When you’re pregnant there are so many things to think about and so many things you think you need to buy. But what if I told you that the most important thing you can have after giving birth is mum friends who know exactly what you’re going through?
Let’s face it, being a mum is really bloody hard. You are suddenly completely responsible for an entire human life and that responsibility comes with a lot of questions, insecurities, and doubts. There are days when you feel like you’re going insane and things that your baby does that you think can’t possibly be normal! Having mum friends makes that whole transition a whole lot easier.
Why Every Mum Needs Mum Friends
Don’t get me wrong, friends who don’t have kids are incredibly important. You still need to feel like a normal functioning member of society and friends are there to pick you up and love you no matter whether they have children or not. You need all sorts of support after giving birth and mum friends are simply a very special part of that!
If you’re a first time mum, finding mum friends can seem like a daunting prospect when you’re pregnant. If you don’t already have friends who have children, as I didn’t, it is a scary prospect to suddenly throw yourself into brand new social situations – especially when you’ve just had a baby!
It is completely worth it though. Whether it’s being able to reach out if you’re worried, having people to share your milestones and achievements with, or simply having a group of equally exhausted people to gossip about the latest episode of Love Island with.
Mum friends will be the people who make you realise that your baby isn’t broken or strange, that the feelings you’re having are entirely normal and that all babies are different, wonderful and equally stressful in their own ways! You’ll get through the tough times together and share in the joyful moments and most importantly you’ll be there to support them just as they’re there to support you in this new journey that is parenting.
My Tips for Making Mum Friends
Straight off the bat, I know that sounds a bit strange as a title. Surely as mature, well rounded adults who have deemed themselves qualified to create life, we should be well versed at making friends…right? Wrong! It just isn’t that easy when you’re juggling a new baby, a whole new identity and a melting pot of hormones, so hopefully, a few friendly pieces of advice will help you find the right spaces to connect with other mums.
Take an NCT Course
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’d be lost without my NCT Mums! We all had our babies within two weeks of one another and there is nothing quite like contending with fussy newborns to bond you together as a group. I can hand on heart say that doing an NCT Course was one of the best things I could have done whilst pregnant.
Yes, it’s great to learn about birth and parenthood but the real reason, in my opinion, that NCT is such an institution is that it has given generations of new mums an opportunity to connect with other women in the same stage of life as themselves!
So even if you don’t think you need to go to ‘baby school’ (as R so helpfully called it) it’s more than worth going. Plus, dad’s get to make connections too which is equally helpful for them when the babies come along, although they’ll probably be less keen on admitting it.
Go to ALL of the baby groups
Yes, baby groups can be cliquey and awkward but by trying them all out you’re bound to find at least one that you can attend regularly. Baby groups can be an amazing place to connect with new mum friends and at the very least they get you out of the house.
I’m very lucky that there are a number of great baby groups and meetups local to me and I’ve made some wonderful friends through them. I think if you go to the same group regularly it is inevitable that you’ll meet at least a few people who you click with. It’s a brilliant way to make mummy friends without feeling forced.
Walking into a baby group can feel daunting and awkward but try to remember that everyone has had to walk in for that first time at some point. Everyone felt equally awkward, so you really aren’t alone!
Trust in the internet
We live in a modern age of dating apps and social media and it is viewed as completely normal to find a romantic partner online. For some reason though there is a bit of a strange stigma around meeting friends on the internet!
I’m not suggesting you should be trawling through your ‘suggested friends’ on Facebook (unless that’s your thing…) But the good news is that there are a few great apps specifically designed to help mums connect with other mums.
There are two apps that I’ve seen used a lot, one is called Peanut and the other is called Mush. Both work in similar ways, helping you find and connect with local mums for support and advice, and enabling you to meet up with and make new mum friends.
It’s one area that I haven’t tried out too much myself but it seems to have a lot to recommend it!
However you feel most comfortable connecting with new people, it’s a great idea to try and make the effort both before and after giving birth. Having those supportive mum friends who really get what you’re going through is well worth a few moments of awkwardness introducing yourself to new people!