Lord knows, I’ve never been a fan of making friends just because we just happen to be going through the same life change. Key example includes becoming best friends (you know what I mean – texts, calls, emails signed off with kisses, meet-ups, that kind of thing) just because we both happen to have a baby in the year of the Dragon and live in North London.
I say this because I’ve always thought these types of friendships are fickle and not really worth my time as once the status changes again, I might need to make new friends to match the new situation I’m in. This year, I got married, moved house and had a baby over a six month period – life changes that people would normally achieve over three years – so I know what it is to have your life be completely flipped over from where it was the year before. However, ❤Throb and I did all of this with the help of our families and our core set of friends not by making new besties along the way.
In Mummyland, everyone expects friendships to kick off from antenatal classes, playgroups, baby massage etc etc. The cynical part of me is not convinced about becoming besties just because our kids are both wearing the same Florence & Fred bib.
Case in point – my antenatal lot (NCT) want to meet every Tuesday for a coffee and cake hangout. They want to do Christmas lunch, they want to do spa treatments in each other’s homes. In other words, they want to be best mates. Is it me or is this just irrelevant and one way of trying to get blood from a stone?
I’ve had a baby – yes. Has it been life changing – most definitely. However, does it mean I want to talk about babies constantly with someone I have nothing else in common with – absolutely not. There’s a limit to the excitement of talking about a baby’s excrement, sleep or eating patterns.
I actually feel that most of these mummyland friendships do not involve people that truly care about each other. The NCT lot on average are perfectly reasonable people – apart from one who is quite positively a little high-strung and so seriously puts me on edge – however, most of the NCT Tuesday afternoons involve people going on about their own kids poo or cough or sleeping habits without truly listening to each other.
I also believe that I’ve already got friends who truly care about me and my family and if I recall correctly, these friendships just happened without any forced or regimented ‘hangouts’. In addition, although not often enough, when I do get to meet up with my old crew, the discussions range from talking about our lives, kids (if they’ve got any), the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Strictly and much much more. This is why I find it really hard to understand why life as a Mummy involves the need to hang out with people I really wouldn’t care for in my pre-Mummy days.
I might be missing something crucial here. I just know that 6 months in and it’s my original girly crew I still want to hang out with and miss like crazy during those long days when I’m at home with my gem of a daughter.
On a less cynical note, becoming a Mum for the first time is a very daunting experience so these ‘friendships’ are just one way of affirming our actions. For instance, if your child wails constantly, then hanging out with someone else whose child is doing the same gives that sense of relief and confidence that ‘hey I’m not a bad Mum as Sonia’s child is also a NBW (natural-born-wailer)’. Isn’t friendship supposed to be more than just a source of boosting one’s own confidence?
It might help that I’ve got a superb Mum and a couple of besties with kids who answer my child-rearing questions and give me that confidence I need on those days of uncertainty. In addition to this, my single girls play a major role in my life as they remind me of simple pleasures like a fabulous night out in my LBD and heels without a long dragged out conversation on the nature of my child’s poo over a cup of cold macchiato. A margarita will beat cold macchiato hands down any day!
Maybe, I’m being smug about this because I do have that girly soundboard and release on those days when my gem of a daughter takes me to the edge. I guess that is all these people are trying to achieve really, someone to make them feel like they are coping alright in this unfamiliar land of mummyness.
Who knows, one day in the future, I might be blogging about the fabulous Algarve family holiday we’ve just been on with the girl (and her family) I met whilst picking my daughter up from nursery or from a mini-Mozart class. If that does happen, I’m sure it would be because we’ve got much more in common than just having babies.
I’ll end this with a few urban dictionary definitions of bestie –
Your favorite person in the world. Kind of like your best friend, except better.
An adoring nickname for one you hold in highest esteem, more commonly known as a best friend. A bestie is the person who you not only go shopping with on a regular basis but also trust implicitly with anything.. besties do not come and go like waves and sandcastles, they are more like permanent marker on American Eagle jeans, they’ll stay with you forever.