I’ve always found the words ‘mum’ and ‘mummy’ a bit cringy – they’re just, well, so mumsy. It took me a good few months to associate the term ‘mummy’ with myself (OK I’m still getting used to it). And even now I sometimes wince. Let’s be honest, the very fact the word ‘yummy’ had to be stapled onto the word ‘mummy’ to begin with, suggests our culture reckons that usually they’re not.

But at some point during your baby’s first few months you realise a fundamental change has happened, not so much to you, as to others’ perception of you. While you are pretty much the same person you ever were, albeit a bit tireder and with slightly worse hair, to the man (or woman) on the street, you are defined by your ‘mumminess’.

I’m not sure exactly when I had the uncomfortable realisation that, when I walked down the road, strangers no longer saw a young woman (OK youngish) who coincidentally happened to be pushing a buggy with a small person inside it. They saw a mother, and that was it.

But while new mothers are famous for boring single friends to tears by droning on about breastfeeding and nappies and the price of childcare, the truth of the matter is that we don’t just want to be mummies. We do, desperately, want to talk about other stuff. We want to start sentences that don’t begin with the words ‘I’m just checking little Felix’s nappy,’ or ‘I’ve just got to finish giving Grace this bottle, then we can go.’

We were a person before we had children, and dear readers we are still that person. It’s just that all the other thoughts and worries and passions we had before have had to jostle along a little bit so some new thoughts and worries can fit into our heads as well. Think of our brains as an extremely crowded Tube carriage. On the Central Line. Think about your own brain during the first flurry of love, while perhaps you also have a really important meeting at work to prepare for. That’s our brains, all the time.

But we still love seeing our single friends and indeed our married friends without children. And let’s be hones, while we do love, love, love talking endlessly about our children and all their infinitely fascinating little habits, we – or certainly the mummies I know at any rate – also particularly love not talking about them . We love talking about books and films and fashion and politics and music and new hot restaurants (even if we probably won’t go to them).

In fact all the things we talked about before we had children. Funny that, us still being the same person isn’t it? With basically the same interests, the same personality and the same sense of humour, just some new interests and concerns too. Who on earth would’ve thought.

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