In Praise of the Mum Cut *

*Not a reference to an episiotomy.  Don’t worry, you can read on now.  The way ahead is clear.

Three weeks after my son was born, I squeezed into a brand new American Apparel bodycon dress, extra-small size.  It fitted.  The victory had been won.  Normal service was resumed, I was back in American Apparel apparel (if that’s a thing) and as the Daily Mail might have put it, I had snapped back into shape and was flaunting my “baby body.”

At least, that’s how I imagined it.  A few hours later I was limping home, clutching my abdomen and on the phone to the doctor’s surgery because my C-section scar was bleeding, probably due to the chafing from the dress.  Lesson learned:  never rush getting back to normal.  

In time, I have come to accept that I never will be back to normal.  Instead, there is a new normal, one that consists of being asked by the landlady of the local pub if I am pregnant again approximately every other time I go in due to my slightly wobbly tummy-a legacy not only of pregnancy and childbirth, but also of the enduring love for chocolate I have been cultivating over the past few years whilst using breastfeeding as a handy excuse.  One that involves wearing wellington boots as a fashion statement on the basis that they are practical and anyway it rained a lot this winter, and one that, until now, involved desperately trying to hang onto the last vestiges of my youth and my pre-baby self by having very long, impractical hair.

Hair that was not brushed, AT ALL, for five months after my son’s birth.  Hair that regularly knots into one enormous dreadlock at the back after a few days of no brushing.  Hair that is now mostly used as a rope for climbing, or clinging onto Mummy in the event of some major emergency like needing to climb onto the window sill and yell repeatedly at the birds outside.

But all the celebrities have long hair, right?  This was the thought that assailed me as I flicked through the copies of Hello magazine in the hairdresser’s as I waited in earnest for the moment of reckoning, the moment when my long tresses lay, cast aside, on the floor.  I will never be a celebrity now, without my long hair.  I will never be this random one, married to Peter Andre (THANK GOD) or this one I’ve never seen before, who appears to be having twins with Ronnie Wood all of a sudden, even though he looks like a withered tree riddled with Dutch elm disease.  I WILL NEVER BE A CELEBRITY NOW.  I may never even get a boyfriend.  Don’t all men love long hair?

I closed the magazine, remembering that I don’t want to be a celebrity and I don’t care what men think.  The only opinion I care about is my own, and my own opinion was that I had Bad Hair.

It was when I saw a photo of myself on a recent “night out” (a.k.a. family dinner) that I realised something needed to be done (I say “night out” as the thought of going on an actual night out, in a club, with actual twentysomething blastocysts-girls with drawn-on eyebrows and boys in skinny jeans and sleeve tattoos, or whatever looks the yoof of today consider current, is nothing short of horrific).

When I asked my mother if she thought I should cut all my hair off she gave me a look of pure joy that I had not seen since the time she returned from work to find me exercising what she considered to be some poor parenting in the kitchen and had to rescue Piglet from the clutches of his clearly inept mother.

I took this to be a sign that I had just suggested something eminently sensible.  Something that all good mothers should do.  Something that might earn me the Public Badge of Good Motherhood back.  Every mother needs a Mum Cut.  Short, practical and eliminating the need for an endless supply of hairbands and dry shampoo in one fell swoop.  It was, I decided time to bite the bullet and go for the chop.  I am a mother now, and mothers must have Mum Hair.  Mine may as well be short and practical, rather than a knotty ponytail powdery with dry shampoo.

I now have a Mum Cut.  The Mum Transformation is complete.  Just don’t make me go shopping at Boden.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Two Tiny Hands

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Amanda says:

    Ha I love this post, you hit the nail on your perfectly coiffured head! I love the style of your writing and your take on life! Great post!

  2. I’ve really been considering cut my hair short too – I swear it never tangled as badly before I had a baby!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

    1. Min says:

      I’m sure mine didn’t either-then again, maybe I’ve just got selective memory!

  3. This post made me laugh because I embraces the pregnancy hormones and loved what it did to my hair – long, thicker and glossy! Jump forward to just after my son turned one and I went to the hairdressers to get several inches cut so it was at my shoulders because the long was was doing my head in! ? Now I’m back to growing it again! #Kcacols

    1. Min says:

      I’ll probably grow mine again at some point, mainly just to prove that I’m not too old to have long hair. That was the main reason I didn’t get it cut sooner-because I was terrified that my hair would never be long again and I would end up with a shampoo and set!

