When I was pregnant I insisted that I didn’t need any more friends.
My husband suggested we sign up for NCT classes to meet other expectant mums and dads. I wasn’t keen. I already had enough friends and many of them were mums anyway. I didn’t need any more friends.
My husband was persuaded not to sign up for NCT. I’d won. We weren’t going to make any new friends. And I didn’t need any more friends.
Or so I thought.
Then my baby arrived and I suddenly realised that I really really did need mum friends.
When you’re a new mum, everything is scary and confusing. Having friends who are going through the same thing is such a relief. Having friends with whom you can share stories of explosive nappies and advice of cures for first colds helps make it all a little less daunting.
When you’re a new mum to a tiny new human who needs feeding at all hours of the night, it feels like you’re the only person in the world awake while everyone else is sleeping. Having friends who you can message at 3am and actually get a reply from, is comforting.
When you’re a new mum, on maternity leave and at home all day on your own with a new baby, it is lonely. Having friends who you can call on for a coffee and a moan makes it all the more manageable.
Making new friends is scary at any age but when you’re already in the throes of new motherhood, it can feel even more daunting.
Fast forward three months and I have a lovely circle of new (and old) mum friends.
It might be my age (nope, I’m not going to tell you – a lady never does!) but many of my pre-baby friends seem to have given birth this year too. Unfortunately none of these friends live close by but that hasn’t stopped them keeping me company during night time feeds and sharing experiences and advice and support.
I’ve also been extremely lucky to meet a lovely group of ladies with babies all born within the past six months and live in the same town as me. They’re there for me when I need a coffee and companionship. They’re also there when I need advice.
My mum friends have helped me to carry on breastfeeding when I thought I might give up.
My mum friends have helped me to feel better when I thought I’d never feel better again after my caesarean.
My mum friends have helped me to see the funny side of being covered in baby poo!
My mum friends have helped me to laugh and feel like me again when I thought that having a baby meant I might not again.
My mum friends have helped me to enjoy my maternity leave when I wanted to rush back to work, just so that I could have adult conversations again.
My mum friends have helped me to leave the house when it felt like I’d be trapped at home for nine months with a screaming baby.
Most importantly, my mum friends have helped me to trust that I can be the best mum to my little boy and to actually enjoy this whole experience.
I’m excited for our babies to grow up together, knowing that we’ll be there for each other every step of the way.