When I became a Mum, I was the first of my friends to enter the motherhood arena.
My friends were at the stage of their lives where they thought nothing of discussing other peoples bowel movements or what was the best way to pureé an avocado. Do you mash it like a banana or were those mini blenders really worth the price? My life became consumed by the routine of motherhood and our connection certainly diminished a little. But I needed friends, mum friends, women who understand why I agonised over how to puree that avocado. But it’s not always easy to connect and make friends.
Problem 1: How Do I Even Make Mum Friends?
Early motherhood is especially isolating. We may be on maternity leave and without our peers, our friends may be balancing an enormous load at home and equally struggle to find time to meet. Or we may not know where we can find mum friends.
Go to where the mums are. Toddler groups, mum groups, are a great way to not only get out of the house but also connect with women who are in the same stage of motherhood. Now, this suits a lot of people, but if you’re like me and your social anxiety kicks up a gear at the thought of small talk, then skip the playgrounds and the community groups until you’re ready; step out online. I found lifelong friendships online, Instagram specifically. These relationships naturally flowed from conversations in DMs to coffees in hand as we walked through parks. But, to make mom friends, don’t be afraid to smile and say hello. She may be looking for you too.
Problem 2: How Do I Choose The Right Friends?
Turns out there are a lot of us looking for connections but how do we kickstart that friendship that will help us, support us and even love us?
Friends who will listen as you pour your heart out about the difficult or wonderfully bright days of motherhood is the balance we need. Friendships are all about give and take, but when someone listens to you, is supportive, shares your interests and hopes, and doesn’t judge you, then she’s worth hanging on to; once you do the same for her too.
Problem 3: How Do I Make These Friendships Last?
We also need these friendships to last. To grow with us as our kids step out of their pre-walker shoes, and run with their mates at school sports day. So how do we make these friendships last?
It’s not all about the kids. For friendships to cement, it needs to be about the two of you, the women behind the mothers. Your loves, passions, and dreams. Share with each other and ignite what makes you both tick. The conversation does not need to rotate around the kids, but the bigger picture. So, find something in common, challenge the world, be you.