What kind of mum are you?

Knowing what kind of mum you are will help you deal easily with other mums.

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To you, a play-date is a leisurely chance for your kids to have fun while you get to know another mother over coffee, but the truth is, you might not always get along splendidly with junior’s BFF’s mum. This cheat sheet of play-date profiles helps you identify the different types of mothers you’ll encounter, so that you’ll wise up to ways to deal with their idiosyncrasies. Who knows, you might even recognise yourself!


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1. The dump-and-run mum

This mum is not looking to make friends. Instead, she’s looking to unload her kids somewhere for free. So as soon as she arrives, she’ll be slinging her toddler out of the car before you can say, “Do you want to come in for a drink?”. Her child is unfazed (he’s probably used to this), happily waving and shouting, “Bye mummy, have a nice day!” Hang on, nice day? He was only supposed to be with you for an hour...

Most likely to: Collect her child late.
Least likely to: Reciprocate the play-date any time soon.
What's really going on: She’s not off to spend the day in a spa, but more likely to run errands or duck into the office to finish some work.
Is this you: If you regularly need to offload your child onto other mums, you’re doing too much. “Find a more workable solution to meet the demands of your lifestyle, or you’ll just run yourself ragged,” warns psychologist Mia Scotland.


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2. The overstayer

The polar opposite of The Dump-And-Run Mum, getting The Overstayer off your premises before dark is a serious challenge. She lures you into a false sense of ease when you first meet, as she’s warm and chatty, but then a relaxed coffee somehow turns into lunch. You pretend not to mind sharing the stir-fry you cooked for dinner, but when she asks what’s for dessert, you realise your home has become a free drop-in centre.

Most likely to: Bring all three of her children — and the family dog.
Least likely to: Help you tidy up.
What's really going on: She isn’t aware that you have other things to do. And the idea of spending her afternoon alone sitting on the bench while the kids run about in the park makes her feel so depressed, she’d rather settle in your kitchen. Take it as a compliment that she’s chosen you and your biscuit tin.
Is this you: “If you’re a stay-at-home mum, arrange something every day that involves being with adults,” Scotland suggests. “In time, you’ll meet other mums who are in the same boat.” If you impose yourself on people, it won’t help you make lasting friendships.

Photos: INGimage