British mothers are a special group of mothers. First of all, they are “mums” not “moms” and they do things a bit differently than their American counterparts. First off, British mums and American moms don’t even celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day.
If that weren’t enough, British mums aren’t obsessed with their hair blows out and getting their manicures done as often as American moms are. They also secretly wished they had their own versions of the American proms in high school. There really is so much that distinguishes British mums from mothers of other parts of the world, and there’s a good reason why, too. They don’t take any BS, if you know what we mean. You don’t want to mess with them, never say no to them, or heavens forbid, say anything bad about Princess Diana or the Tesco-brand chocolate bars that she insists on buying all the time. Also, don’t ask for dinner. It’s not going to happen. Tea is a food group, and you best get used to it.
With that being said, here are 20 things about British mums that make them stand out from the rest of the crowd. And yes, we will sign this off like this: “Mum xx.”
Here’s something else your British mum does: she asks you what every kid you went to primary school is doing now, even if you haven't spoken to them in years. There’s a reason why social media was invented. So your British mum can spy on all of her friends, your friends, your father’s friends, and your neighbor’s friends on Facebook. She’s more interested in everyone else’s social lives, then her own. She’s the neighborhood’s version of the Daily Mail. She’s a stalker, paparazzo, and a tabloid columnist all in one. And just to think, she does it all pro bono, too.
You can't eat or use anything in your own home because "that's for guests." She will remind you this all the time. Also, one person on Twitter recently said, “Is your mum really your mum if she doesn't have a secret cupboard of snacks that she hides & is exclusive only for when guests come over?!”
Really, she acts like she is expecting the Queen of England to show up at her door at any given moment. That, or Dame Judi Dench (same difference, really). This makes you wonder why she treats outsiders more like royalty than her own family.
Baby showers might be a great way of “showering” a new mom with love, affection and presents before the arrival of a baby, but believe it or not, this is more of an American tradition than in other parts of the world. Hence, British mums do not have baby showers.
Throughout history, Victorian women would keep their pregnancies secret. This is because they wanted to uphold cultural standards of “proper behavior” and not talking about their pregnancies in public. But once the baby is born, other women would often hold tea parties for the new mother. One of the reasons why many British women would keep their pregnancies a secret is due to superstitions. Also, many of the gifts that other mums would present to a new mum were handmade, hence no baby shower registry required, either.
British mums are tough ones for a reason: they have to deal with their kids all summer long, without the luxury of sending their kids off to summer camp. That’s because it simply doesn’t exist across the pond. As a result, you're forced to entertain the kids all summer break long. Gasp!
As Suzanne Jannese of Babble puts it, “That’s right, we have no opportunities to send our little rugrats away during the long summer vacation. This is devastating for both parents and kids. Instead, we have some classes they can go to, the odd event or party, festivals, and maybe something happening at local clubs — but that’s it.”
By now, it’s no secret that the NHS is far more different than what American moms have stateside. One of the best things about giving birth in Great Britain is that you don’t have to pay for it. And some will even go as far as saying that they even get better care in British hospitals, too. And while you would think that this would be a great reason for British mums to have more children, in reality, it’s not. That’s because the cost of living and raising a family sometimes exceeds their salaries, expectations, and worst of all, reality.
If you have a mum who has a drawer full of mismatched tupperware, none of which they've bought but just kept from a Chinese takeaway, then chances are that she’s a British mum. That’s right: she’s a hoarder, but there’s no way that she will ever admit to it. For her, it’s just common sense. After all, no one ever eats their full meal, right? Why waste it? Pounds don’t grow on trees. Also, she will remind you that this is her flat and not Buckingham Palace and that no one is royalty around here. She might not use her Tupperware very often, but there is no way that she will ever get rid of them.
She saves all of the good stuff for her royal guests (many who look nothing like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but whatever), yet she buys bulk supermarket basic chocolate bars. And she expects you to like them and not to complain, thank you very much. Remember, the name brand stuff is reserved for Christmas.
Knowing that cold Yorkshire puddings with Sprayie cream or golden syrup are legitimate desserts for everyone, not just kids. She also fills a biscuit barrell with sewing stuff and sometimes buys things on sale at Iceland, even if she knows everyone else hates it and won’t eat it.
No matter what, according to your British mum, she will always miss Princess Diana. Simply put, there’s no one on this planet that will ever replace her. As hard as both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle will try, they don’t even come close to being as poised, elegant, classy, beautiful and intelligent as the original Di. It’s just not going to happen. In addition, your mum also has several different conspiracy theories as to what happened the night Di was in that horrific car crash in Paris back in 1997. She also holds a vigil every year on that day, too.
And of course, you can’t mention Princess Diana without talking about Prince Charles, right? Yeah, your mum has plenty of opinions about him, too. And while he most certainly has gotten better over the years, she still doesn’t think that he has what it takes to become the next King of England. She also can’t forgive him for what he did to Princess Diana during their marriage, too. And she certainly doesn’t think that he’s attractive. And each time she is surveyed about who she thinks should be the next king of the monarchy, she always says his son, Prince William.
