6th March 2020

Your body parts ranked in order of parenting usefulness

You are precious. 

1. Boobs

Of course, if you’re breastfeeding, it goes without saying that boobs are very useful indeed. Essential, in fact. But! They are also pretty crucial if you’re not. There is nowhere your baby prefers resting their head (everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, after all) and, if you are generously cleavaged you can use them to carry small items (teething toys, phones, snacks, important paperwork…) around the house while your hands are full of baby. Genius inventions all round.

2. Hands

Hands would be more useful parenting accessories if we had, say, eight of them instead of the regulation two, but until the first mother-octopus hybrid is cooked up in a lab somewhere, we’ll appreciate what we’ve got. They carry things, they change nappies, they pick tiny bits of gunk out of eyes, they stroke and pat and comfort. Quite literally very handy indeed.

3. Ears

Useful for diagnosing a cry, in addition to, as the baby grows older and more mobile, listening out for unfortunate clonks. Can also be turned off efficiently if unsolicited parenting advice is offered.

4. Nose

A mother’s nose can identify their child’s poo at 20 paces, whether at home, in the park or in a soft play paradise. A powerful tool.

5. Mouth

Basically an on-the-move steriliser, although this is not NHS endorsed advice. Also crucial for the singing of nursery rhymes, the deployment of kisses and to keep one’s own body alive with essential nutrients like chocolate and caffeine.

6. Hips

If you’ve noticed that your hips have got bigger since becoming a mum, we like to think it’s for a reason – these things are perfect for balancing growing babies on which makes you look all earth-mothery and gorgeous, hence the expression “child-bearing hips” (thought it was about pregnancy and birth? No! It’s all about wearing the baby as if it’s a pelmet on an early-00s skirt popularised by Girls Aloud). Also useful for barging your way onto public transport when ramming the buggy into someone’s leg isn’t quite effective enough.

7. Legs/feet

Because that pram isn’t going to walk itself round the park 98 times in one morning just to get a nap out of the little monkey.

8. Eyes

Why so low? Because you know your baby so well via your other senses that you could indeed do this whole mum thing with your eyes closed. Also, they’re permanently sore from being so tired anyway.

9. Stomach

You might not like the way your tummy looks post-natally but it did a pretty good job of housing human life didn’t it? Also very good at storing food, which you’ll need a lot of as a knackered new mum, plus it’s a great place to bounce your baby as they get older because you don’t have time to shop for soft furnishings anymore.

10. Hair

Many mums get their hair chopped short after having babies, because they don’t have time to wash it/brush it/style it/extract it from their baby’s sticky hands and even stickier mouth 18 times an hour. Mainly only useful to help baby differentiate between their parents, unless you and your partner have identical hairdos, in which case: pointlessly high-maintenance, especially when the post-natal tufty regrowth starts making itself known.

99. Vagina

Did what it needed to do. Now likely to be largely ignored until you’re broody again.

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