Since becoming a Mum, there’s one thing that has really bothered me. Making Mummy friends… Why does it feel like you’ve been plunged back into the dating scene?
Once upon a time, I would go out, meet new people and it felt reasonably easy and enjoyable. You’d have a chat, a drink, a laugh! BUT… being a Mum and meeting other Mums, it’s none of those things. I would go as far as to say it’s even harder than actually dating!
So, when I was pregnant with my son, none of my friends had kids, so I really had no one to talk to. As most mums do these days, I joined pregnancy apps, MumsNet, NetMums etc. You name it, I joined it to avoid feeling alone in what was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life.
These apps took over my life! I asked questions, I gave advice, we chatted about everything and I was feeling good about this whole Mum thing! After chatting to a few people and forming some close online friendship groups, we decided to meet up. A bunch of women excited about the little bundles of joy we were all waiting for!
Once our babies were born, a lot of these friendships changed. Mainly down to having a new human to look after and the fact that actually, in reality, you didn’t have that much in common to start with. When that reality kicked in, slight panic set in and so it was on to the next step… baby classes and playgroups.
These were a bit better than the whole internet thing. Face to face, it’s easier to meet someone you actually like and get on with and the biggest bonus is that these people are usually really local to you. At least, I *thought* it was easier…
On so many occasions I’ve met other mums and we’ve got on really well and thought, I’d really like to be friends with her. I mean, I must have the worst friendship sense ever! You text saying how lovely it was to meet them and when are they available to meet next… silence. Uh oh… Did I do something wrong? Did I say the wrong thing?
I have to be honest, I never thought that once I was married with a child that I would be wondering, do I text? Do I not? Has she seen my messages? Am I trying too hard? Do I send another message in case the first once didn’t get through? When should I stop texting? I feel like I’m losing the plot! This has happened a fair few times to me and has really taken a toll on my confidence. These days I find small talk very difficult, I worry I’m saying or doing the wrong things. I feel so unbelievably socially awkward and I wish I could change this as it’s really affected how I am with people.
I’m sure I cant be the only mum that feels like this! As someone who spent most nights of the week meeting new people at PR events and being totally at ease with conversation, these days I feel like a bit of a recluse with nothing interesting to say. I don’t feel like I fit within any ‘group’ within the school playground or anywhere else I go, for that matter. Although, as a whole, I’m okay with that, there are times that it does get me down that I don’t have that group of girlfriends like others do.
I’m aware this post might make me more unpopular, but I think it’s important to highlight how ‘cliquey’ the Mum scene really is. Seeing someone for all of a few minutes at school drop off is not enough time to decide if they are a good/ bad person or ‘your’ kind of person. People should stop judging people on what they look like first thing in the morning and lets be fair, who hasn’t had a mad dash day to school and looked like a total mess and has possibly been so flustered they seem like a total bitch.
All I ask is that people give others a chance. Say hello, smile and don’t be ignorant. It costs nothing to be polite and you know what, you could meet someone that is really genuine and becomes one of your best friends. It doesn’t matter who has the biggest house or who makes the most money… We are mums and it’s difficult for us all. We should have total respect for each other’s situations and be supportive.