Making friends is easy right? I mean, you have so much in common when you’re a mum and have a new baby…I joined lots of local groups and tried hard to expand my social network into friends that were going through a similar time in their life rather than those who haven’t had kids and bless them…but they had no idea what early parenting was like!
I also lost a lot of friends along the way – more than I expected to actually. You know how people talk about fair-weather friends, well apparently I had a lot of those (insert slightly embarrassed laugh here) and I really didn’t realise.
When my now amazing free schedule (now that you don’t do anything…I mean it’s not like you work) friends got upset I couldn’t make evening events and I tried to reschedule a few (ok maybe a few too many) catch ups…I realised I was being left off the invite list. Yes, it upset me for ages, but I realised that we were just at different stages, and the good friends would understand and hang in there – and you know what, they did! Gone were the mediocre friendships, the high maintenance friends and the Friday night drinking buddys…instead I gained a good handful of (mainly) mums who totally understood that I WAS running on time for our catch-up, BUT a poonami had slowed me down, and they didn’t mind me breast feeding the baby at the table during lunch!
I’ve been to some local events with the Royals and they were HARD – I didn’t know anyone else there…lots of the mums had their own groups and sat together, and even though the kids had a good time – I felt like a fish out of water regardless of how much I tried to interact with the other mums, so some days I just gave up and went home feeling really down.
Other times – I’d try a new playgroup or a local catch up of mums I’d met online, and they were awesome! I was often the odd one out bringing my older Royal along for the play-date but most of the mums were ok with that, and some of them even went out of their way to include both Royals in future invites which really made me smile!
It really takes time to find those mums who will hold your baby for 5 minutes so you can have a shower / drink your cold cup of tea / or better yet will make you a fresh cuppa, who won’t judge your house EVER, and when you’re sick will drop round family size trays of lasagne and chicken dinosaurs for the kids at your back door and run away so they don’t catch the sickness!
But I promise you they do exist…there are lots of mums out there just like you – probably having a bad day and trying their hardest to get up the courage to go out there and try and meet new mum friends just like you – so please be kind girls, it’s HARD to put yourself out there, especially when you’re tired / a bit shell shocked that your beautiful baby doesn’t sleep like the books told you they would, and the caffeine stores are running low – but try, try and try again…I’d be lucky to say I got the whole new mum friends gig even half right…but damn it I tried – even if it was a bit half-hearted some days!