Lily Allen Did It. How To Make A Mumback


The mother's version of the career comeback, the Mumback, is a mother's triumphant return to her former glory (or as close to it as she can get) after a period of exile spent knee-deep in nappy changes and naughty step negotiations.

Lily Allen is the undisputed queen of the Mumback. She coined the phrase last year when she took to the stage at a Paris catwalk show to sing for the first time since quitting the limelight four years earlier to focus on full-time motherhood.

And while following in Lily's Louboutin-clad footsteps might not be possible for the average mum, she has laid down a few pretty decent examples of how to pull off a Mumback.

So here's what we learned from Lily Allen on the art of the mumback...

Never say never

When Lily Allen announced that she was taking a break from music to pursue a life of domestic bliss, we pretty much thought that was the last we'd ever hear of her, barring the occasional paparazzi snap of her laden down with babies instead of shopping bags.

So it came as something of a surprise when she launched herself back on the music scene with her new album Sheezus.

If there's one thing we can learn from Lily's unanticipated return to the limelight, it's that you should never say never.

She reportedly puts her Mumback down to the fact that she got bored being a stay at home mum. So bear that in mind when you're waving goodbye to your work colleagues, as you waddle off into the sunset to start your maternity leave and the first day of the rest of your life.

You might just find yourself desperate to return - and much sooner than you think - so it pays not to burn any bridges just because you're going off to give birth.

Prepare to be abandoned

According to newspaper reports, Lily reckons many of her celeb pals abandoned her when she pressed the pause button on her music career to focus on being with her babies.

She's not alone; I've heard loads of women voice the same complaint. Namely, that your mates (particularly those without children) are never your mates in quite the same way once you have kids.

But bear in mind that they might well spawn one day in the not-too-distant future, at which point you'll be well placed to be the perfect friend, full of parental wisdom and with the benefit of a head-start on them.

So don't write off those friendships altogether just yet. They, too, might go through a Mumback.

Own your story

What I really admire about Lily's Mumback is that she never seems to have felt the need to apologise for changing her mind about what she wanted out of life.

Couldn't we all do with taking a leaf out of her book? We're bombarded with the message that motherhood slams the brakes on everything from your career progression to your love life, but Lily's proof that you don't have to settle for that story.

Everyone knows that motherhood changes you, but having the adaptability to roll with those changes and the nerve to reinvent yourself in the face of them is something Lily seems to have mastered beautifully.

Maybe she'll run a Mumback masterclass for those of us wondering where to start?

Don't underestimate the power of a creative outlet

Apparently Lily underestimated the extent to which she need a creative outlet; something she only really appreciated once she had walked away from hers and realised how much she missed making music.

Most of us have a latent interest that used to get our creative juices flowing back when we had time for such things, but which lapsed or got neglected during our baby-making days.

So do whatever floats your boat; paint, write, sculpt, sing, bake - just make sure your Mumback leaves a little space for your creative self.

It might seem self-indulgent when you could spend that time with your kids but trust me, your kids will thank you for it.

Don't be afraid to experiment

"No big deal really, I'm just throwing s--t at the wall and seeing if anything sticks," is how Lily described her return to the recording studio.

We think she downplayed it just a tad, but at the heart of a successful Mumback is the ability to feel the fear and do it anyway - chucking yourself headlong into exploring who the new you is post-motherhood, without worrying about what your critics might say.

Believe in your own fabulousness

Whether your Mumback is 'just' a return to your pre-parenthood social life or a full on career comeback, be sure to believe in your own wow factor.

If you watched Lily's performance at Radio 1's Big Weekend, you'll know that she oozed confidence and absolutely rocked an unforgiving, fuchsia pink ballgown.

I'm pretty sure her 'you-know-what' smells the same as everybody else's and she's bound to have her fair share of bad hair days too, but she's got the self-belief to carry off a Mumback.

Fake it till you make it, if you must.

And while not all of us get to stage a Mumback strutting back and forth in front of thousands of adoring fans, Lily-style, we can all put a bit more faith in ourselves.

And that, in turn, should put a spring in your step as you launch your Mumback. Louboutins or no Louboutins.