A while ago I wrote a post called the Mummy Badge.  I spoke about when my small people were tiny, and I had to go somewhere without them, it felt like I was missing a limb.  I wanted everyone to know I was a mum.  In hindsight the bags under my eyes and slightly deranged swaying from side to side, was a dead giveaway.  However it sparked a conversation about other badges parents need.

Most of the time strangers in the street like to stop and coo at your baby and tell you how beautiful the baby is.  That’s great.  All is well in the world.  Sometimes however strangers like to give you helpful comments and advice.  Being very British and polite, we smile and grit our teeth through the exchange.  But later we spend a disproportionate amount of time coming up with the perfect response to the comments that had giving an Oscar worthy fake laugh.

With the help from some of my lovely readers who told me the most annoying stranger comments, I present to you: Parenting Badges…

These badges are now available as greeting cards which you can purchase here.

1 When it has been a bad night, and the next person who asks you how the baby is sleeping is going to be witness to something not very pretty…

2 hours sleep

2 For when strangers think they know your baby better than you…


3 For the spotty t-shirts, checked shorts and stripy socks days…


4 For the classic “You look like you’ve got your hands full”…

Normally said to parents of:

  • more than 2 small people
  • 2 or more small people of the male variety
  • kids who are royally kicking off

Hands full

5 For the follically challenged babies…

He she

6 For when you are just having one of those days


7 For the days you wish you could leave the house with a smaller bag

My Other bag

8 Because sometimes babies just cry, and you telling me why he is crying is really not helping, beside the fact I only just fed him…

Not Hungry

9 Back away from the baby….

poke the baby

10 Because it is toddler law that tantrums are to be thrown in busy places to optimise the disapproving stares.


11 For the days when you can’t remember when you last washed your hair…  NB Also the day that if you are ever going to meet Brad Pitt, this will be it.



What would your badge say?


This post was featured as Netmums Blog of The Day.


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Claire Kirby

85 Comments on Parenting Badges

  1. Definitely need the ‘he chose his own clothes today’ some days my big boy actually turns heads in the street with his attire… You should sell these badges as a set for new mums! #fridayfrolics

  2. I do love your badges and every mum/dad needs a stash of them. I have to say though, that some of the well-meaning small talk from strangers is sometimes worth tolerating. Because underneath it is someone who just wants to reach out and somehow connect with you. The only reason that I know this, is from having dogs. Every time we are out with them we get the same comments: what breed are they? Boy and a girl? (because their leads are red and blue. No, actually, 2 boys) Are they from the same breeder? It gets so repetitive, but once you have endured the initial interrogation/small talk, they are often lovely, interested, engaging people. It’s just that their initial way of connecting is a little crass! This is a really great post and I think that there is a market for those badges 🙂 Alison x #FridayFrolics

  3. I definitely hear you on the need to declare to the world you actually have a baby at home – although I find I experience this less and the less the older ny children get! I could probably do with a badge saying ‘I would probably look this old and unfit if I didn’t have children, but at least I can pretend and blame them!’ #fridayfrolics

  4. Love this, especially number 8 – it used to drive me crazy when people would say that. Now I’m potty training I want one that reads – “I thought it was chocolate on my top but it was poo and now I want to rinse my mouth out with bleach”. #fridayfrolics

  5. Lol! Brilliant idea!! Particularly like the one re: judging before had a baby… Actually completely did this and life now is basically karma for this shameful behaviour #sob #sorryMummies #mumlove #fridayfrolics

  6. LOL at all of these and could use every one of them at different times of the day apart from toddler tantrum one – another year maybe! Great post #FridayFrolics

  7. “Thanks for the advice. I don’t remember asking.” I am so going to be whipping this bad boy out, accompanied with a sickly sweet smile and possibly a little hand squeeze gesture. Yeah! *fist pump* Thanks for the giggles and for hosting! #FridayFrolics x

  8. I love the ‘he chose his own clothes today’. NG is going through a phase of wearing EVERYTHING pink she has – and that’s a lot. She looks like a small, pastel Michelin man. I think I need a ‘my shoulders are on fire because the baby can’t be trusted for 5 seconds without hurling himself off things… please hold him for a minute for me’ but that’s a bit long. #fridayfrolics

  9. This is fantastic!! I completely need #10 (she is screaming something nonsensical at me right now!)…and you may as well just sign me up for all the others while you’re at it. Or what about…”Sure- I use dry shampoo; bite me!” #FridayFrolics

  10. omg i had “you’ve got your hands full” the other day… yeh don’t offer to help me though….

