Parenthood
Ever been stung by a comment? Say hello to the Jellyfish mother
Bridget Jones introduced us to the Jellyfisher.

I over-identify with Bridget Jones a lot.

Like A LOT. Big pants. Inability to act cool. Wobbly bits. Over-indulgence in alcohol. Fan of singing loudly to myself while drinking alcohol.

Some of you may remember a concept introduced to us in the second Bridget Jones movie - the Jellyfisher.

No, not someone who is a fan of the sparkly 80s sandals or who spends hours at the beach rockpooling. A Jellyfisher is a woman, an acquaintance, or sometimes even a friend, who inserts thinly-veiled, stinging comments into what would otherwise be a perfectly normal conversation. As Bridget puts it:

"Rebecca is a Jellyfisher. Talking to her is like swimming in a lovely warm sea, then suddenly something stings you and next thing everything is back to normal except a bit of you really hurts."

We have ALL come across one of these women at one stage in our lives but once I had children I discovered the most dangerous variety of them all - The Jellyfish Mother.

How do recognise one of these creatures? You know you've been stung when you hear things like:

1. "Aww they had a great playdate! She must have been starving though she ate two dinners..."
Read as: do you not feed your child then?

2. "Ah look at them - it's so hard to keep them clean isn't it?"
Read as: your kids are filthy.

3. "He's so full of energy...very spirited isn't he?"
Read as: he's a little brat and he broke my lamp.

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4. "It must be so hard to spend the time with them when you work"
Read as: your children are emotionally deprived because of your career.

5. "Are you sick? You're quite pale"
Read as: when you don't wear makeup you look like you need to be hospitalised.

6. "I see from Facebook you were out again. I don't know how you fit it all in with the kids"
Read as: you must never see your kids you dirty stop-out.

7. "I just love how you don't care what people think of you!"
Read as: everyone's talking about you, and it's not good.

8. "I wish I was as chilled-out about parenting as you are"
Read as: you're negligent.

9. "God you look amazing when you make the effort"
Read as: I've only ever seen you in a puke-stained tracksuit.

10. "Did you lose weight?"
Read as: because you need to.

11. "Is he lonely as an only child?"
Read as: why wouldn't you want six children like me?

12. "You'd know since you had your kids later in life"
Read as: you left it very late didn't you?

13. "I know you're so busy but we really would prefer home-made goods for the bake sale"
Read as: please stop buying muffins from Tesco you lazy cow.

14. "Which is fine if you're comfortable with that sort of thing..."
Read as: that sort of thing is extremely weird and only a freak would allow it.

The Jellyfish Mother lives to make other mums feel bad about themselves so what can you do to avoid a painful sting? Lifeguards have some very transferable advice:

1. Identify the species and its frequent habitat

2. Try to avoid deliberate contact

3. Don't provoke

4. If stung move away and treat the wound quickly.

That's if you're not too busy with your work of course...

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parenting, funny, being a mum, mum shaming, Real Parenting, Real mums