Mummies need friends too…

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.

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Introductions are long overdue

I think it’s about time that I introduced myself and my wonderful little family.

My name is Barbara.  I work as a Civil Servant, three days a week, and I also teach martial arts and self-defence in my own Kung Fu school.  I have lots of hobbies and interests.  So many, in fact, that when I reel them off to someone, they normally get fed up of listening ha ha.

I enjoy martial arts, dancing, travelling, camping, swimming, scuba diving, playing the bagpipes, reading, writing, playing on the xbox, crafting (jewellery and accessory making, cross-stitching), watching TV and films, listening to music (most genres), singing (even though I’m tone deaf – my little man appreciates it though ha ha) and, unbelievably, studying!  As I am not a student, I study off my own whim.  I enjoy improving my knowledge on Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, various places and the history of Scotland, and fitness techniques to assist in my martial arts school.  Some may say that I have a couple of unhealthy obsessions.  Thus being of Scotland and Ancient Egypt.  Quite a weird combination there, huh?  Oh!  I’m also an avid map reader.  I can look at a map for hours…  And yes, I am a woman…  And yes, I can read maps!  Wow!

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My husbands’ name is Michael.  We first met in primary school, at the age of 5 or 6.  All throughout our school life, we went to the same schools.  In some respects, we were even in the same classes, but we never spoke.  We ran in different circles, so why would we?  It wasn’t until 2005 when he messaged me on Friends Reunited, enquiring about the Kung Fu classes I held.  On 31 october 2009, we married.  The ceremony and dinner was an Autumn theme, and the party in the evening was Halloween themed.  Everyone was in fancy dress!

Michael works as a self-employed photographer.  He photographs anything from sitting portraits to full day weddings.  He has a rather extensive list of hobbies too…  Martial arts, photography, gaming, programming (on the PC for Android apps), travelling and camping. He also shares the unhealthy obsession of Scotland that I hold.

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On 12 September, 2011, a bouncing baby boy came into our lives.  William was a huge baby.  He was 10lb 8oz born!  My little squished face beauty.  After 30 and a half hours labour, my consultant decided that it was just too dangerous to continue, and I was rushed for an emergency section.  I was high as a kite due to all the gas & air I had been supping for 25 hours, and I really didn’t know what was going on.  I can, however, remember as clear as a bell when the surgeon held him up over the curtain, ‘congratulations, you’ve had a toddler – he’s come out wearing his school uniform and briefcase in hand…’  I took one look, burst into tears saying, “he’s not mine…  He’s Chinese…”  Bless.  William was huge!  He was bruised, swollen, and had a touch of jaundice.  Luckily, the jaundice cleared within 4 days.

My little man is 19 months old in two weeks.  I can’t believe where the time has gone.  Sometimes when I look at him, I still can’t believe that he’s here, and that he’s mine.  But on the other hand, I can’t remember what it was like before he came along.  I feel so blessed.

I would start listing his hobbies…  But being the age that he is, his list is not as extensive as mine or Michaels’.  Currently, William enjoys watching cbeebies (especially In the Night Garden), ‘splash splash’ time (baths), going out with his nanna and grandad, and general play.  He’s starting to grow out of the snuggling phase, but it’s still wonderful when he climbs up on your knee to give you kisses and cuddles.

This was taken when William was only 3 hours old…  Look at the face!  You can tell that I’m as high as the sky in the background 🙂

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And this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.  Oh, how the time has gone…

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