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The sun was shining brightly in Ibiza. The views across the island from the luxury villa were breathtaking. I could see four sailboats in the turquoise sea and a row of adorable fisherman’s cottages. I couldn’t believe I was being paid to be here.
My task was to baby-proof the place ahead of my client’s arrival. I was hands-on, putting up stair gates, placing a Moses basket in every room and finding the perfect highchair. I was also entrusted with unpacking the baby’s wardrobe, laying out 14 outfits, one for each day of the trip, and buying any extra bits required. Just because they were the youngest member of the family, they most certainly weren’t any less important. I was also given my own butler and chef for the time I was there.
When I wake up and look at my inbox, I never know what kind of requests I’m going to get. I’ve been asked to arrange for an artist to create a cast of a vagina pre-birth to give to my client’s husband for his birthday, so he could remember what it was like before! I’ve also set up photo shoots on the steps of the Lindo Wing so new parents can capture that iconic Kate and William royal baby shot – that’s quite a popular one. I’ve even organised a videographer to capture the whole birth.
The wackier the idea, the more I’m interested in doing it, so that’s how I became the UK’s first mummy concierge, sorting out everything from pregnancy to beyond.
My job isn’t to judge, it’s to do what my clients ask – although I do occasionally have to be the voice of reason. One husband wanted to fly his wife in a helicopter over a field at eight-and-a-half months pregnant to look at hay sticks that spelled out, “It’s a boy.” She hadn’t even wanted to know the gender! Consensual confetti cannons at a garden gender reveal party is the much more popular route for a reason.
Another expectant mum wanted to take a vibrator in her hospital bag as she’d heard about orgasmic births. I explained that she probably wouldn’t have time for that.
My former job was running a company planning marriage proposals. Then, five years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I noticed how little help there was for new parents experiencing this huge change.
I felt incredibly overwhelmed. I thought if I needed help, then other people would too, so I set up a website, told a few friends who’d had babies, and it just took off. My husband supported me from the word go, but I don’t think he expected this much success.
It’s mostly for quite wealthy people, like Hollywood A-Listers, supermodels and members of the royal family who are currently pregnant – I’ll let you work that one out… [Hint: the Duchess of Sussex and Princess Beatrice were both expecting at the time of our interview!].
My very first client was a UK-based reality star, and my first job was sorting out a kit for dealing with morning sickness, including sick bags, special sweets that stop you feeling nauseous and a mouth spray.
These are the type of people who are used to having help with every element of their life. They’ve got the money and they’re busy, so I become the PA to their parenthood. They can be demanding, but that’s what you have to expect when you work with these kinds of clients. I don’t mind how they speak to me because I know a lot of that is due to pregnancy hormones.
My husband does get annoyed by me constantly being on my phone – if they want to ring me at 2am, they can. But I love it so I don’t mind, and they’re paying between £120-£300 per hour to have me there for them. Sometimes we work out a discounted hourly rate if they want me around for a few months.
I get everything ready so they don’t have to. I pack hospital bags, then go into the room they’re due to give birth in and fill it with Jo Malone diffusers, photos from home and flowers. I book babymoons, and the first family holidays – Dubai is very popular.
One couple wanted a swish nursery to fit in with their luxury London penthouse. We ordered bespoke items in grey as they weren’t a fan of the normal bright and garish baby toys. Any stress I can take off their plate, I will.
I’ve even been asked to come up with names that have never been used before. I got a team together, including a poet, a linguist expert, a mummy blogger and a director of a top advertising company to brainstorm something unique. We then put our ideas to a focus group to gauge reactions.
Most parents that I work with want their children to have a name that nobody else in their school will have. They want them to stand out, but we make sure it’s for the right reasons.
I’ve had clients contemplate names that are completely made up of members of their family’s initials, which I advised against. There is a current trend for seasonal names like Winter and August, as well as unisex names, and girls’ names being used for boys’ names such as Meredith.
A common request is a photo shoot – sometimes taking place the second their new baby has arrived. I’ll be there alongside the photographer, stylist and make-up artist. They’ll ensure the mum is preened to perfection and the newborn is lying in the best position for optimal cuteness.
There’s a whole Instagram culture where they want these perfect images to post. They want to look glamorous and elegant straight away. I have a background in writing so I’ll help with the picture captions too.
I’ve managed to keep in touch with my hundreds of clients. My WhatsApp is constantly full of baby pictures. I enter their lives at a very special time, so we have a very unique connection. They’re like my best friends by the end of the nine months. I become a person they can really confide in.
They’ll be having meltdowns about giving birth, or whether they’ve brought the right baby bouncer. They become appreciative of my service – one client even brought me a Cartier watch to say thank you. I was quite floored as it’s something I never would have expected.
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I’m there at their less picture-perfect moments, too. I’ve had clients who’ve had miscarriages and sometimes they just want someone outside of their circle to talk to, so they can be really honest about their emotions.
I had to clear out the nursery for a couple who lost their baby. It was even emotional for me as I’d only just had my son, but I ended my maternity leave early as I didn’t want them to have to go through that.
Gender disappointment is quite common, too. That’s something that I’ve been through myself – I imagined myself with a little girl for my first child, and when I found it was a boy I was inconsolable, sobbing my eyes out for days. I now know that when the baby arrives you wouldn’t change them for the world.
I’m currently pregnant with my third child, so I’m able to empathise with a lot of what my clients are going through. C-sections are popular for people using private hospitals as you can opt in for them, and as I’ve had more than one I can help them prepare. I’ve been there, done that, and I know how they feel about most things.
My job doesn’t end when the baby is here either. That’s when the sheer panic sets in, and the parents can have a “what have I done?” moment.
They can be quite stressed due to lack of sleep, so staff is a big priority. I don’t just choose anyone – it’s a matchmaker service. Nannies trained at Norland are very popular.
One couple had twins and I had to hire two night nurses and two nannies. I’ll sometimes join the parents in the maternity ward and interview them there. When my clients are all over the place, I’m the level head. I’ve even got one client whose little girl is now four. I’m there for as long as they need me."
Secrets Of The Mummy Concierge by Tiffany Norris is out now (Blink Publishing, £8.99)
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