My Mummy friends mean more to me than I could have imagined. They help me find my sanity, feed me tea and love my children. They cry with me, laugh with me, overly obsess over babies with me and love me for me. They are an important relationship in your life that understands EVERYTHING! They can relate to birth stories, night feeds, the emotional pull of your babies’ firsts. As well as, completely understanding the overwhelming feeling of being needed as a mummy and a wife, constantly…endlessly. We emotionally hold each other’s hands when we can’t support ourselves, through hugs, what’s app conversations and endless play dates. We inspire each to be better mothers, friends and wives. Additionally, supporting and relating with each other when we feel like we are failing.
I have a small group of ‘said’ mummy friends who I have known since Tommy was born. We have built this friendship over time, hours, days of endless support and love. They to me, are more important than a cup of tea (and that’s saying something). They are an integral part in my life that keeps me ticking along each day, to me they are as important as my family.
Looking back, being a Mummy is something I always aspired too, dreamed of and needed in life. It’s something I just generally thought would happen, along with getting married and living happily ever after, with my 2.4 children, maybe in a white picket fenced house in the country. All the stories I read, looked at, or watched growing up told me this would be my life. I wasn’t very good at making or keeping friends at school, so I focused more on imagining my happily ever after. It was mapped out in-front of me like the M4, tracing a solid blue line through my mind. Although, deep down I knew that we didn’t live in the 1950’s anymore, and that the realities would hit me hard as I became an adult. I brushed them off with naivety.
The bomb shell of said realities hit me at specific points in my life…like a bus flattening me while stood on my perfect M4 brain map. Squishing me to smithereens. This was how I felt after we lost our first baby. Nothing prepares you for the curve balls your thrown. They blow apart your soul and shatter your ‘perfection’. At that moment, you can’t envision moving a body part, let alone progressing back into daily life.
When I gave birth to my darling first born, in what ‘they’ class as a late miscarriage I fell apart. There were ten fingers, ten toes, finger nails… but the heart beat I loved was silent. This was not a miscarriage. It was loss, devastation and…silence.
Furthermore, as I was yet to become a mummy, I had no one to relate to. No mummy groups, no mummy friends, no one there to talk to in the middle of the night because you couldn’t sleep due to your breath being stolen by the emptiness. My family were amazing, Craig held me tight for hours and a couple of friends understood. Nonetheless, now I think back, and reflect on what I now know… I needed you, my mummy friends.
Seven years on, I have you in my life and I have just got back from another playdate. You know the one, where you open your soul and cover the highs and lows of your marriage, babies and family in a few hours. Who needs therapy when I have you. But that’s just it. Not everyone has you… mummy friends. Through social geography, emotional anxiety or the complexities of leaving the house, meeting ‘said’ mummy friends isn’t always easy or an achievable feat. Therefore, what do we do when we desperately need a mummy friend, but we’re not yet a mummy or can’t (for our own reasons) meet one. I was there seven years ago desperate for you.
Today we have the luxury of the Internet. Through social sites and groups, we have access to others seeking friendship on a daily basis. You can join a group for every type of interest or location. To make a connection with someone who understands and supports you is important as a mummy. For me, the online world gives me a comfortable feeling that people in the same boat are there, if I need support. Now I am older I feel more confident to click and find them.
However, this isn’t for everyone and I understand everyone has their own niche of friendship group they look for. It took me a while to find my ‘click’ within the right group of mummy friends. Being a mummy is hard and having the additional worry of getting out of the house to meet others, or starting up the laptop to join in a conversation is easier said than done. It’s taken me years to build up a strong friendship with these mummy friends. My advice is to be honest with yourself. Don’t pressurise yourself to join groups until you’re ready to venture out. Especially as a new mum, groups can feel overwhelming and full of judgie eyes. Be friendly and friendship will find you. Additionally, there are many antenatal groups that allow you to build up a connection before the crazy mummy life begins, like NCT or NHS Classes. Facebook groups also hold a wealth of information, just search for the type of group and the location you live in.
Trust me its worth it. I know not everyone will agree, but for me finding my mummy friends was similar to finding my husband… when you know you just know. You know they will totally rock your world with extra nappies for your children, because you have forgotten yours for the hundredth time. Bring a revolving supply of snacks, tea and cake…. and endless hugs full of love to support your soul. Mummy friends are amazing…and we rock the socks off of life together.. “one small step for a mum…one giant leap together”!(Yes, I totally stole Neil Armstrong’s catch phrase!)
*Finding mummy friends is hard and it took me a long time to realise how important and invaluable they are to my life. No one should EVER feel alone or lonely. Its ok to says I am lonely even when you’re not alone. If like me you crave adult conversation from time to time sites such as Channel Mum and Mumsnet have good groups that support us mums. As well as this, I am always here for a chat, you’ll find me over on my twitter, Instagram or Facebook.