up the books, I’m telling you.
  2. Do whatever it takes to survive the first few months. WHATEVER IT TAKES. Eat all the cake (sod the baby weight), drink wine if it helps (you don’t have to be teetotal even if breastfeeding), do the bare minimum of housework and ACCEPT ALL HELP OFFERED. Alpha Mummy may well manage to keep the baby happy, the house immaculate and the husband serviced, but seriously woman, just go take a nap. 
  3. Go to baby groups if you want to. If you don’t, don’t. Your baby will not be socially stunted and be a loner for all eternity (probably). Bear in mind, however, that a decent baby group can be a chance to eat biscuits, drink tea and chat to other desperate-for-adult-conversation souls – they can be a lifesaver. Baby massage is not essential for proving your love for your child, and if your baby is anything like mine, they’ll scream blue bloody murder through the whole thing in any case – NOT RELAXING. Don’t even get me started on those ridiculously expensive swimming lessons which are basically £15 a time to freeze your tits off, dunk a screaming baby, and then spend £300 at the end of the course on underwater photos that are undeniably cute, but THREE HUNDRED QUID?!
  4. Do not compare your baby/child to other babies/children. Easier said than done, but honestly you will feel so much better if you just accept that your kid is a moron from day one. Not sitting up yet? Whatever. Not walking by 9 months? Cool, your wine glass is safe on the coffee table a bit longer. Still not talking at a whole year old – yep, definitely a thicko, but hey. It’s all good, no need to leave urgent messages on the health visitor’s answerphone just yet. Alpha Mummies all around you might be signing up their little darlings for Mandarin classes at six months old, and enrolling them in ballet before they can stand, but my advice to you is to perfect your “don’t give a shit face” and let your offspring chew on his own toes a little longer.
  5. You know what – it is OK if you don’t enjoy spending every waking moment with your children. Frankly it’s OK not to even like your children all that much, a lot of the time (particularly if they happen to be 2 years old). They can be total shits – all of them – and unless you happen to be Alpha Mummy, you will lose your patience, you will scream and shout, you will mutter swears under your breath and you will question exactly what it was that made you think having children was a good idea. Which is precisely why you bloody well deserve a night out once in a while – and don’t you dare feel guilty about it!

When all is said and done, you love your kids and you want them to be OK. So, pick your battles, set your expectations sufficiently low, keep your wine cellar well stocked (what do you mean, you don’t have a wine cellar?!) – and the kids? The kids will be just fine.

 

EPSON MFP image

33 Comments

  • twotinyhands 04/07/2016 at 7:28 am

    Lovely explanation for new Mummmys what it’s really like! It is hard but if we shake that expectation early it makes things easier! Smiled throughout X

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  • James Hopes 04/07/2016 at 8:20 am

    Awesome as always! Although you’ve now made me feel bad about the Mandarin classes, which we never quite got round to booking. We’ll have to save that for the next child…

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  • Ohlucy 04/07/2016 at 9:44 am

    I didn’t buy any books and didn’t go to any baby classes! I was a beta mummy from day one haha! Lucy xx #triballove

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  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) 04/07/2016 at 11:02 am

    I love this – especially that final doodle with the reminder that we all think we could be a better Mummy but there is nothing wrong with being a Beta Mummy – that’s the best advice ever. None of us are perfect (not even Alpha Mummy although she’s a bit closer to it than I am!) and letting things go sometimes makes parenthood that little bit easier. I definitely agree with your advice to do whatever it takes to get through those first few months of parenthood (or through parenthood in general to be honest!) #triballove

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  • Rachel Bustin 04/07/2016 at 11:10 am

    I just love your posts. I feel like a beta mummy. Is it bad of me to not want to take my baby swimming as I’m scared of water myself and cannot swim? xx
    #triballove

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  • justsayingmum 04/07/2016 at 1:32 pm

    Love it! I think Beta Mummy style friends make the best friends too – pjs on the school run, wine at noon … no one needs to be judged by alpha mummy!

