When I was pregnant, I read countless blogs, books and baby bibles about mum friends. ‘Find other mums to hang out with’, they said. ‘No one else will understand what you’re going through’, ‘you must only talk to other humans who have procreated’! Now I have nothing against making friends purely because they have children the same age as yours, but I actually haven’t made any mum friends myself.
I have plenty of acquaintances but I haven’t had any coffee dates or nights out with parents I’ve met at mummy groups or antenatal classes. This is because, and I don’t mean this to sound mean, I’d rather see my other friends. As an only child with cousins a similar age living in France, I’ve relied heavily on my friends over the years and I have some bloody good ones. At this point in my life, the people who I choose to socialise with are the ones who have been there for me (and I hope vise versa) and who I know I’ll be friends with for the rest of my days. I have friends living in various places across the world and so the time I spend with them is precious.
I think baby books like to instil fear into new mums and like to over prepare them. I did read one article that stuck with me. It said that when you’re a new mum, you won’t feel connected to your friends without kids as they simply won’t understand and you won’t want to discuss the trivial things you used to. This is crap. I love discussing trivial things and believe me, some of my childless friends have been through some big things themselves that I don’t necessarily understand. Just because they haven’t experienced something, it doesn’t mean you can’t share it or that they don’t want to hear about it. Frankly, if you have friends who don’t want to hear about your journey as a new mum, then you probably shouldn’t be friends.
That being said, I am incredibly lucky that two of my friends (and close neighbours) fell pregnant at the same time as me and we spent a lot of time together and still do. If I didn’t have them, I may be feeling differently about the mum friends thing and might have had to actively seek out another parent to cling on to in the maternity leave days.
Mum friends can be great but don’t ditch the non-parents in the early days. It’s all just another experience to share with good friends.