Only, like, written. Never mind the rules of Fight Club, it’s the five rules of baby group that us mums really need to know about, as Rachel Tompkins explains…
Never boast about your child ‘sleeping through’. It might have happened just once, or you might be lucky to enjoy 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night with your baby. Whatever the scenario, just don’t dare talk about it. That is if you want to make, or keep, any fellow sleep-deprived mum-friends.
Perfect your poker face
The poker face will be necessary multitudinous times. Whether it’s to hide your horror when everyone breaks out into a tune-less rendition of The Wheels On The Bus, or to stop your eyes bulging when someone you’ve just met proceeds to divulge all about her piles/stitches/post-birth sex life. It can also come in handy when you know your baby is responsible for the stomach-churning stench of poo after emptying his bowels for the first time in four days (yes it is possible!).
Find your tribe
Seek out someone with an item of clothing you covet. It’s only natural that us humans gravitate towards people who we have something in common with. So when you stumble into a baby group, sleep deprived and high on caffeine, the easiest way to avoid a billy-no-mates moment of terror, is to scan the room, identify someone with an item of clothing/shoes/bag you covet, and make a beeline for them. The aim isn’t to steal their prized possession, but it’ll give a you fair idea that you at least like something the same. Or it’ll be a conversation starter at the very least.
Once you’ve been introduced to someone’s precious cherub, never, I repeat never, forget their name. That baby is their pride and joy, so committing the heinous crime of forgetting its name is a surefire way of writing yourself out of their good books for ever.
Don’t dare ask about anyone’s birth story. Yes, it’s common ground. But however lucky you were, chances are it’s going to include some gruesome bits. And, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who pops out babies like shelling peas. it’s guaranteed to go on, and on. Most baby groups only last an hour after all…