15 Tips for Being a Yummy Mummy: Or, How to Become a Member of The School-Car-Park-Mafia

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  1. Workout gear is entirely acceptable for school drop-offs, but never for pickups. Activewear must be clearly identifiable as such, and be from Lorna Jane, 2XU, Lulu Lemon or equivalent. Not acceptable: anything Old Navy, generic black ‘yoga pants’ (that are actually maternity wear), t-shirts from bachelorette weekends/other potentially sordid events, or anything else made from non-wicking fabric. Sports bra must boost, never flatten.
  2. Purchase quality sunglasses: something Italian-designed, impractical and completely incompatible with young children is preferable; with the exception of The Aviators, Ray-Bans are to be avoided, and Oakleys just scream ‘bourgeois’ and ‘I married up a caste!’
  3. Constantly look efficiently busy, but never stressed or harried (this creates wrinkles); it’s a fine line.
  4. Take up a charitable cause. Make sure everyone in the school community knows what it is. Orphans (even though it’s not the 1800s) are generally a hackneyed-but-safe bet, as is anything overseas that deals with the exploitation of children and/or women, but ideally both. Animal causes are to be avoided at all costs: They are exclusively for cat-owning spinsters; 14-year-old girls brimming with idealism and newly aware that *some* makeup may have been tested on animals, or college-aged males trying to improve their chances of getting laid this weekend. Ensure you can express adequate levels of passion about declared cause.
  5. As a minimum, you must have a cleaning person, but ideally, a nanny; bonus points if she is foreign (British is acceptable), attractive (but not Brazilian model hot), and capable of teaching your children another language and/or instrument and/or has published something relating to child developmental psychology.
  6. When it comes to food, drink green smoothies in clear, litre-sized, plastic, BPA-free (glass? even better!) containers; homemade is preferable in order to justify your $2000 Thermomix that’s only used annually to make scones for the school bake sale. Also, make sure you have a self-diagnosed food intolerance to a ubiquitous staple ingredient, and that everyone is aware of it. Vegetarianism, veganism, Paleo and/or Whole 30 are not acceptable alternatives for an intolerance. Be able to discuss the health benefits of SCOBYs in general conversation. And remember when it comes to milk: Rice – good; dairy – bad; soy –questionable.
  7. Outsource, outsource, outsource!
  8. Children’s lunchboxes must contain at least one of the following: sushi; those mini quiche-muffin thingies seen on Pinterest; veggie-laden, wholemeal-bread sandwiches cut into cute shapes; notes telling your child how great/special/important they are; homemade (by the nanny) cookies/muffins/bars that must be sugar-free, dairy-free, ‘bad’-fat-free, gluten-free and (duh!) nut-free; a rotating basis is acceptable.
  9. Part-time paid work in your career is acceptable, but not having a career. Retail and hospitality are not ‘careers’. Being a ‘mum-trepreneur’ by blogging about fashion, parenting, lifestyle (whatever the hell that means), and cooking (which includes making and photographing delicious, wholesome recipes for Insta) are also good options so your four years at Dartmouth don’t go to waste.
  10. Apply the Kidman Philosophy: Never admit to any ‘work’ you’ve had done. This also includes dental work, but excludes spray tanning, waxing, facials, or hairdressing: it’s good to admit to covering your greys; it shows you’re humble.
  11. Only the following makes of the seven-seater are acceptable for your (minimum four, but no more than six) children: Volvo, BMW, Toyota (Land Cruiser model only), Mercedes, Land Rover, Chevrolet Suburban (for those in Red States only). Never drive anything that could be described as a mini-van or a ‘people-mover’. You don’t want people to think you’re Catholic: your children are status symbols, and not the result of too much wine and/or a failed basal thermometer!
  12. Join the school board. Make suggestions about educational policy/teaching/homework/the general running of the school about which you have no professional knowledge of; never defer to those who do, because people respect those who stick to their guns (even when entirely and glaringly misinformed, like Trump). Sorry – and don’t make gun jokes at school.
  13. Cultivate an online profile that shows how wonderful your life is. This includes a Facebook-agram account of Photostock-esque images of family holidays (skiing in Aspen, followed by Europe and Hawaii are preferable), baking adventures at home, date nights (food porn ‘money shots’ preferable), children’s awards and/or achievements, freshly groomed family pets, and anything else that indicates how generally well-behaved-yet-spirited your children are. Quirky, funny posts about wine are acceptable, as long as you tag your friends so no one thinks you’re secretly an alcoholic.
  14. Remember: once reserved for only the most Catholic of Catholics, having four-plus children is now on par with owning a holiday house in Aspen and/or Nantucket. A mortgage only lasts for 30 years! Children are a lifetime of debt!
  15. Never aspire to be a MILF. Too much potential crossover with Real Housewives. Tacky.

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