Before I had my children, some of my friends with little ones would talk about their ‘mummy friends’, I have to say I didn’t really get what the fuss was. It felt a bit like a little club I couldn’t be involved in because I didn’t have children. I was a little envious of this exclusive friendship, and as far as I could tell they had very little in common except having produced children at a similar time.
What did they talk about all the time? Well now I get it! My mummy friends are complete lifesavers. Truth be told I probably wouldn’t be friends with many of these mummies if we didn’t have children in common; but not because I wouldn’t have liked them, just our paths would never have crossed.
Let’s be honest making new friends as an adult is hard going. It feels like dating all over again, except without the rules. When do you swap numbers? How soon is too soon to call? When does meeting up in a playgroup become a playdate? When does a playdate become a drink in the evening? It can be a bit of a minefield, but the truth is we are all in together. No one really knows how exactly to navigate this playground feeling. We all want to make friend with other mums, we all want to share tales about our children, share concerns, worries, joys; moans about the other half. So even if you are struggling to meet other mummies, stick with it and know we all feel the same.
What I love about these friendships is the companionship you get from women. A sisterhood that is so supportive. The right mummy friends celebrate and commiserate with you. They don’t gloat, or compare (well maybe they do a tiny bit, but that’s human nature) They don’t judge or compete. They come to know and love your baby or child, as you do theirs.
The best thing about mummy friends…
1. You can talk about baby poop. Not just talk about it, but it’s perfectly acceptable to send pictures of concerning nappy contents. Especially if you have newborns at the same time.
2. You have told them more about your boobs or ‘lady area’ then you have about your life pre-children. Having a baby at the same time, especially if you met in pregnancy, means it’s no holds barred, and oversharing is a normal part of the friendship.
3. They provide a reality check. When you think that you are the only one who looks forward to bedtime some days. When you think, you are a rubbish mum because you don’t know what their cries mean yet. When you think, your toddler hates you because they don’t listen to anything you say. They remind you that you are not alone. That we all experience these feelings from time to time and it’s all normal.
4. They don’t care if your house is a mess, or your hair needs a wash, or you have sick or snot on your clothes, because at times they have been there too.
5. They don’t mind if you have a whole conversation without once making eye contact because, like you, they will be multi-tasking through your whole meet up. Juggling their baby/ child’s needs, with the conversation you are having.
6. Its ok to never finish a full conversation or a trial of thought. They will jump topics as quickly as you, and you will both be so distracted, so often, that you won’t get upset if you never did finish telling them that thing you wanted to share.
7. There is always cake!
Even as your babies grow and your lives take different trajectories, it doesn’t matter. Those people will always have a special place in your life as they were the people you shared part of your parenting journey with. They were your child’s first friends and together you helped each other work out your new and ever changing role.
Thanks to all my mummy friends, I couldn’t do this without you!
* I first wrote this piece for Meet Other Mums website – check out their fab page and other bogs https://meetothermums.com/blog/view/specialfriends