We’ve all seen the endless ‘how to’ articles, passively patronising childless young professionals about newborn gifts and scaring the shit out of sleep-deprived new mums with lists about how not to mess up your kid from day one.
Well let’s turn it on its head. This is The British Maple’s definitive guide on how to be friends with people WITHOUT kids.
Fake it until you make it. If, like me, motherhood has stripped you of all your personality, wit and charm, then this is a the most important factor. More tired than David Hasselhoff’s career? Caff up, slap on and shut up – no one likes a Tired Tina. Don’t know what’s cool to wear? Watch 30 seconds of This Morning, see what Goddess Willoughby is wearing and pick ONE element to copy – a full cloning just reeks of Mum’s On Tour (For The First Time In A Decade)
Don’t talk about poo. As any mum knows this is a staple topic of conversation among other parents but believe it or not, it is not acceptable in polite society. No one needs to know how proud you are of your first post-baby movement (or that it was scarier than the birth itself). Your kidless bestie doesn’t want to hear about the General’s hand-in-nappy code BROWN situation last week (yes, this actually happened). Talk about the weather instead – that’s equally as shitty this time of year.
NEVER discuss the state of your post-birth v’jay-jay. War zone, apprentice butcher, two-become-one are all phrases non gratae when enjoying a civilised glass of Sauv Blanc with the girls (no mother is ever called a girl again BTW). They probably still tend to their lady gardens like a horticulturist does their Hydra Africana (and yes, I did Google ‘Flowers that look like vaginas’ for comedy value).
For the love of God, read up on Game Of Thrones (or any popular TV show that’s on after 9pm) I don’t know about you but with my fragile emotions and rollercoaster hormones I sought refuge in the safety of nice shows like Gilmore Girls and How I Met Your Mother when on maternity leave. The rest of the world didn’t. They were lazily binge-watching GOT and other such popular, concentration-heavy shows often on after my bedtime. See my first point about faking it…all you need to know is that Jon Snow is FIT.
Check out their LinkedIn profiles. While forgetfulness is a common factor within mothering circles, childless peeps expect a certain foundation of knowledge…such as knowing what each other does as a job. This may seem a very basic step but it is fundamental to the health of any social occasion. Mummying is your job, know theirs too! I am ashamed to admit that I have stumbled through more than one dinner without actually knowing what my bestie was currently doing for work. SHAMEFUL
Limit chat about your miniature humans. They will undoubtedly ask you about the kids (it’s only polite, after all). Limit your answer to under two minutes…any longer and they will be secretly unfollowing you on Facebook, texting each other on their way home and planning a brunch when they know it’s the Lord’s penultimate swimming class (yes, you probably did go into that much detail without knowing it!)
Don’t over-dress. Nothing screams I AM A MUM ON THE TOWN WAHOOOOOO like wearing too much make up, teetering in too high heels and fidgeting with a skirt that should’ve been relegated to the charity shop as soon as the first stretch mark appeared. If in doubt, wear a scarf and be the boho floaty one.
Don’t drink too much…remember, you are still up at 5am tomorrow, regardless of your temporary freedom (see my first point). The Freedom Flaunters will encourage copious amounts of drinks with the argument “you never get a night off, enjoy yourself” This is true. Unfortunately we are never so lucky as to get the morning after off too!
Check out the ‘Trending’ articles…but don’t oversell yourself! If you are going to venture into convos about Syria and the US election, please be prepared to say more than ” it’s so upsetting, isn’t it” and “how fucked is that country?” (both phrases are interchangeable with both topics, FYI)
Do not ask ‘so when you think you’ll have kids?” – you will immediately be blacklisted.
And finally, do not launch into a caffeine-fuelled tirade about not knowing the meaning of the word knackered when one of the Femmes Sans Enfants indubitably declares how exhausted she is. They will NEVER understand until they have kids.