Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin)
Julia is the perfectly written comic character because absolutely NO-ONE wants to be her – and yet, WE ALL ARE HER. Watching Julia be awful to everyone and struggle through every moment is perfect cringe-worthy comedy on a basic level, but also in a deep, deep level cringe-worthy because you’ve been there, you’ve done it, or you know you’d probably do it. Because in lots of ways, Julia is handed terrible luck and you sympathise, but she always deals with it in sliiiightly the wrong/absolute worst way. A bit like you really, when you scream at someone and instantly regret it, but also kiiiind of think it’s totally justified if people just saw your point of view, yknow?
You’re exhausted, everyone but you IS A NIGHTMARE (ok, maybe except your Liz) and you’re pretty sure that if there is a matrix, it’s one created by your worst enemy because the whole world is against you.
Buys the kids clothes at: Your friends’ house. You like the look of something, say you’re just ‘borrowing it’ because ‘it’s probably too small now anyway since Florence put on that weight’ and never return it.
Celebrity crush: Lee Mead. Obvs.
Most likely to cry because: You’re totally exhausted, have 86 things to do and your husband is at a spa on a ‘client day’. YOU USED TO BE AT SPAS WHY IS THE WORLD LIKE THIS FOR YOU?
Coffee shop order: Whatever you can sneak on the end of someone else’s order.
Favourite kids film or TV show: Whatever the first most available button is, you’ve got stuff to do.
Most likely to be found: At the local village noticeboard looking for the one babysitter not booked in town.
Liz (Diane Morgan)
Ok, despite being cast as a non-desirable by the Amandas of the world and being the antithesis of mumstagram, doesn’t everyone wish they’re the Liz? The Queen of DILLIGAF (Do I Look Like I Give A F…) a Liz manages it all while looking like they’ve made minimal effort. But unlike the ‘Cool Girl’ trope (in a Gone Girl way), the Lizs actually don’t make the effort. Always ready with a line to shut down the most PTA of PTA mums, the Liz is the mum everyone wants to be friends with – and probably doesn’t want to be friends with any of the other mums. Oh, and all the dads probably fancy her.
Buys the kids clothes at: The Aldi SpecialBuys aisle.
Celebrity crush: You wouldn’t know who was famous and who wasn’t. Maybe Dion Dublin off of Homes Under The Hammer.
Most likely to cry because: No, we can’t think of anything.
Coffee shop order: Easy. Whatever’s going. But couldn't we go to the pub?
Favourite kids film or TV show: 999: What’s Your Emergency – kids need to learn about the real world.
Most likely to be found: Wherever she fancies during the day.
Amanda (Lucy Punch)
You think you’re not Amanda, you’d hate to think anyone thought you were an Amanda… and yet, really, deep down, we all have Amanda ambitions. Come on, admit it. Of COURSE we don’t care whether our kids are top of the class or not. OF COURSE. Yuck. In some ways there’s something quite enviable about you Amandas, because you have absolutely no idea what a nightmare you are, you think you’re the greatest and an ultimate arbiter of taste and that must be quite a nice place to be (though we wonder if at 3am it actually does really all get to you and you wish you were drunk with Julia, Liz and Kevin somewhere). You’ve probably got an Anne minion. You’re the head of something… anything. Leadership is important.
Of course, the kicker about Amandas? No-one thinks they are one, but EVERYONE knows like seven on their WhatsApp group, so you do the maths…
Buys the kids clothes at: White Company. For basics. French brands (plus Brexit tax) for special.
Celebrity crush: David Cameron (though you'd never do that to Sam)
Most likely to cry because: PEOPLE AREN’T DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO
Coffee shop order: Skinny matcha latte. Carrot sticks for the kids.
Favourite kids film or TV show: You’ll allow an hour’s screen time per weekend, so the kids aren’t left behind with their references in the playground, but ideally, some classical music would be best. (Really, at home, Peppa Pig is doing most of the parenting...)
Most likely to be found: Checking up on everybody.
Kevin (Paul Ready)
You don’t have to be a man to be a Kevin – you probably just are carrying the load, trying your best, wanting to lose it, but instead smiling and telling everybody it’s FINE, of course you can do their kids’ school project. And you’ll deliver it on your bike, because really we all have our part to play in making the planet safe. And really, parenthood would be better if everyone just got along? Wouldn’t it? Ultimately, you Kevins aren’t doing anything wrong, but it is still also really annoying. But then, we won’t tell you that outright, because ultimately, we need you. You’ll know we’re annoyed though, you’re too sensitive not to pick up on it…
Buys the kids clothes at: Wherever seems most ethically sound, check the Observer.
Celebrity crush: Oh my partner!
Most likely to cry because: You’ve locked your partner in the attic. Niche, we know.
Coffee shop order: Ooooh, you don’t mind! Whatever’s easiest! Or nothing! Whatever!
Favourite kids film or TV show: Whatever the munchkins want. You'll learn the theme tune on your guitar too.
Most likely to be found: Helping everyone out.
Meg (Tanya Moodie)
Yeah we could take being a Meg. Absolutely. Cool, juggling it all, in the gang, but not like iiiiiin the gang, top of everyone’s invite list but yourself has a very short invite list. Manages to be cool and outside of it all, but importantly, not cruel.
Fact is, we’re not Megs are we. Dammit.
Buys the kids clothes at: Somewhere you’ve never heard of, sorry.
Celebrity crush: Celeb crushes are for kids
Most likely to cry because: You’ll never know.
Coffee shop order: Can’t we just take this to the new pop-up bar down the road?
Favourite kids film or TV show: Whatever they need. You’ve read extensively on screen time and have a very balanced and healthy attitude to it. You won’t be shamed.
Most likely to be found: Leading, not following.
Anne (Phillipa Dunne)
We actually quite love an Anne don’t we? I mean, pityingly, and wishing they could escape the claws of their Amanda, but they’re the one in the gang that isn’t THAT bad. Looks like they were born in a Per Una dress, stained with baby sick and always trying their best while making it all look a faff. But actually, did you know that in a previous life was probably the person you’d have ended up having to get the night bus back with after a mad work night out – at Glaxo Smithkline no less (possible our favourite thing to happen in episode one). Anyway, life’s changed and you’ve accepted your fate, because actually, everyone’s looking on pityingly, but it seems like in the (very few) hours you’re away from everyone else, you actually have quite a nice time with your family. An exhausting time, but nice. And the years whizz by after all.
Buys the kids clothes at: The eldest kids’ wardrobe.
Celebrity crush: Oooh, whatshisname, the one, oooh, you just fell asleep in front of one of his programmes last night… Oh, the conversation’s moved on. Ok. No worries.
Most likely to cry because: There’s not enough space to go into this.
Coffee shop order: Errrm… Hmmm… Oh sure, oh yeah if that’s what you’ve got me, that’s fine.
Favourite kids film or TV show: You’re actually quite into CBeebies now tbh.
Most likely to be found: Managing a Greggs. JOKES. Actually, probably having a nice time with their kids.