8 parenting pain points portrayed in The Replacement

We've marked each one out of 10 for how realistic they are. Do you reckon we've scored them right?


If you’ve been watching this creepy BBC series, you’ll probably know the final episode is on tonight at 9pm.


Here at MFM we’ve been loving this melodrama about high-flying architect mum Ellen who goes on maternity leave and starts to get suspicious of her covering colleague – or ‘replacement’ – Paula.

Especially when her best friend Kay falls (or was pushed?) off the roof of a building they’re working on.

We’ve spotted loads of parenting pain points in the show over the last few weeks – classic parenting issues that come up for so many of us. 

But just how realistically has the show represented them? Here’s our rundown and marks out of 10…

1. Maternity leave fears

While we don’t know exactly yet what’s going on with Paula, we totally get Ellen’s angst when it comes to handing over her much-loved job to someone else. 

Will her colleagues come to like her replacement more than her? Will she do a better job? Ellen’s anxious looks are spot on when she watches Paula mingling with her work mates and giving a first-rate presentation.

Anyone who’s had to give up a job they care about for mat leave will really identify with this.

Marks out of 10: 9 – we know just how Ellen feels.


2. Unsolicited bump touches

There’s probably no time in your life when your body feels less your own than when you’re pregnant.

While it’s probably harder letting someone you don’t even like that much touch your bump (as with Ellen and Paula) even if it’s someone close, touching your bump without asking can be really, really annoying.

Marks out of 10: 9. Again, we totally feel Ellen’s pain on this one.


3. Handing the newborn baby over when you’re not sure you want to

Of course, it’s rude to say no when someone asks to hold your baby, right? But the tension is palpable when Paula asks for a hold – and Ellen complies.

The pained look on Ellen’s face as her dubious colleague takes the baby is sooooo good. And that hold seems to last for ever.

Marks out of 10: 9. Again, well played by Ellen.


4. Driving after a C-section

Ellen’s emergency c-section, we have to say, doesn’t seem to have affected her in the slightest. We didn’t notice any awkward walking or trouble picking the baby up.

And while we don’t know exactly how much time has passed before she starts driving around town trying to see what Paula’s up to, it didn’t feel like 6 weeks to us – which is about how long it takes before you can get behind the wheel again after such a major operation.

Marks out of 10: 4. The driving’s the biggest no no – but there’s not really any hint at all that Ellen’s had a c-section, so they could have done better on this one.


5. Safe sleeping

A lot of viewers called the BBC on the scene where Ellen places baby Lia in her cot – as it doesn’t stick to the general safety guideline of putting your little one in with their feet at the foot of the cot.

It’s good it got a discussion going, at least, but we reckon this is a pretty important parenting point it’s vital to get right.

Marks out of 10: 5. The fact they got it so wrong did bring up a discussion about safe sleeping, so at least there’s an upside.


6. Leaving your baby in the car

We still remember the furore when singer Rachel Stevens left her 2 kids (aged 4 years and 21 months) in a car alone a couple of years ago

The thing is – when it’s a newborn baby – it’s an absolute no-no. We don’t know about you, but we were watching the scene when Ellen leaves her baby in the car to go into a cafe with hands half across our eyes – not least because Paula even managed to get a snap of the unattended baby. Yikes.

Marks out of 10: 5. We don’t really think this is realistic as we just can’t imagine our mums doing this. But at least – just like with the safe sleeping issues – it’s brought the topic up for discussion.


7. Not wearing breast pads if you’re breastfeeding or pumping – especially if you’ve got a big event

OK, fair enough.

Ellen wasn’t expecting to be asked to speak at Kay’s funeral – but we really feel for her when she goes up to say a few words and realises her top is a milky mess. Her sheepish arm cross says it all.

If you breastfed – you’ve probably been here a few times right?

Marks out of 10: 8. This must have been a pretty bad day for Ellen all round…


8. Being told everything’s because of hormones

We’re pretty sure Paula’s up to something (all will be revealed tonight) – but we’re also finding it hard to put our finger on exactly what that is. 

And although Ellen is definitely acting a little manic, we can’t hep but feel bad for her when everyone – especially her psychiatrist husband Ian – blames her insecurities and distrust on hormones or the baby.

Just because we’ve had a baby or are pregnant does NOT mean all our sense of reason has gone. If something feels off to us, it might just because it is.

Though, of course, just what that is in this case is still to be uncovered…

Marks out of 10: 9. Nope, it’s not all down to hormones, OK?

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