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  • mummyinatutu 04/07/2016 at 1:44 pm

    Once again another awesome post. I always think i could do better but as long as my bubba is smiling then im happy being a beta

    #triballove

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  • Mouse, Moo and Me Too 04/07/2016 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks – just wet myself a little bit at the hell disguised as calm that is baby massage, and then wet myself a lot bit at the £300 underwater photos! Those classes work out to be £1 a minute round here, preposterous. You can buy £30 of pretty decent cake and wine combo for half the hassle, quadruple the fun and barely get your hair wet.

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  • bridiebythesea 04/07/2016 at 5:52 pm

    Fab post Beta Mummy! Very well said, I tried the baby classes to start with but now we’ve given that up and the little lady is perfectly happy as far as I can tell. And yes to cake and wine in the first few months – keep that wine cellar well stocked! #triballove

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  • Nat 05/07/2016 at 11:33 am

    I do attend a baby group but it is purely for my toddlers benefit. I know there are other adults that want conversation there but quite frankly they talk a load of shit. I just let the kid loose and skulk in a corner!

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  • Squirmy Popple 05/07/2016 at 12:13 pm

    A brilliant list. I’m super anti-social, but mum and baby groups were so essential in those early days – without them, I would have gone mad just sitting in the house with my baby. That’s my number one piece of advice for new parents – GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

    A big yes on wine and cake as well. I never ate so much cake as I did in the early months, and I never gained weight because of the breastfeeding/buggy-walking combo. Win!

    #chucklemums

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  • josandelson 05/07/2016 at 1:15 pm

    Brilliant! those bloody swimming lessons what a waste of money. Took ours to aged 3 to a nearby town for 6 expensive lessons on how not to be afraid of water and swim the natural way (what’s the unnatural way?). Next time we took him to a normal pool, he sunk like a stone. Jo x

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  • Coffee&Bubbles 05/07/2016 at 2:18 pm

    You should write a Parenting Book on this……Oh wait! Oh crap! #chucklemums

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  • 2travellingtots 05/07/2016 at 3:48 pm

    Amazing! Always look forward to your posts! 🙂 x

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  • andanothertenthings 05/07/2016 at 7:50 pm

    Do Alpha mums actually exist? I’m more than happy to be a beta mum and surround myself with other beta mums. Also totally agree about the swimming – we refused to buy any if the photos at the end and we’re treated as though we’d just set the Child on fire! #chucklemums

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  • Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine 05/07/2016 at 9:51 pm

    But if no one buys pregnancy and parenting books…..

    I think you’ve got it spot on. It’s ok to be a little bit rubbish some (a lot?) of the time. You’re still the best mum they’ll ever have 😉

    #chucklemums

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  • Sarah - Mum & Mor 07/07/2016 at 8:41 am

    My little one is smiling, starting to giggle and is healthy. Clearly being a Beta Mummy isn’t all that terrible. 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

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  • Rhyming with Wine 07/07/2016 at 11:43 am

    So funny! Secretly I think that all Alpha Mummies are actually just Beta Mummies in disguise (hiding behind some sort of Cath Kidston poncho or similar), but personally I like my Beta Mummy right out there where I can see it! Snot stained and throwing wotsits across the soft play at / in the general vicinity of her feral offspring! I am she! These Mummies are my friends and I think they are the bestist! Brilliant post xx

    #ablogginggoodtime

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  • An imperfect mum (Catie) 07/07/2016 at 11:58 am

    I would really love to have that final poster for my wall hun. You really need to start a business selling your sketches. I loved your 3rd point the best – happy to say I certainly didn’t spend 300 quid on the underwater photos. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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  • occupation:(m)other 07/07/2016 at 4:19 pm

    I love this – not only is it funny but such words of wisdom too. I was drinking them up…funnily enough I had a conversation with my husband today about how we just need to survive, the house will look worse than it does now (it doesn’t look great), how I can’t wait to drink and how we need to squeeze in a few evenings in the next couple of months without our three year old. I think that final sentiment will be my mantra moving forward #ablogginggoodtime

