The MUM Look

What is The Mum Look?


Those of you who know me, know I’ve been a Mum for quite a while.  23 years in the case of the boys (twins) and 18 years in the case of my daughter.


Is the Mum Look a bit of a jelly belly?



Is the Mum Look being tired, or snappy, or not quite up to date with fashion?



Is the Mum Look pearls and a twinset?

Haha, not likely in this case, more likely farm jeans and farm boots.


Is the Mum Look that beaming, smiling, omg I love this/these child/children?



The Mum Look is that look that Mum’s all over the world get.  It’s a multicultural thing, it speaks from any language Mum, to any language child.

You do not need to be related by blood to a person to give them the Mum Look.

Or in the case of the receiver of the Mum Look, you do not need to be related in any way to understand that you are getting the Mum Look.  It will become apparent shortly why I did not specify that the receiver needs to be a child still….they just need to have been a child at some point in their life.


The Mum Look.

The Mum Look

Happy – Not Impressed – You’re in for it!


The Mum Look is a certain facial configuration.

There is the questioning eyebrow.  You think?  You’re sure about that are you?  Really sure?

And equally unwritten/unspoken is the – Because I’m about to let you know why I’m very sure you need to have another think, Madam/Sir!

There is a faint, or not so faint wrinkle in the fore head to match the questioning eyebrow.


Then there is the mouth.

The mouth may be compressed into a somewhat disbelieving straight line.

It may be pursed, into an Honestly?  little mou.


There may be a roll of the eyes associated.

A roll of the eyes signifies that the sender of the Mum Look, and the receiver are quite familiar with each other and may be very close under other conditions.

A stiff stare of the eyes signifies that the sender and the receiver have no other affiliations (often in a professional situation ie colleague, or a crowd situation ie stranger.)

There is very little leeway involved when the stiff stare is in place.  Basically, you’re done for!


I’ve always known of the Mum Look, but was pleasantly surprised when I managed to pull it off the first few times as a mother.


The Mum Look is useful for those situations where a child begs you to let another child or 10 come over to play after school….when you are picking them up, and child/children/other mother are all watching.

The Mum Look says ‘Remember the rule that you ask me first, alone, and then stick by my answer?’

The Mum Look comes into it’s own in the Teenage Years.  It gets a REAL workout then!


As I’ve mentioned before:  Teenagers are just like two year olds.  When two year olds drop their bundle and have a vocal embarrassing hissy fit in public, you can, because of their small size, pick them up and walk away with them.


Teenagers are prone to the same frustrations as a two year old, but due to their size, and their annoying ability to talk back and deconstruct your decisions, you need to be able to manage them with words, but more importantly with A Look.  The Mum Look.


I have found through accidentally giving someone else’s teenager a Mum Look, that all children recognise it.  It is not familial in it’s ability to pull them up and make them Think Again!

Very darn useful I tell you.


It is not related only to age either.

Small children learn the Mum Look.  Then it becomes refined by use, and by application.

Due to it’s application rocketing out of sight during the teenage years, anyone who has been a teenager is fairly well trained to the Look.

This is a very useful thing.


At work, as you age.  Sometimes there are levels of training, which some people take to mean that a person of a lower training level has no idea and is just fooling themselves, when they pass on information.


At work, as you age.  Some people (referred to by me, lovingly, as The Youngens) will consider anyone of some advanced years as having no current useful information.  They are so old they are obviously suffering from some form of dementia and should, if not kept at home, be kept quiet and out of the way of People Who Know What They Are Doing because Those People Have Just Completed Some Sort of Degree Recently.  With the emphasis on recently.


At work, as you age.  Some people realise that you do, in fact, hold an awful lot of experience in you.  Not just in your head….when you get a Gut Feeling, you know to take it into consideration, along with all the head information.


I’ve had People who asked me if I’m worried about a situation?  When I’ve replied yes, they’ve asked if another person is worried about the situation?   When I’ve replied yes, they’ve stated – If you two are worried then I need to take a good look at the situation.  Why?  Because they are aware of gut feelings not just Cold Hard Facts, that sometimes leave you less time to react, as Cold Hard Facts can turn up too late to remedy a situation.


In an opposing situation, I asked someone to look at something.  They were a The facts, Just the facts style of person.  I gave them the facts, plus the surrounding issues, which might make things change.

They gave the – Oh for goodness sakes, I know what I’m doing, and I’m going to do it look.

We had a couple of conversations before I pulled The Mum Look on them.


And it worked.


The turned away and did some writing.  Paused.  Clearly considering not doing the writing that might make things a lot better for all concerned.

They furtively glance over their shoulder, and were not surprised (since there were only two of us in a small room) to find me standing there with my Mum Look firmly glued to my face.

They huffed and puffed a bit, then did what was required.


When I returned to my work area, other staff were impressed that I’d achieved the desired goal.

They asked how, and when I told them, they all (all Mum’s and daughters) laughed and understood.


The Mum Look is not winning and losing.

The Mum Look is shorthand for, don’t make me embarrass us both in front of people, seriously take another look at the situation, are you really sure, and you’re not just on a bit of an ego trip today?


If you really MUST defy the Mum Look just remember Mum had a few other tricks up her sleeve for the times you made her say that she wouldn’t take those other children home from school, when you asked in front of the kids and their mother.  Or when you tried to get her to say why she wouldn’t let you go to a party that was unsupervised when you were a teen, in front of the other kids.


Your childhood was practice for when you’re a grownup and have to say, or not to say things in front of other people.  It teaches you a little about backing down, about thinking twice, about tact, about how to manage other people, and be managed by other people.  It teaches you that life and everyday situations should not be considered to be winning/losing, or an ego trip that goes with that.


There’s room for diplomacy, for taking the whole situation into consideration, not just the facts as you first see them, for taking time to look at others points of view, for using other people’s abilities and experiences to enhance your own, and plenty of room for humour, if you realise that you’ve just been

Mum Looked, and responded accordingly. 😀 😀


Who knew The Mum Look was such a deep and useful item?  Well worth cultivating it, I’d say.



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