That’s right: your British mum certainly doesn’t like Camille Parker-Bowles, either. Even though she’s been married well over a decade to Prince Charles, has managed to keep out of trouble, has reduced the drama to a bare minimum and is doing her best to prove to everyone that she is a decent human being, she still doesn’t like her. That’s because she can’t get over “tampon-gate” and so many of the other scandals that happened between Prince Charles and Camilla during his marriage to Diana. And no, there’s no way that she will ever call her “Queen” or “Queen Consort” when the time comes, too.
Let’s put it this way: everything that is one British television is ten times classier than what we have Stateside. Sure, they have their own version of The Jersey Shore (like Made in Chelsea), but they also have great shows like Call The Midwife.
Call The Midwife is the story of Claire (played by actress Catherine Frot-Marguerite). She is a talented but tightly wound midwife and single mother on the cusp of losing her job as her small maternity clinic can’t compete with the nearby big hospital. And if you call your British mother while she is watching, chances are that she might kill you.
Actually, forget everything that we said about British television being classy. Your British mum might be living abroad for twenty or so years now, but you better believe that she is still obsessed over her favorite British soaps, including Eastenders and Coronation Street. Nothing beats the drama between Mick and Linda at the pub and there is no bigger villain on the small screen than Pat Phelan in Weatherfield. And yes, your favorite characters might end up being taken off the show, but they always come back. There’s always a surprise from someone who was previously removed, that shows up on the Cobblers unexpected to cause mayhem. And no, we will never know who the biological father of any of the kids are on British soaps.
One child of a British mum once said, “You were made to call everyone ‘our’ even though you weren’t related to them.” That’s right. Everyone is part of your family, even if you’ve only met them once or twice. That’s just the way it goes. It doesn’t matter if that person is your awkward neighbor, he’s now your uncle. That woman behind the cash register at Tescoe? Yeah, you can start calling her your aunt now. The only downside to all of this is that you have lots and lots of family members who forget your birthday and other important holidays each year.
I’m sure you’ve seen this before: almost every British mum end all texts "Love Mum xx.” It doesn’t matter if she has something important to say, wants you to pick up a few grocery items, or simply wants to remind you that it’s your grandmum’s birthday: she will always end each and every text she sends to you with “Love Mum xx.” Now, how she operates the rest of her smartphone is another thing, but we won’t get into that right now. Some things are just meant to remain a mystery, like the proper use of FaceTiming, social media, and the Find Friends feature.
If there is one thing that your British mum will never do, it’s put the damn heat on in her house. And no, it’s not because she’s cold-blooded. It’s because she is not going to waste her hard earned pounds by giving it away to British Gas or the other UK energy suppliers month after month. Plus, there is a reason why you’ve got so many sweaters in your wardrobe. You wear them. With that being said, she will remind you over and over again that her flat isn’t a getaway to Ibiza. If you are cold, put your clothes on.
For some reason, British mums are always oblivious to the weather outside. She doesn’t care how hot, how cold, or how much rain is pouring down, she wants to see you go outside. You might feel like you are living in Portugal rather than Bright Beach with the heat outside, but your British mum doesn't care. There’s no such thing as an air conditioning unit and even if there were, she will pretend not to know how to put it on. Ice pops were made for a reason and she has plenty of them in the freezer, so stop crying, ok?
If there’s one thing you are used to by now, it’s hearing your British mum describe the weather in terms of how many times they've had to put the washing out. As one Twitter user puts it, “Nothing worse than that phone call you get from your mum when she's out and you've to bring all the washing in cause it's raining.” Your mum is an expert at many things, but if there’s one thing that she hasn’t mastered yet, it’s predicting the weather. That, or she just thinks she can get away with using her secret superpowers to make the rain go away on her laundry days. Not in London, luv.
According to another child of a British “mum,” she says, “The three meals you could expect were breakfast, lunch, and tea.” That’s right. You can forget about having dinner because it’s not happening – ever. That word simply doesn’t exist in her vocabulary. If you happen to be hungry after 5 pm, there’s a chance that she might tell you “there’s fruit in the bowl,” which probably means that you’ll end up going to bed starving. And while she doesn’t serve dinner, she will expect you to help pull out the emergency chairs for when relatives come round for tea time each afternoon.
She doesn’t understand why everyone is so obsessed with football or footie (or soccer in American speak), has no idea who is in the English Premier League and hasn’t been paying attention to football stars ever since David Beckham turned into an American and became a stay-at-home dad. But the moment the World Cup is on and England is playing, she will sing “God Save the Queen” louder than anyone else in the entire city of Liverpool. And when England loses, she is full of uncontrollable anger and all of a sudden has a theory as to why the country’s coach is so bad and has several replacement options for the team’s captain, too.
Oh, you thought that you were going to get that Cadbury chocolate bar, the Maltersers, Crunchie bar or the Jelly Babies that she just came home with from the store now did you? Forget it. Even if it’s spring and Easter is around the corner, your British mum will do what she always does: and that’s hide her loot for Christmas. Everything is saved for Christmas time. Who cares if the expiration date says July, you are going to get it for Christmas, ok? Don’t even think about eating a pack of Smarties during a bank holiday because yes, she’s going to stash it somewhere in her secret cupboard for Christmas.
References: buzzfeed.com, reddit.com, twitter.com