You need Mum friends!
You need Mum friends!
We come from all walks of life but are united by our babies. We wearily meet for coffee, reviving ourselves as we chat about sleep, poo, burps and white noise machines.
Sometimes the only thing you take away from antenatal classes are your new Mum friends. (Seriously, why isn’t there more talk about what happens after you bring baby home?! Someone needs to prepare us for that!)
But sometimes Mum friends are hard to find, and you’re left navigating this new season on your own.
Motherhood can be lonely. Especially for us modern women who are used to working, gymming, socialising and travelling. Suddenly we’re at home with this tiny dependent and you start wondering, “was the lounge room always this small?”
Why you need Mum friends
- They understand
Your friends without kids probably don’t get it when you start talking about tog ratings and sleep regressions, but your Mum friends do…and they’re there at 2pm or 2am to talk about it.
Whether it’s via text or over coffee, your Mum friend is all ears.
- They remind you what you’re going through is normal
Many times you’ll be sitting at home wondering if your baby is normal; if the way they’re growing, moving, eating and sleeping is normal.
You say something in an off-hand way to your fellow Mama and relief washes over you as she says her child is also licking the salt lamp (…or whatever)
- They offer advice
We live in an information overload society and it’s tough to wade through ALL the info you read online to try and decide what’s best for you and your baby.
Then there’s the added pressure of your own Mum or MIL telling you how it should be done.
Chat amongst the ladies in your coffee group and you’ll soon learn what the most popular method or product is – with real life reviews!
How to make them
First and foremost, leave your insecurities at the door. Try and smile and chat to other parents when you’re out and about, at the markets, library or park. If the conversation goes back and forth, get their details and try to meet up again!
- Sign up for antenatal classes
They can seem a bit naff but it’s a sure way to meet other parents in your area who will have babies the same age as yours
- Join a FB group
There are private Mum’s Facebook groups (like Mama Tribe) or ‘due’ groups where you can find others in your area due at the same time.
A word of warning: sometimes these groups (especially the larger, more popular ones) lend themselves to discussions that are more gossip than advice. You can always remove yourself from a group if it’s not your cup of tea!
- Head along to a mums and bubs activity
Again, sometimes a bit naff, but singing nursery rhymes as you “airplane” your child in a circle might just help you find a likeminded Mum friend.
There are music classes at the library, swimming, playgroups and sensory classes. The key here is to strike up a conversation – just ask about their baby and you’ll be away laughing.
- Ask your midwife or community health nurse for a group near you
Ask if they know any Mums in your area, or if there are any meet and greets going. Pop along for a coffee and see if you gel with another Mama.
It doesn’t always have to be coffee or a play date, you could go for a beach walk together; split the cost of a PT session; or head along to a movie. You could also meet for an afterhours wine if that’s your thing!
The rise of Instagram
Instagram can be a fabulous resource to form virtual friendships with other Mums…just remember that we all post our highlight reel – not the bloopers!
It’s as easy as liking a few posts, commenting on her photos and getting to know her. Send her a DM and you might discover a bond. Next step is meeting up in person with the babies and you’ve just landed yourself another Mum friend!
“What if I don’t want Mum friends?”
Becoming a parent requires support – and lots of it. If you don’t have a great support network, your Mum friends are essential.
But some of us have plenty of friends and family around, maybe lots of friends who already have kids, and they’re your ‘Mum friend’. Or you simply don’t want to sit around talking about baby stuff. That’s okay, too.
Just make sure that you’re not doing motherhood alone. It can be lonely at times and a true friend (Mum or not) is an asset during this tough season.
If you do find a group of Mums, hold them tight!
Written by Emily Parks, Mum to Olly and Ruby