Congratulations! You’ve recently welcomed your first baby, or moved to a new place with your brood, and are therefore looking to make your foray into “mom friends.” Tread softly and no sudden movements at your first mommy group, because we’re amongst tropes. Motherhood tropes! Wear your best maternity jeans and make sure your hair looks nice because here are the 10 ladies you’ll probably end up spending 45 minutes or so with.

The Mother Who Thinks That You’re In The Wrong Mommy Group

If you’ve selected a group based on attachment parenting, breastfeeding, or baby’s birth date, you will inevitably encounter this lady. Essentially, she thinks that either your baby is too young to be in your mommy group (because yours is a full four weeks younger than everyone else’s baby), or that you’re not really committed to attachment parenting, or that because you supplement with formula sometimes, you don’t belong in a pro-breastfeeding group. Don’t mind her. Her bark is usually far worse than her bite and she’ll probably loosen up once motherhood kicks her firmly in the ass. Identify, assess, and move on.

The Mother Who Talks Non-Stop About Her Birth

Maybe her epidural didn’t work, or she had an emergency c-section, or she was in labor for 72 hours. Either way, she’s still understandably dealing with a lot of very intense trauma from an experience that — as women — we aren’t encouraged to candidly articulate. While she may be chatting your ear off in the corner, let her. She needs somebody, which may turn out to be a professional therapist. But in the spirit of motherhood, give her 20 minutes of her your life.

The Mother Who Secretly Smokes Pot

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Maybe she smokes a little bit after the baby goes down or she and her partner relive their giddy college days in the jacuzzi. Nevertheless, when you meet her, she may strike you as the one who is a little more grounded, laid-back, and easygoing, and probably wears lots of cute and casual scarves. It will probably be a few more months before, upon spending an afternoon in her backyard and the kids are sleep, she’ll look at you from behind her wayward curls and coyly ask, “soooooo, do you get high?”

The Mother Who Is A(n Adorable) Mess

If she’s not 40 minutes late for mommy group, she’s got breastmilk coming through her shirt and cereal in her pockets. She can’t focus on the menu long enough to order and often times walks right into walls, blaming the good old “baby brain.” Did she grab her diaper bag INSTEAD of her purse? Do conversations with her feel like a mommy Mad Libs? Klutzy moms are straight adorbs.

The Mother Who Prides Herself On Being The “Cool” Mom With No Rules

For now it’s no bedtimes and sleepovers whenever the kid wants and, no, you don’t need to talk to the parent because you’re just fine with them being your summer daycare center. But in a few short years, she’ll be one of those ladies cackling about how awesome it is that she’s such a “bad mom”and that yes, she is considering taking her 10-year-old daughter to sex shop. What? You’re not down? Well, you’re not a “cool mom.”

The Mother Who Is Racially Illiterate

She’ll blame it on fact that she doesn’t know all those “PC terms,” but leave her with your mixed race child for too long and she’ll be the first one to talk about how “exotic” he or she looks. Brown babies are her “favorite,” she says, on account of them being just so “gorgeous” and “different” looking. If you’ve even taken it upon yourself to approach her about why this exotification of babies of color is problematic, she’ll get defensive and say that she voted for Barack Obama. Twice.

 The Mother Who Is In Competition With You (And Everyone)

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If her kid isn’t exhibiting “amazing neck strength” before yours than he or she showing “walking signs” at six months. Whatever makes her sleep better at night. She’ll probably only get worse the more you go along as milestones like crawling, talking, and reading take center stage. She’s on the fast track to sanctimommy land and you do not want to be in that intersection, friend.

The Mother Who Has PPD And Doesn’t Know It Yet

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You probably won’t be able to identify this woman at first glance, but statistically she is there. Her partner or mother probably convinced her to come tonight because she’s been acting “strangely” since the birth of the baby and they’re concerned. Or maybe in a fit of tears, she decided that she would make the effort to come. But make no mistake, she is there. Buy her coffee. Be her friend. She needs one.

The Mother Who Thinks That She’s An Expert On Your Marriage/Partnership

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This one will be slow to reveal herself. But after a couple of drinks, a candid discussion about the massive hit your marriage has taken since having a baby will result in one didactic leader: The lady who schools you on how 80 percent of couples who do X divorce before their child is three years old. Or how “healthy partnerships” are always comprised of 100 percent honesty or some such adage. Unless she’s a couples counselor that you and your partner have specifically sought out, ignore her. She probably means well, but she has no idea what is going on between you two.

The Cool Mom Who You Are Totally Mom Crushing On

Something about the way that she perfects that messy bun and jeans makes you feel like you’re sitting at the cool kids table. Not only does she have a kid, but somehow, she manages to project that she actually has a life. AND INTERESTS. And passions. She doesn’t seem to care too much for mom drama, probably because she lived in Senegal for a year or two before meeting her partner and “settling down.” And she speaks Portuguese. Randomly. She also looks really great holding a beer.

(photo:  Christian Montone)