  4. Haha! Great post. I think your hair looks pretty amazing and glamorous – practical mum cut or not. I had mine cut quite short and coloured just after my daughter was born but it’s back to a long tangled mess now :/ #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! Colour is the next thing I need done. The greys are replicating at an alarming rate of knots.

  5. That first sentence made me hoot. I was wondering! I’m resisting the urge to go for the mum cut but you definitely suit it! Have to admit though, I do quite like Boden *hangs long-haired head in shame* #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Haha, I don’t know what I’ve got against Boden-actually nothing. Their kids clothes are lovely. I think it’s just a mum-stereotype I find funny, like the proverbial Breton top (which I sometimes wear).

  6. Pen says:

    Is that a Mum cut? Seriously? Jeez, I’ve had a Mum cut all my life. Like literally since I was 6.

    These days I have the Mum cut (very similar to yours but without the fringe) with dark roots and peroxide ends. It is a) deliberate and b) supposed to be a statement. I am naturally mouse. I was always all over blonde when I was with my ex. (My ex made it quite clear that he only finds blondes attractive – hairdressing bills were expensive for the 6 years we were together!).

    I am not sure that the ‘statement’ is working though. My grandmother (now 92!) asked me whether I was ‘just letting my hair go’ the other day. My Mum giggled like a teenager from the kitchen.

    Seriously though. I think your new hairstyle is stunning on you. Not Mumsy at all. Pen x

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! That did make me laugh about your grandmother. I was rocking the ombre look for a while as well, but it was fairly subtle as my plan to make the ends gradually blonder didn’t quite work out due to lack of funds. I probably should have been clearer with my definition of the “mum-cut,” as not a specific style, but any practical short arrangement decided upon in order to avoid entanglement in tiny hands and use of hair as climbing frame.

  7. I love your mum cut! I think I have had this cut off and on since I had my eldest child. Nothing wrong with a mum cut and you look great with it! #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Thanks! I’m loving the mum cut so far!

  8. Yay, well done! It looks fab btw. My youngest is four now and I’m a year on from growing out my Mum-cut! Short hair does not suit me lol, but it did what it needed to do at the time. #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Thank you. I’m sure I’ll grow mine again at some point, if only to prove I can still rock long hair. Terrified of turning into an old lady with fluffy white curls.

  9. If that’s a mum cut, I want one. I’m making by biannual trip to the hairdressers next week. I cam almost guarantee I’ll be coming with the same or similar hairstyle that I’ve had for about twenty years. Ugh #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Haha, that was what I wanted to avoid. I was fed up of going to the hairdresser’s and coming out looking the same. It felt like such a waste of money. That was why I never bothered going, and hence why my hair was so awful and needed cutting! Best of luck with your new hairdo.

  10. MMT says:

    My Mum-cut (head end) was mainly driven by the ever thinning mop of hair I was desperately clinging on to thanks to a major episode of post partum hair loss round three.
    I have tried to ‘youth’ it up a bit by keeping my Ombre that I had done during my first salon visit after having Tigs, when I asked the hairdresser to make me feel ‘younger than forty’ which is scarily not that far away. I probably just look like I need my roots done, and have a crazy hair upkeep budget in return. The hair was probably easier to manage when it was longer as I always ended up with it tied up, but that’s probably, or should I say definitely another plus for having the chop.
    You definitely rock the bob Min!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

    1. Min says:

      Thanks. Mine was just getting very knotty and frankly I resent having to run anything like a hairbrush through it. It would look OK up, but I never seemed to have enough clips and bands, and it hurt my head after a while (I know, I’m a pathetic weakling!) I had ombre in mine too before I had it cut, but I never really felt it fulfilled its potential as I just couldn’t keep re-doing it.

      Younger than 40 is a bit pessimistic. We’ve got AGES to go until then, right? Right? Oh….

  11. Hahah I had to laugh at the image of being in a club, girls with drawn eyebrows and guys with skinny jeans (I HATE THEM why is this a thing?) and sleeved tattoo. Excellent post. I love the new hairdo, you don’t even look like a “Mum” (whatever that means). I don’t brush my hair for days either but it’s so thin nothing happens except for oily crown, meh. Maybe one day I’ll be as brave as you and cut it off! Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

    1. Min says:

      Thanks. I’m not sure what looking like a mum is either really. Is it something about lattes and stripy tops? I feel like Ancient Old Wizened Lady of the Hills when I see the yoof of today out and about. I never thought I would find myself saying I don’t understand the outfits but I don’t. Skinny jeans on boys-always going to seem odd to me, and don’t even get me started about the very thick, drawn on eyebrows everyone has these days. All I can think about it how embarrassed they are going to be in years to come when they look at the old photos.