  11. Mine would have been ‘Yes I know he’s a bum shuffler – not a crawler and I think it’s cool!” the number of comments I got about my son who didn’t crawl…..
    Also no 8 for every (old retired by the sea in Devon) biddy who ever told me my babies were hungry!!!!! #fridayfrolics

  12. Very funny! My personal one which probably doesn’t work for many other people is “It’s not a squint, it’s ideopathic congenital Nystagmus” for those times people feel the need to tell me I should get him patched for his lazy eye. He doesn’t have a lazy eye, actually. And yes, I have noticed it, he is my son. I may have glanced in his general direction once or twice.
    Grrrrr. People.
    x Alice

  13. Brilliant, loved it! Mine would just say Yes, I know they have lovely hair. I literally can’t go out of the front door without an old granny telling me that. Actually, I love that. I’ll have a tantrums badge though. #fridayfrolics

  14. These are absolutely brilliant. He is a she I needed for MM when she was a baby. Dresses, head bows, and pink and daily I got your boys are gorgeous. GRRR. lol Thank you for linking up to Share With Me and I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme

  15. LOL …. so many parent badges, one for every ocassion … so many of them. I’m too tired to think of what my current badge will be, but it involves, ‘sleep’. I really like the ‘hand full’ one. 🙂 #TheList

  16. This is brilliant. I need all of them. But especially the ‘Thanks for the Advice’ one. Especially for those who address their comments to the toddler…you know ‘You should tell your mum to take you in out of the rain, little man’….he can’t talk! Take your passive aggressive advice elsewhere!

    Ok so that may have happened recently. I’m over it. Really.

  17. Ha I love these! I used to grit my teeth a lot when mine were smaller and crying and a random person would try to tell me what I should be doing grrr!
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  18. Love these – it always cracks me up when people see a baby (clearly not old enough to be choosing their own clothes) in a pink frilly dress and then still say ‘he’. 🙂 #fridayfrolics

  19. This is a brilliant post. I’d wear a combinations of badges through the day I think. They are spot on as well. What a heart warming, funny read! #picknmix

  20. Oh this is hilarious! I wish I had this set of badges so I could have the appropriate one on display! People really do say the oddest things – like the “you’ve got your hands full.” Such an odd observation to make & really, what’s the point of saying it? #FridayFrolics x

  21. I would totally wear a ‘he chose his own clothes’ badge although it would be a lie to hide my own inadequacy. I’d also love one that says, ‘I usually have a kid with me’ because I do odd things like smile at people with buggies and pull play doh out my pocket.

  22. Haha – I don’t actually need a ‘she chose her own clothes today’ badge yet, when mine are wearing brown and orange stripes with pink flowers (& some purple tights for good measure), I need a ‘Daddy did this while I wasn’t there and won’t accept that I DO have good reasons to change her clothes’ badge. #sharewithme

  23. If I still had a baby I would probably be printing out the entire list to make into badges immediately! Great idea Claire, thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout X

  24. LOL Love this! I totally need these badge. Daughter had a tantrum on the sidewalk the other day and this couple just stood there, laughed and chatted about it. I was definitely in need of the “nothing to see here move along badge”. #ShareWithMe

  25. You need to commission these badges straight away. And then we can earn them and sew them on our arm like Brownies and Cubs. Though I would probably need a longer arm for all mine #Sharewithme

  26. I find this kind of post fascinating. I swear to you it’s a mum thing. As a stay at home dad, people have only ever so rarely made comment to me. When they do, they tend to be incredibly sexist and assume I’m incompetent simply because I’m male. C’est la vie ‘hey? #sharewithme

  27. Oh my goodness!! I am laughing to tears!! Can I please wear them all at once?!! For me, strangers comment often that none of my 4 kids look alike or look like me. “Where does he get the red hair from?” “Where does she get the blue eyes from?” etc. It’s so not the truth… but sometimes I wish I had a badge that said “I have no clue who any of their fathers are!” 😀 I mean..what response do they really want? A science lesson on dominant and receive genes and my family heritage?

  28. Ha! Good stuff! My badge would probably just say something militant like ‘Dads are parents too!’ I remember getting really fed up of people asking me if it was my wife’s day off when my two were in pushchairs and am gearing up for these questions again with number three imminent!

  29. Hahahaha i laughed so much at this. We need to be given all of these badges upon the births of our children for sure. I could have done with all of these at some point and still could. Amazing post. xx #twinklytuesdays

  30. Great post! I’ll take all 11 please!

    My two daughters have very different colouring – the eldest is strawberry blonde with blue eyes and pale skin, the youngest is dark haired with blue eyes and olive skin (same Dad!). The youngest, probably because she’s the baby, is always getting told how beautiful she is and then because people seem to feel bad, they say ‘and you are too’ as an after thought to my eldest. It annoys the hell out of me! They are only 2.5 & 1 yr old but I wonder how this makes her feel. So my badge would say something like ‘compliments – welcome for good behaviour only’. They are both gorgeous to me and there is so much more to them than just their looks!

  31. haha that is so funny. Mine would say ‘I know it is only 11am but I am buying this vodka as a promise to myself for when I’ve got through another day’
    Brilliant post as always

  32. This is hilarious. I need a pile of these too. Although some of these helpful strangers probably wouldn’t be too big on subtlety… they might have to be those badges with the flashing lights and maybe a little alarm sound that responds to ridiculous comments and advice!

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