I've finished today's nursery run, and was interested as usual in the outfits of my mummy colleagues, oh and the odd daddy one, but they're usually too scruffy to mention. But I am pondering whether we need to have the right buggy to fit in.
When I first had my son it was crucial to have the right buggy, and the right changing bag. Keep trying to think what would happen it your buggy wasn't right, I know my old friend M had a travel system which was far from right. She wasn't sentenced to coventry, but hmm, I think playground mummy mentality meant that not many people chatted randomly to her whist she had her buggy out. Lovely little M's mummy on the other hand got it absolutely spot on, with a Jane (four hundred quid ish's) buggy, and a sixty pound changing bag. Needless to say she had loads of mummy friends, course the fact she's also nice and fun is coincidental.
I had a mothercare brand buggy for three months, and had no friends at all in that time. I then switched to a Maclaren (about a hundred pounds then) buggy, and made lots of mummy mates. My friends from antenatal class even went as far as researching which buggy was most popular with artists and people who went to openings (again the Maclaren). Of course all this leads one to question are me and my friends only interested in the sort of shallow person who would judge you by your buggy? The answer to this is probably mostly yes, because you do want to have those little short hand conversations with people about clothes, and shoes, and bags, and buggies and have them get it. Obviously no one I know, or at least no one I like would judge a mummy by her buggy, but it helps.
Now the children are getting bit too big for their buggies, we're moving on the the next step, cars. In London most people I knew did not drive around on a weekday so we all had no idea what sort of car anyone but our neighbours and very close friends had. Thus for mummies, the idea of a car as a status symbol was defunct. Not so, perhaps for daddies and other men who seem to have ways of finding out one's brand of car.
However here where people drive cars are immensely important, and it can be a terrible mistake to get the car wrong. I've got a real vested interest here because I adore my car, especially when shiny and clean with its roof box on. In my head it then looks like Sindy's family car from the 1970's, just right for whizzing around town or popping through the country. However, it is quite cheap, and Japanese, so could be seen as being a little, well, cheap. And my friend G persists in calling it a Sirloin which always upsets me.
However I think the absolute worst car for a mummy lady type to have would be a Ford Ka. Just dreadful. Then probably a Nissan Micra (not teenagified), or another similar type. I also struggle with new Mini's and new Beetle's, they are cool, but I think only to us, thirtysomethings who would really rather an old one, but need something reliable. Thus, I think they probably are not cool at all, plus Jeremy Clarkson's wife drives one, and even if he's sort of old school cool these days, she's not at all (too much make up).
People carriers, just mean you've had too many children, and need to keep transporting them and their friends around. The worst thing that can happen in my view with people carriers is when a family gets a new one, and the mummy, 'cos its usually her, is really proud of 'her new car'. No. No, Don't stoop that low, you know if you chose your own new car, it'd be nippy, and ideally have only two doors and a sun roof, not seven and room for the dogs.
Old school is always cool, whether this is a tatty old van, Volvo, or even battered up car. Trouble is old school doesn't always work, or get you where you are going. Other hazard with vans are sitting backward. No-one likes to clear up sick.
In Hastings, the SUV rules as cool, preferably with some logs, or manly looking machinery in the back. It's a proper Ute, like they used to talk about on Neighbours but works, and, if this is important to you, has some power and can go quickly.n.b. personally I couldn't care less how fast a car goes, slower the better as I only like driving at maximum speed limit, and prefer if husband forced to do the same.
Love the idea of having SUV, for first time husband and I have agreed over choice of car. He can be manly and take it to the woods, and I can be girly and take it to the beach. And you never know we might even park in one someday.
So, buggies are important, as short hand for who you are, so are cars, but they're far more complicated, because for one thing, practicality comes in to the equation, and for another the whole family has to have a view. Pesky kids!