I never really thought about the need to have mum friends until a couple of months before Bells was due. I decided that I had a group of awesome friends and I wasn’t going to go in search of new friends just because they too had the ability to reproduce.
However, as the big arrival loomed, it dawned on me that being the first to have a baby meant that all of my friends still work full-time and are usually still out drinking/locked out trying to find their keys/on an awful Tinder date during the hours at which I’d be up trying to mute our baby (the very reason I loved them in the first place).
Always a fixer, I signed up to NCT and considered that box ticked with no further thought. I should add here that my NCT buddies have been lifesavers (girls I love you in case you’re reading this). But, my god, making “mummy friends” is daunting!
4 months in, I’m finally emerging from the black hole that is owning a newborn. I can now brush my hair in the morning (most days) and so I thought it about time that I took Bells to some classes. I figured she was getting bored of looking at my mug all day and it would be good to expand my circle of friends as I’m pretty sure the NCT’ers are bored of my whinging about being tired. And so it came about that I signed up to a Baby Sensory Class.
Now, I should add that I’ve never been a particularly practical person and things definitely haven’t changed with the arrival of a little person. Desperate to make a good impression, I got up super early that morning to wash and straighten my hair before squeezing in to my old white jeans… (what was I thinking). Bells decided as we were leaving the house to do a poonami all over me and after a rushed attempt to wash it out (I figured this would be quicker than actually ironing another outfit) I eventually admitted defeat and made my way to the class with a big yellow stain on the knee. Things were going well.
As I walked into the local village hall, I could feel all eyes turn to look at me, assessing how I looked & how I was acting with my baby to determine what category of mum I was as to whether I’d be the type of person that they’d get along with. It was like being at school again wanting to be picked for the hockey team. Hideous.
If they’d actually known me, I think I would have put me in the “desperately winging it” camp… white jeans proving I’m a novice, heels simply because I don’t get to go anywhere to wear my Louboutins any more, and showering my baby with kisses just because I was so grateful to have a prop with me.
I know that I probably gave the wrong impression that day… like I had my sh*t together, when I don’t. In truth, I just wanted to find someone like me, who isn’t sure their responsible enough to be trusted with a baby, who’s trying to find their way and has the occasional day when the only way they get through it is by the promise of a large glass of red wine at the end of it.
There were probably a lot of people like that there that day, but we each come with our own insecurities, worried about being judged. Next time I might take a bottle of gin with me and see if that makes me more popular 😀
I’d love to hear your experiences of making “mummy friends” and whether you have any tips/advice.