Are you an adult woman singing Old McDonald and wondering why no-one else finds this odd? Caroline Corcoran has your back…
The Newborn Stage
Everyone told you you had to get out there and meet people so despite the fact that your baby is fast asleep in the pram (you’ve so far made your ‘I have got a baby with me, I promise!’ ‘joke’ eight times), you’re there, on the mat, sitting in a circle that is giving you Year 3 assembly deja vu and singing. Everyone else can direct their lyrics at gummy crawlers. You just keep catching the eye of a 34 year-old chiropodist named Laura and that’s awkward.
The Why-Is-Everyone-Else-So-Comfortable-With-This-Vibe Stage
In this circle are lawyers and medical professionals and all of them seem more down with this than you. Is there something wrong with you that you feel like you’d be much better at the Incy Wincy Spider moves if you’d had maybe one and a half G&Ts?
The Warming Up Stage
This is still quite weird but every now and again your baby throws you a bone by grinning at some bubbles or trying to give a big sloppy open-mouthed kiss to a teddy bear and that, much like gin, makes you lose some inhibitions. Guys! Bubbles! Awesome!
The Nothing-To-Do-With-The-Baby Stage
The baby? Sure, you’re technically here for him but now you have met some human women who like to talk about Made In Chelsea and the odd bit of politics, you’re well into baby groups, AKA the pre-runner for the hour your worn-out small person sleeps in a pram for an hour while you drink tea in a coffee shop and breathe.
The Oh-Shit-Where’s-He-Gone Stage
Since three months is now the mental equivalent to about three years post-baby, it seems a long time since you found the whole thing embarrassing and awkward. Except… now your baby’s crawling, and spends most of his time trying to climb up the teacher/ get under a table/ nick that maraca from Bobby across the room, you’re getting flashbacks to the lonely times when he was asleep in the pram leaving you to do an awkward Wind The Bloody Bobbin Up by yourself.
The Coffee Shop? Distant Memories, My Friend Stage
You think your wriggly almost-toddler is sitting in a coffee shop while you discuss the intricacies of the Celebrity Big Brother line-up? You’re, erm, an optimist, we’ll give you that. Here is the new reality: at best you can hope to neck a coffee (takeaway cup, hedge your bets) while working a mid-conversation ricecake conveyer belt system then leg it out after ten minutes, while the mums with newborns – all your mates have gone back to work, FYI, sad times – settle in for the afternoon. Still, you had more than three hours sleep last night so… swings and roundabouts.