Before having Bonnie and Isla my close friends, who are still very much close friends, didn’t have any babies. There were little ones in the family, but none that I got to spend a lot of time around, and perhaps this enabled my deception of what I thought becoming a mum would be all about.
Before becoming a mum, I worked five days a week, my evenings consisted of exercise classes (something I know little of now), cooking and complete self indulgence in the form of baths, books and early nights. On weekends, I would meet up with friends for drinks, or have a lovely get away somewhere with Paddy, just the two of us. Now it is as though that life is a thing of the past, and continually becoming further out of reach in my mind now that another little rascal is brewing.
When the girls came along I was aware that I should get out as much as I could to meet other women who have little ones of similar age to Bonnie and Isla. The getting out part was ambitious, but we made it happen, no matter how long it took. But the ‘making friends’ with other mums became somewhat challenging and laborious. Perhaps I am a bit of an odd character, or perhaps my standards are set high when it comes to meaningful friendships, but generally when I meet someone, I click with them or I don’t. I tend to measure how lasting and deep-rooted a friendship is for me, by how much I can laugh with that person. Perhaps I may not have a proper laugh with these ‘other mums’, but at least I could have someone to talk to about all the baby related things I was strongly ambivalent to bring to the forefront with my current friends.
Tried and tested, I couldn’t do it. I would rather spend days babbling to babies than not completely feel myself in the company of others. As astringent as I sound, I find the entire process of trying to form a connection with someone when it isn’t there absolutely exhausting.
But maybe it was time that I welcomed new friends in, and persevered. This I thought I should be willing to do. Luckily, I didn’t need to persevere much. And over the first year of having twins I managed to grow closer to three wonderful, funny and loving ladies that had been under my nose the entire time.
Through hard times and good times we were drawn together, through days of boredom we would meet up in town and boost our energy levels with caffeine and cakes, and amuse all the little ones, and if we were really lucky, they would all nap simultaneously. Thanks to the fact we all had our little bundles around the same time, I have managed to find these amazing girls, who I have laughed so hard I’ve cried with, and cried so hard I’ve laughed with.
Having babies has been our common ground, and I think our partners all assume that we meet up and chat about babies, but we often (not so often enough) get baby free evenings all together, and it’s possible that babies aren’t mentioned once. Highlighting to me the true bond we have.
When it comes to fellow mummy friends, its worth persevering, and not dissimilar to how you would find your ‘perfect partner’, don’t settle for people who you can’t be yourself around, continue searching. You can pee in your pants laughing with them while your little one pees in their pants from all the milk or juice you’ve given them as a distraction tool. Baby mama friends can be a complete saviour, and it can take just one to make the difference, luckily I’ve found three.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but perhaps all that it takes is a group chat at your finger tips, a sense of humour, and the ability to feel comfortable enough around a small amount of special baby mamas who often see you at your worst, and will endlessly reassure you that you are doing an amazing job.