The real value of mum friends
Motherhood changes you in every way imaginable. Some of the changes are physical… but the biggest changes are emotional. Once you have kids, your priorities change. It isn’t just about you anymore. Now your thoughts are taken up with caring for someone else and providing for them in every way you possibly can.
And not everyone understands that.
Have you ever had a friend tell you that having kids is just like having a dog? They don’t have kids, do they? Unless you have kids, you can’t truly appreciate just how significantly it changes your life.
That’s not to say that you should ditch all your friends that don’t have kids… far from it! Those friends are just as vital in your new mum life. When you are feeling like you have lost a sense of that person you used to be, these are the people who can remind you. They might glaze over when you start talking about the latest poonami you have dealt with but they will probably be the people who also love you and your kids the hardest.
Why you need mum friends
What’s missing in all of this though are mum friends. The women who just get it.
They have been through it all before, or perhaps they are going through it all at the same time as you. They are the friends who will understand how you are feeling, the changes to your relationship with your partner once baby arrives and the joy of reaching baby milestones.
Motherhood can be lonely and isolating… your mum friends get that and they will be there to support you through it.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that your mum friends will just be in your life for the season of the early years of motherhood. While that can be true of any friendship, the bonds you make with your mum friends can last a lifetime.
Where to meet mum friends
It may be as simple as going to the park and starting up a conversation… but that doesn’t work for everyone.
The thing with mum friends is that we all want and need them. We are all seeking connection and friendship in our new reality of life with kids. So you will find that there are so many ways to meet other like-minded women who also happen to be mums.
The system is actually set up for new mums to meet each other through mothers groups. There is so much value in the very early days of motherhood in getting together with other women at the same stage of baby development to laugh about the funnier moments and support each other through the challenges.
You will find yourself initially in a room full of strangers who will very quickly become friends… or maybe they won’t, and that’s ok too. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and just try to enjoy the company of other mums and their beautiful babies.
Playgroups happen all across Australia each and every day. Unlike with mothers groups where you will be assigned a particular group to attend, you can hop around to different playgroups until you find one that just clicks.
And don’t be mistaken in thinking that playgroup is just about the kids… it’s often more about the parents and the connections they make.
Mums rule the Facebook group space. Whatever your interest or concern, you will find a group to support you. And while those groups may very much just be strangers interacting through comment and likes, you can find a great deal of support and sometimes even friendships through these groups.
Start by joining the local mum’s group in your area and see if they have any in-person meetups. Always be careful about giving out personal details online but as long as you are conscious of this, online groups can be a brilliant way to make new mum friends… even if you never actually meet IRL!
At the school gate
By the time your kids are a little older and starting school, you probably already have your established mum friends. But that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome new mums into the fold!
While your kids are becoming friends in the playground, you can be doing the same thing at the school gate. It’s just a bonus if your kids become friends too!
However you make them, your mum friends will play such an important role in your mum life. Together you can laugh and cry and reassure each other that you are not alone in the journey. What starts as a friendship over a common interest - your kids - can end up being a lifetime bond that grows and strengthens as your kids get older.
They say it takes a village to raise a child… think of your mum friends as your village. Choose them well because it’s certainly quite the ride you’ll be going on together!