  12. Katie says:

    You look amazing and are so brave. Mine is a rats nest that lives on top of my head. I’m currently debating a Pob but am wondering if it would annoy me not to be able to put it up… hmmmm
    Looks awesome on you though!


    1. Min says:

      Thank you. To be honest it hasn’t bothered me not being able to put it up, but I never really liked wearing my hair up anyway as I found it started to ache after a while!

  13. Talya says:

    I just got a mum cut too! You look awesome honey. And I’m sure the whole of #coolmumclub would agree too! Thanks for linking chick x

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! We should all get mum cuts, they rock! Thank you for hosting and commenting.

  14. Your hair looks absolutely lovely, it’s making me thing maybe it’s time to get mine chopped too! Thanks for sharing on #KCACOLS xx

  15. Bumbi's Mom says:

    Haha! I can relate to my hair being used for climbing. Great post. I keep mine up in a mom-bun quite frequently but have been considering “the cut.” Thanks for sharing on the #FabFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      Not anymore! No more Rapunzel climbing frame hair, and I have to say I’m loving it, especially not needing to brush it and being able to leave the house without it descending into some giant knot.

  16. haha I love the beginning of this post! You look awesome, that looks way too stylish to be a mum cut, seriously wow! #brandnewday

  17. Sheri says:

    My little one turned a year old today and I can relate to this post, so funny! I think your mum cut looks fantastic on you! Very cute and chic, perfect for summer too. #ABrandNewDay

    1. Min says:

      Thank you, and happy birthday to your little one!

  18. omg now you’ve gone and done it…you’ve reinforced that feeling that I have been having about getting my long, highlighted, keratin brazilian blow-dried (actually it’s also been pulled out in clumps and seen far better days about 20 years ago) hair cut into a bob. I’m in my forties and a mum and I surely shouldn’t have long hair anymore. You are so brave and look amazing in that photo!! Blimey, now you’ve given me something to think about, maybe just maybe its time. Do you still love having it shorter??


    1. Min says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I do still love it. The reaction has been mixed. Most adults have been positive, but quite a few of the kids the school where I work have said they preferred it long, so the general consensus is adults-like, teenagers-not so much, and that did make me think maybe I have done the wrong thing, but I don’t want to look like a teenager (or even someone a teenager would approve of, particularly) and it is a lot easier, and every time I wonder if it’s OK I look at photos and I realise I do look a lot better.

  19. Michelle G says:

    Ha ha, you and me both! Long hair was snipped into a short bob pre-return to work as I realised I no longer had time to straighten it in the mornings. Fortunately, my sis is a hairdresser which means it is relatively well maintained (including all those pesky grey hairs which force their way through each month) #abrandnewday

    1. Min says:

      That’s handy. I definitely need to do something about my greys!

  20. jade says:

    Haha the first line cracked me up..then scared me…looks wearily round for the midwife with a scissors.. I think you rock that hair…mine is a long thick wild dread…like Rapunzel if she was an emo…I would chop mine now too but I am attempting to grow it a few more inches to donate to cancer wig charity… kind of just want to hack it off with a kitchen scissors. #abrandnewday

    1. Min says:

      That’s very good of you. I didn’t even think of doing that when I had mine cut, until it was already on the floor and the hairdresser mentioned someone else who had done it. I felt really guilty thinking I should have done it too!

  21. karen says:

    Well done. I am not sure that I will ever get the Mum cut. I believe it will require more mantainance than that of one I can shove back in a pony tail! He he, my Mum grew her hair long again when I was a teenager, it is back sensibly short again! Thanks for sharing with #abrandnewday

    1. Min says:

      To be honest, the mum cut requires less maintenance. I don’t even have to brush it-amaze!

  22. Oooh suits you very muchly! Good for you… even if you’ll never be a celebrity now 😉 #abrandnewday

  23. Suzanne says:

    Well I for one am loving this ‘Mum Cut’ I think we all come to the same conclusion eventually – practical over beautiful (or our preconceived idea of beautiful). Just don’t go near the ‘comfy’ range in M&S’ shoe department. Then I would be worried!

    1. Min says:

      Haha, yes, that would be the end of the road for style! I’ve been considering buying trainers and wearing them for things other than sport, which is bad enough!

  24. Mummy Rules says:

    Love this!!! I went for the Mum Cut a few weeks ago and I love it! No going back! xx

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! I think I’m going to keep mine short from now on too-so much easier!

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