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  • babiesbiscuitsandbooze 07/07/2016 at 8:06 pm

    You’re brilliant! Absolutely love this. Embracing the beta mummy is definitely the best way. I think it was in the unmumsy mum book that she said the best way to be is just to be say things unapologetically with complete conviction ‘Yes, he’s 3 and in nappies’ ‘yes, she sleeps in our bed’ ‘yes, I am drinking wine and breastfeeding’ and I think that is spot on! There’s too much advice and judgment and you just have to stop worrying about it all and get on with it. Fabulous post darling! #ablogginggoodtime

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  • charlotte 07/07/2016 at 8:42 pm

    I am a beta mummy, but if anybody asks especially my mother in law I am an alpha mummy #ablogginggoodtime

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  • tammymum 07/07/2016 at 8:59 pm

    That is a truely fantastic post! I started off at the alpha mum end of the spectrum – pre children. Now I certainly reside in beta mummy’s camp. Excellent advice and given so brilliantly. All hail the beta mummy! Xx #ablogginggoodtime

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  • serenityyou 09/07/2016 at 10:32 pm

    This is my first time reading your blog and I really loved this post. So funny especially number 4 had me in a right fit of giggles #KCACOLS

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  • The Speed Bump 09/07/2016 at 10:38 pm

    Love it! I’ve never been anything resembling an alpha mummy – I’m a beta mummy and proud! #KCACOLS

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  • Alex 10/07/2016 at 12:02 am

    I just love your drawings-they’re brill! As for Alpha mummy… She doesn’t exist. Apart from in the imaginations of women with no kids that is. #KCACOLS

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  • islandliving365 10/07/2016 at 12:13 pm

    Oh another brilliant one! We need to get the NHS giving this out to all new Mums #KCACOLS

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  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons 10/07/2016 at 1:44 pm

    This is brilliant! You speak the truth!The one that really got me was the baby swimming lessons – they were hell for us – I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea (I blame a friend who shared their uber cute underwater photo on facebook and I thought it looked great!) Turns out, getting you and your baby ready in group changing rooms, dunking us both underwater several times a lesson, and then the stress of getting out of the dripping wet costumes while the baby lies screaming on the floor wrapped in a towel, is not such a lovely bonding experience. Still, we got a cute underwater photo out of it (Yup, total sucker over here!) #KCACOLS

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  • thesingleswan 10/07/2016 at 9:44 pm

    I have always been a beta mummy and gave up any aspirations of ever being an alpha mummy long before I even got pregnant. Sometimes we all just put ourselves under too much pressure. Pen x #KCACOLS

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  • laughing mum 11/07/2016 at 11:50 am

    yep! another Beta here! no pregnancy books, no baby classes… didn’t even realise there was the option to NOT drink wine (no cellar but well stocked wine fridge lol) and I just thought that “not talking yet” was brilliant for a bit more peace and quiet especially once daughter number 2 arrived, as daughter number 1 never shut the hell up! I also qualified (a long time ago) in selective hearing daughter 1 can talk for hours – as I said- and i can happily sit and pretend Im listening while watching and lip reading the programme behind her. Everyones happy 😉 #puddinglove

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  • Mummy Pat 18/01/2017 at 10:07 pm

    This would have been so much more helpful first time around then trying to get to grips with books, etc. – not even trying to be an alpha Mum, just trying to survive first-time parenthood. But we’re on our second now, and not bothering with buying loads of baby stuff (no new buggy this time round, better cot) and – big surprise – Baby #2 is a lot more relaxed.

    Reply
  • Like An Urchin In School Uniform - 08/09/2017 at 7:46 am

    […] My original Feral Child, FC#1, has his first day at school next week.  Determined not to start his/our first ever school year term as a totally incompetent, useless, disorganised Beta Mummy, I have taken steps to shuffle at least a little way along the Alpha/Beta Mummy Spectrum. […]

    Reply

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