When a woman becomes a mummy, there are a couple of things that could happen.
The first is that she already has friends that have children. Some are older, some are the same age… She feels secure and confident that her ‘already’ mummy friends will be on hand to help and advise her.
The second is that she doesn’t have any friends that are already mummies. They hang around for a while, but the new mummy has to turn down days / nights out because she has her hands full. The baby is taking up all of her time. Eventually, her friends don’t bother with the invitations any more. The new mummy then loses contact. Sure, one or two friends may stick around, but things are never the same.
Me? I never had any friends to begin with (other than my husband), but the craving for friends was still there.
I have always said that I am not a people person, and I think that I that because I struggle to make friends. I always have.
I like to think that I am an interesting person… I have a wide variety of hobbies, interests and music tastes, so I am sure to have something in common with near enough everyone. The only thing that I have never been in to is going out, clubbing. Even when I did used to go out (ages 18 to 22 – or there abouts), I was never in to it. I only ever went to keep in with my ‘friends’. I think it’s because I struggle with what to say. I just seem to ramble.
I actually made a friend a few years ago… She was just a couple of months older than me, and we had a lot in common. She didn’t have any children of her own, but two step-children. We had dinner parties together – at each others houses, had days out together, and even went on holiday, camping, together. It was all great fun, and I loved being able to talk to another woman – as a friend, rather than family.
I think when you have friends who are family members too, you feel slightly cautious about what you can and can’t say. I think you’re slightly afraid of who else may hear within your family. Well. That’s how I feel anyway.
However, my friendship didn’t last. I made the mistake of trying to make family friends, rather than a friend for just me. My husband and her husband clashed. It wasn’t because they had too many things in common… It was their personalities. It all came to heads when I felt like my friend and her husband were trying to ‘dig deep’ in to my personal life. It wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to talk, but they were asking questions, trying to turn me against my husband. I still haven’t figured out why.
When I fell pregnant with Donut, my cravings started again. I’m not just talking pregnancy cravings either, ha ha.
I started posting on a parenting site called Netmums (this is an international site – not just for parents in the UK), asking for friends with children of a similar age to mine. I received a few replies.
One reply came from a girl who lived a 10 minute drive away from me. We shared ‘essays’ of messages, back and forth for weeks… Then all of a sudden, she just disappeared. I did message her to ask if she was ok, and I’m still waiting for a reply from May.
Another reply came from a lovely girl who lives down south. Not what you call a conventional friend, as the chances of us meeting are minimal. However, we have been corresponding for months now, and each email is long and chatty… Exactly what you are looking for with an epal 🙂
Two more replies came, and I have met both ladies. Both live a bit of a distance away from me, but are definitely not out of the way.
G lives about a 30 minutes drive away, and she has a lovely little boy who is almost 2. Gning got on great with him, and we are planning on meeting again soon.
A lives about a 45 minute drive away, and her lovely little man is just 9 months old. Talk about being a smiler! Gning wasn’t with me when we met, but Donut was. I’m looking forward to going for another coffee with her tomorrow.
So, why do mummies need friends?
I think it’s necessary. Not just for the kiddies to meet and play with each other (although that is a very important reason in itself); but for women to be able to get out of their usual routine of just looking at the same four walls, day in and out. It’s important to socialise… Humans – no matter how much of not being a ‘people person’ they are – need companionship.
Sharing a general interest, going for days out, crafting together, baking together… Offering support and advice.for each other. No matter the reason, having a friend is important.