1) You’re just back from your 20-week scan and all is well! Your baby is fighting fit and you’ve never felt better. You treat yourself to 20 minutes with your feet up. Do you use this time to…?
A: Browse the internet for the very latest in baby classes (he’s never too young to learn and you should really get him booked in now)
B: Plan how you’re going to alter your funkiest outfit to accommodate your bump – you may be 5 months pregnant but you’re not going to turn up the THE chicest party in town looking like you’re wearing a sack!
C: Meditate. (You weren’t feeling particularly stressed but you can never be too careful…)
2) When you imagine life in 2 years time, do you think you’ll be…?
B: Probably introducing your baby to the delights of summer in Biarritz
C: Two years? You have no idea – you just like to go with the flow
3) When you found out you were pregnant, did you…?
A: Start calling in the best local primary school prospectuses
B: Blaze a trail to Prada and Gucci and stock up on Baby Dior goodies
C: Airily wave away all horror stories of labour – it’s all about attitude and you couldn’t be any more relaxed
4) Its 4 pm and your boss arrives at your desk with a pile of work she needs doing – by yesterday. You were planning to spend the evening reading up on antenatal classes. Do you…?
A: Ditch the classes and stay late at the office – you need to stay in with your boss as it’s a great company and you see your offspring’s name on the MD’s door in 20 years time…
B: Ask what’s top priority and reschedule your facial and manicure for an hour later
C: Light some incense sticks and start mentally chanting ‘om’ to yourself. You absolutely refuse to get stressed.
5) Your attitude to fitness now you’re pregnant is:
A: As rigorous as it always was – you’ll be back in your size 10s before you know it, and besides, being fit should mean a faster labour (You have no intention of being last over the finish line…)
B: That you’ll start running and dieting the minute after the baby’s born. There’s NO WAY you’re waddling round the gym looking less than pristine!
C: It’s yoga, swimming and walking all the way – perfect for letting your mind roam free and beaming positive thoughts down to the growing baby in your belly
6) When people ask you if you’ve thought of names yet, do you…?
A: Make it clear that you’ll be going for old-school, traditional options – whoever heard of a company chairman called Darius?
B: Inform them that you’ll be taking your inspiration from the most cutting edge artist at the time of his birth
C: Tell them you’re going to wait until after the baby is born to see what he ‘grows into’
7) A woman at antenatal classes regales you with tales of how her ‘clever’ baby has righted herself after weeks in the breech position. Do you…?
A: Tell yourself you would have been off to the acupuncturist quick-smart in her position – you can’t believe she left it that long!
C: Feel really pleased for her (although think to yourself that if she’d spent as much time crawling around on her hands and knees as you had to promote a good birthing position there’d have been no need for all that worry!)
8) When you first lay eyes on baby, will you think…?
A: “He’s the most handsome thing I’ve ever seen – those looks will take him a long way!”
B: “That Prada babygrow will fit perfectly!”
C: “I can’t wait to spend the next 6 weeks enjoying our babymoon – good job I stocked up on dressing gowns…”
Mostly A: The Alpha Mum
You were probably an ‘alpha female’ at school, have blitzed your way up the corporate ladder and are determined that becoming a parent isn’t going to cramp your style one teeny bit! “You love being a mum but are in danger of treating your baby a little like an extension of yourself – you MUST remember that he’s his own person from even the earliest days, and that children often grow up to resent a ‘pushy parent’,” says Elizabeth Cullen, founder of nursery chain Happy Times. “‘Alpha mums’ put themselves under a lot of pressure to achieve and because it’s such a ‘normal’ way to live, they forget that not everyone can take the pace. You’re a classic perfectionist but just because you didn’t get your child into chess club, doesn’t mean he’s doomed to fail!”
Why you’re a fab mum: Because you’ll make sure that your child has every opportunity to learn and grow. Remember to listen to what he wants rather than steam ahead with your own criteria.
Whoa there! Take it easy by: Cultivating a bit more of a ‘live and let live’ attitude. Take pride in your child’s achievements rather than comparing him to others.
Mostly B: The Uber-Cool Mum
“The ‘celebrity baby’ culture will not have passed you by,” says Elizabeth. “Labels and names mean a lot to you – they’re indicative of your status and the fact you like the good life. This only comes from a good place, but you must make sure you’re not basking in the reflective glory of a child who’s the envy of (the mothers) of his classmates because this year he’s skiing three times in Meribel (and he’s only 2!). You’re determined that being a mum won’t dent your ranking on the social ladder, and come across as almost the opposite of the ‘earth mother’ – not for the ‘disposables v washables’ debate! You’ll have been the envy of other mums-to-be with your perfect maternity outfits, groomed hair and perfect make-up, and you’re determined that once your baby arrives, nothing’s going to change…”
Why you’re a fab mum: It’s the very ‘unmumsyness’ about you that makes you a fun and stimulating parent.
Whoa there! Take it easy by: Ensuring you don’t communicate to your child that the ‘good life’ is the only life. Just because it’s not designer doesn’t mean it’s not good enough.
Mostly C: The Most Laid Back Ever Mum
This is the least common type of mum, according to Elizabeth – “first time mums especially tend to be very nervous, and are rarely as laid back as they’re pretending to be.” And although The Most Laid Back Ever Mum is the polar opposite of The Alpha Mum, she’s no less daunting. “If you’re this type of mum, you’re probably the envy of your friends,” says Elizabeth. “They wish they could be as relaxed as you in their attitude towards motherhood. But make sure you’re not overdoing it in your quest to ‘out-relax’ everyone else – you may be as laid back as an ironing board but everyone around you will be stressed to the max trying to match your nonchalance.”
Why you’re a fab mum: Because you have the guts to let your kids ‘be’ and they’ll probably be happier for it. You’re a real free spirit.
Whoa there! Take it easy by: Understanding that not everyone shares your relaxed attitude to life (and that not everyone wants to). Your super-cool attitude can get a little – dare we say it – annoying at times!
How to rein in your own competitive streak
“Ask yourself if you’re feeling a bit insecure about either your parenting skills or your own upbringing,” says childcare expert Elizabeth Cullen. “Perhaps you feel that your childhood wasn’t quite ‘good enough’, and therefore you’re not exposing your own child to the finer things in life, or it may be that you’re a real perfectionist and you can’t bear the thought that you’re not doing everything you can for your child. But you must remember to cut yourself some slack. What your child wants most of is time with YOU. If you can’t relax for you, then do it for your baby – overstimulation isn’t good for children. We all need time to daydream, and God forbid, chill out a bit!”
How to cope with other competitive mums
“It’s hard, but try not to let ‘competitive mum’ get you down,” says Elizabeth. “Ask yourself why she feels the need to broadcast her achievements – she’s probably looking for reassurance, and there’s no better way of feeling good about yourself than making everyone else feel as if they’re somehow ‘lacking’.”