In recent years there have been all too many moanings about that curse of modern society sometimes known as the yummy mummy.
Back in 2009, as the recession took bite, an English tabloid was gleefully predicting the death of the species, (which nevertheless continued to fill its pages) with the suggestion that now mummies would no longer be able to afford to be so yummy. But roll on three years, and take a glance across our media, and there is still plenty of yummy around, and still plenty of people grizzling about its presence, as for instance, the owner of one London-based cafe has, declaring that it was forced to close due to the "yummy mummies" who "were ruining Primose Hill". Yes, the ASBO, surely, was invented for this particular societal scourge.
But yummy mummies aren't just in Primrose Hill. They are also in the coffeeshops of Leith, where I live. Nor are they rich – just wealthy enough to buy the odd babyccino. The distinguishing features of this breed are merely that they are visible and attractive. In short, all you have to do to be mistaken for one is to stroll out with a baby and a buggy and at least some gestural slap of make-up and look at least like you are enjoying your momentary escape from the domestic chores back home. Every now and again, when I see some small gaggle of mothers out with their babies, I experience a wistful pang of envy, as if I've caught a glimpse of some dream I could never have. Except that rewind a few years, and that's exactly what I was doing.
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When we moan about the yummy mummies, we are suggesting that just to be able to drink coffee in public with one's children is glamorous and indulgent. We are implying that the only place for mums and their kids is in the home. And surely motherhood should be allowed to be just a little more yummy than that.