If all us Mothers know one sure-thing that happens when we become parents it’s this: You gain a baby, you lose friends.
It’s just the way it is. You constantly get told that people are going to stick around when the baby arrives and the truth is that doesn’t always happen. It’s hard to keep up relationships with friends who aren’t parents. It’s hard for them to understand the sacrifice that needs to be made every single day to put your children first. You were once this super available person up for spontaneous adventures but now you own a diary and you can only make room if you’re notified a week in advance.
It’s tough. It’s tough for everyone involved, both the new parents and friends. I can count my none-parent friends on one hand, but honestly, they’re all I need.
If I had one piece of advice for parenthood, it’s that you will need parent-friends. In my case, I needed Mum Friends. The days are lonely, and when you just want to off lay the bad day you’ve had because your kid hasn’t slept, hasn’t eaten, and has hit you 98438 times you need someone who is going to understand, someone who is going to tell you they’ve had a bad day too.
So, where do you find these people? They’re actually everywhere and you’ll be so surprised how easy it is to make friends now you’ve got something to talk about… babies!
Now, I know your parents told you not to speak to people on the internet, but you’re an adult now and I’m sure you can fish out the weirdos for yourself. It’s also super easy now to work out if an account is legit and if the person behind it even exists. Luckily for me, I already had a large presence online before I had my baby. With my blog and Instagram, it was easy to connect with other parents or parents-to-be when I was pregnant. So I’d already grown an online support network of lots of mums before I even had my baby.
I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have such a huge network of mums at my fingertips. It means that someone is always there, ready to listen, ready to give advice. Practically 24/7 at least someone is awake dealing with night feeds or an unruly toddler. Although near enough all of these mums live miles away and I’ve either never met or only met a handful of times I would certainly call them my best friends, and some of them are my first port of call whenever anything goes down in life. They’re my rock.
Don’t be afraid to reach out or start interacting with mums online. Especially don’t be afraid to reach out to ‘instamums’ or parent bloggers. We might seem all professional and like we know what we’re doing but we really don’t!
Mum Apps (Mush)
Tinder for Mums? That’s where apps like Mush come in! How to meet and chat with local mums. You can search depending on distance, or what they’re interests are or perhaps search for mums who have children the same age as yours. I’ve never managed to meet up with anyone from these kinds of apps but I know a lot of people have done. Even if you’re not really searching for someone to go on playdates with you can just as easily find someone to chat with. You can ask about the best places to take your little ones in your area too which I’ve found really helpful!
Old Friendship Circles
Honestly, this is a road I never saw myself going down, but nevertheless, it’s a great source of mum friends. People who you were close with many years ago, or perhaps people who you have to know through someone else. If they’ve got kids, they’ll be open to getting to know you again. Since having Theodore I’ve reconnected with people who I thought had long left my life never to be seen again! You’ll be surprised how easy it is to just pick up friendships where you left off, you’ll have tonnes to talk about because of a) babies and b) old memories! So don’t be afraid, send them a quick message on Facebook and simply ask if they’d like to catch up!
This is where you’ll make your ‘circle’. I feel so lucky that myself and Theodore have made a fantastic group of friends from our Children Centres group. I started taking Theodore to a baby class when he was 7 weeks old and quickly made friends with 6 other women and their babies who are all a few months apart from each other. We regularly meet at toddler groups now and also plan days out together. These ladies have helped me tremendously through all the struggles and stages Theodore has gone though mostly because their little ones are going through the same leaps at the same time. We all chat every day on messenger and get to see what each little one is up too. I’ve seen all their babies grow and love them all so much, all special in their own way.
Cafes/Out and About
I find this a hard one, and I’m yet to actually completely find a friend this way. I’ve only been able to pluck the courage up once to start a full-blown conversation with another mum whilst we’ve been out. But that’s mostly because I find it difficult to get out and about with Theodore on my own, it’s not something I feel quite comfortable with yet, but I’m working on it. Try sparking up general chit-chat. Perhaps about wherever it is you are, then move on to asking how old their little one is and eventually the conversation will be flowing, just don’t be afraid.
By following any number of these tips you’ll be making some friends in no time. I’ve certainly made some friends for life along the way. You’ll soon be a busy bee with play dates and coffee shop stops to fill up your maternity leave and beyond. I’d love to hear any mum-making-friends experiences you’ve had so let me know down in the comments. Just remember, life isn’t a movie and nasty-clicky Mum groups aren’t the norm.