I like my friends. They’re school friends, work friends, friends I’ve accumulated via my husband, even family members. I’ve carefully cultivated them over the last thirty odd years. And when I say carefully, I mean mostly via the medium of alcohol, food and intense WhatsApp exchanges filled with bad puns and a running commentary on the latest TV show. Each one of them is pretty awesome in their own right, which is lucky for me because I have a confession to make…
I hate making friends.
Which is unfortunate. Especially when you desperately need to make new mum friends because that’s what the books say and frankly if you watch another episode of crappy daytime chat shows on mute whilst singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ you may just go insane. So it’s time to suck it up and dive straight in. Cue our interpretation of the stages of making new friends (with babies).
Stage One – Over-Politeness
“Oh your child is called Adolf? What a LOVELY name”
You’re new. You’re keen. You’re going to charm the pants off of them whether they like it or not. Everything is LOVELY. Lovely name. Lovely bag. Lovely child. You realise you’re saying “lovely” a little too much (don’t want to appear manic – the fixed grin does that for you) and throw in a couple “cute”s. That bow is so cute in your little girls hair. Oh it’s a boy? Lovely. (Damn it!)
Stage Two – Stuck Like Glue
You’ve made it past the first hurdle; you’ve established contact. Now it’s time to make sure you become integral in each others lives by attending every class going together. Fancy swimming? Of course. Spot of soft play? Why not. Throw yourself off a building to raise money for the local children’s centre? Wouldn’t miss it for the world. You don’t want to say no for fear of them finding a new friend. A better friend. A friend that’s more likely to want to do absolutely everything with them, and provide snacks at the same time. You are like Jim Carrey’s Yes Man in mother form.
Stage Three – White Lies
As time continues you start to realise you’re not completely in alignment with all of their views. You moderate your own comments in order to not make waves. “Of course I never let my child sleep in my bed either” – despite waking up next to them that very morning. Well, a little white lie never hurt anyone and you’re pretty sure it’s only one or two things that you disagree on.
Stage Four – Reality
Amy spends the entire time telling you you’re wrong. Laura’s child only has to pull a funny face and she’s convinced he’s dying. You’re pretty sure Sarah has a drink problem (and not the fun type). Debbie is just. Plain. Dull. It turns out you can only actually stand two of them. Which is great. Except you’re seeing Amy at messy play, taking Sarah to baby massage and doing sing and rhyme with Debbie. Tomorrow.
Stage Five – Extraction
You’ve established who you feel most comfortable with but how do you know they feel the same? Commence some comments to test the waters; “Do you fancy coffee, just us…Or you know, others too?” Over-analyse the answers for hours whilst doing the night-feed. Give yourself a little talking to about being a fully grown woman and totally able to choose who you are and aren’t friends with. Question whether that’s still the case repeatedly before asking your husband his opinion until he puts his headphones in and asks you to stop waking him up at midnight for these apparently life-defining problems. Decide you’ve totally lost your radar since having a baby but plunge straight in anyway.
Stage Six – Mum Mates For Life
You’ve made it. You’ve gone through the keen, awkward stages and made it out the other side. Congratulations, you can finally be yourself with these people without wondering if they’re going to report you to ChildLine for the joke you made about giving the baby a swig of whisky to help them sleep (it was a joke, I promise!). Cue a WhatsApp group filled with such gems as ‘the baby just puked in my mouth’ exchanges at all hours of the night and ‘is this poo colour normal?’ all day. Get comfy, these women are in it for the long haul!
Have you had to make new mum friends since having your child? How’ve you found it?
I haven’t made mum friends but I’ve gotten closer to friends who also have kids now, it’s like there is an understanding that wasn’t there before. I’m even besties with my brothers ex now!!!!
I’m the same, it’s definitely easier with others in the same boat! Wow, it’s funny how things turn out isn’t it?!
love this. Good mom friends are total game changers!
Aren’t they?! Who else is going to send you stupid texts at 3am?! Thanks for reading!
This is excellent. One of my best friends is a mum I met at pregnancy yoga, and then again at baby yoga once the little ones were born. Making mum-friends is hard!
So hard!!! Ahhh I think mum friends once established are the best! Thanks for stopping by x
I find it really difficult!! Haha. But at least we are all in the same boat. Great post x
Just realised my reply didn’t come through! I find it difficult too, I hate it!!! Thanks for stopping by! x
It’s hard making mum friends but I’m glad I am not the only one (I thought I was the only one or it was the town we are living in 🙂 ). I have some brilliant friends (3am WhatsApp) friends from when I had my 1st son, but with the 2nd it’s a completely different story – I think we are at Stage 4 🙂
I’m totally at stage 4 with all the new ones… it’s worse than dating as a teenager!! It’s funny most of my friends on their 2nd or 3rd babies have found it harder too, I guess new mums is an easy discussion whereas on the 2nd you’ve got less time for activities etc! Who knew it’d be so hard!! Thanks for stopping by x
I love this post. I think I have passed through all stages and now I have moved away and need to start it all again but t is much harder with older kids. Mich x #BloggerClubUK
I love this as I think I go through these stages too. Round up a load and then decide who do you REALLY gel with and who is worth it and makes you happy? It’s getting the confidence at the start. So glad you have your friend group. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x
Definitely!! I’d forgotten how hard making friends is!! Thanks for hosting x
I find it really awkward making Mum friends and only really have ‘friends’ at stay and play that I only really see and talk to at stay and play. All u really have to talk about is how many time Amelia shouted ‘mum’ today and the few hours max actually slept last night! #sharewithme
Standard mum convos guaranteed to get you through most classes – sleep, feed, recent update etc!! Thanks for reading x
Oh god, you poor thing! Thanks for stopping by!!
I absolutely love this! It is so true and I’ve been there so many times and made my exit a few times. I find it so false all that polite chit chat rubbish, half the time I can’t even stand their child! Maybe that’s why I find it really hard to make mummy friends.
Hahaha!! I feel the same! Politeness overload! Thanks for stopping by x
Love this post, and spot on. My two are now at school but I remember those new baby days being polite to everyone I met, now it’s a select few who have made it through the years. And it’s the ones who get the subtle undertones of my humour. #BloggerClubUK
It’s hard weeding out the keepers isn’t it?! Have to share the subtle jokes, otherwise parenting wouldn’t be half as fun! Thanks for stopping by x
The good ones are great and one of my best friends now is someone I met 11 years ago at NCT – however there are some bad ones too. These days after four children I’m very picky. Thanks for linking to #sharewithme
Oh god, I think I’m going to just hibernate for the next one day rely on these friends to get me through!! Lovely to hear they last though!! Thanks for hosting and for stopping by xx