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Why Making New “Mum” Friends Is Like Dating

1
Let’s set the scene….
With a racing heart, my thumb hovered over the ”Send” button. Was I coming on too strong? Was it too soon to text? Were they even interested? I turned my phone over and decided that I’d send the message tomorrow.
You’d be forgiven for thinking I was sending a message to some guy I’d met in a crowded bar after a few too many tequilas. But no, I was about to text the mother of a little boy who goes to nursery with my son. We’d met over the weekend at the park and the boys played so nicely together. We chatted while the boys
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explored the playground, some would even say bonded. And as we went our separate ways, we exchanged numbers.
This lady was nice, in fact she was lovely. And instead of daydreaming about weddings and what our future children would look like, I was daydreaming about play dates with our kids and frothy coffees. I’m guessing we wouldn’t have swapped numbers for no reason. Or was she just being polite? Turns out we actually have stuff in common and have become friends, and even more importantly our children are friends.
I recently posted about this and
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was overwhelmed by the amount of people who said they had exactly the same thought. I’ve lost count of times I’ve thought to myself at a playgroup, or an art session ”wow, she looks cool, let me strike up a conversation” to chicken out at the last moment and just give a teeny smile.
But let’s be real. The whole way through parenthood, we are told that it takes a village right? Your village doesn’t need to be your family, it can be the new lady you struck up a conversation with because she spotted your child stick a crayon up their nose, and hers
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does that too. Because her acknowledgement of this means that you are not alone. Most importantly, you are certainly not doing a bad job.
When my son was a few months old, some of the Mum’s I’d met through NCT went out for lunch (this actually turned in to a bit of a pub crawl if I’m honest) and as I waited at the bar to order the next round a woman came up to me. We struck up a conversation. She was on her second child, who was the same age as ours but hadn’t done any antenatal classes because it was the second time around and was now exceedingly
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lonely. The first of her new ”mum” friends to have a second child and they were all at work. I invited her to join us and she did. As she left, she asked for my phone to put her number in, she entered it as ”Beth with a baby”. We never actually ended up speaking again, but I know for that one afternoon she enjoyed adult conversation and women who would hold her baby while she went to the toilet.
We are all in the same boat. Probably all worried about coming across a little bit desperate, some of us haven’t been thrown in to that situation of making
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friends since school/uni. Work is a different ball game because you are friends on a different level, and probably wouldn’t discuss the intimacies of cracked nipples and daring to have sex after your six week check with them.
You never know, you could meet a friend for life. Maybe places that have high traffic of new mum’s that hang around should offer stickers that say things like ”You can talk to me, I don’t bite” or ”Free for coffee!” or ”I breastfeed too!” or ”Approachable and Sane”. Anything that might make us all that little bit more
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open to casting aside our fears and taking the plunge on expanding our own, and other peoples’, support networks.
So next time you want to talk to someone at a playgroup, or any other circumstance that wouldn’t be deemed creepy – do it!
Alex – aka – The Mummy Hustle
SelfishMother.com
Alexandra Athienitou

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- 24 Jan 19

Let’s set the scene….

With a racing heart, my thumb hovered over the “Send” button. Was I coming on too strong? Was it too soon to text? Were they even interested? I turned my phone over and decided that I’d send the message tomorrow.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I was sending a message to some guy I’d met in a crowded bar after a few too many tequilas. But no, I was about to text the mother of a little boy who goes to nursery with my son. We’d met over the weekend at the park and the boys played so nicely together. We chatted while the boys explored the playground, some would even say bonded. And as we went our separate ways, we exchanged numbers.

This lady was nice, in fact she was lovely. And instead of daydreaming about weddings and what our future children would look like, I was daydreaming about play dates with our kids and frothy coffees. I’m guessing we wouldn’t have swapped numbers for no reason. Or was she just being polite? Turns out we actually have stuff in common and have become friends, and even more importantly our children are friends.

I recently posted about this and was overwhelmed by the amount of people who said they had exactly the same thought. I’ve lost count of times I’ve thought to myself at a playgroup, or an art session “wow, she looks cool, let me strike up a conversation” to chicken out at the last moment and just give a teeny smile.

But let’s be real. The whole way through parenthood, we are told that it takes a village right? Your village doesn’t need to be your family, it can be the new lady you struck up a conversation with because she spotted your child stick a crayon up their nose, and hers does that too. Because her acknowledgement of this means that you are not alone. Most importantly, you are certainly not doing a bad job.

When my son was a few months old, some of the Mum’s I’d met through NCT went out for lunch (this actually turned in to a bit of a pub crawl if I’m honest) and as I waited at the bar to order the next round a woman came up to me. We struck up a conversation. She was on her second child, who was the same age as ours but hadn’t done any antenatal classes because it was the second time around and was now exceedingly lonely. The first of her new “mum” friends to have a second child and they were all at work. I invited her to join us and she did. As she left, she asked for my phone to put her number in, she entered it as “Beth with a baby”. We never actually ended up speaking again, but I know for that one afternoon she enjoyed adult conversation and women who would hold her baby while she went to the toilet.

We are all in the same boat. Probably all worried about coming across a little bit desperate, some of us haven’t been thrown in to that situation of making friends since school/uni. Work is a different ball game because you are friends on a different level, and probably wouldn’t discuss the intimacies of cracked nipples and daring to have sex after your six week check with them.

You never know, you could meet a friend for life. Maybe places that have high traffic of new mum’s that hang around should offer stickers that say things like “You can talk to me, I don’t bite” or “Free for coffee!” or “I breastfeed too!” or “Approachable and Sane”. Anything that might make us all that little bit more open to casting aside our fears and taking the plunge on expanding our own, and other peoples’, support networks.

So next time you want to talk to someone at a playgroup, or any other circumstance that wouldn’t be deemed creepy – do it!

Alex – aka – The Mummy Hustle

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Alexandra Athienitou

Hailing from East London and mum to nearly three year old Byron. I try to be funny, sometimes it falls flat but I always speak the truth.

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