#FORTHELOVEOFBLOG, Mum Life, Musings

A handy guide to making new ‘mum friends’.

I’m not a fan of the term ‘mum friends’, though I use it all the time. Why? Because it implies that I can only or should only be friends with someone because they have also grown/raised a small person and are in the process of teaching it how to be a normal human being. The simple fact is though, we change when we become parents. I’m not saying everyone becomes a carbon copy of each other, oh no. You only have to stumble on to Mumsnet AIBU to learn that isn’t the case, but what I mean is everyone becomes a more enhanced version of themselves. Sleep deprivation, stress, being overwhelmed, being under supported, it could be any number of reasons but I truly believe it happens to everyone.506

I became a grumpier, more dramatic, more emotional and a lot more sarcastic version of my pre baby self. Before having my daughter I actively avoided people who I classed as ‘huggers’, now I practically run towards them begging them to embrace me while I sob on their shoulder about the time I got poo in my hair that wasn’t my own (I told you I was a little bit dramatic). Other people I know became a bit stuck up, looking down their nose at any choice that was different to theirs and a friendship was therefore difficult to maintain when you inevitably decided to parent your child the way you see fit.

You may be one of the lucky few that already has your girl gang (gag – I’m running out of ways to describe it) in place before you even think about procreating – great. If they end up all having kids at roughly the same time as you then it is likely you are on to a winner. If you are the first by a long way, you my friend may have to go adventuring to find yourself a new tribe.

It all begins when pregnant, with your antenatal classes. Do you attend the free ones at your local hospital? Or do you fork out a ridiculous amount of money and attend the NCT ones? Everyone raves about NCT, they say that is where they found their mum friends and they all bonded over mucus plugs and ‘Is this my water or am I just peeing myself?’ anecdotes. Even better, your babies are all the same age and reaching milestones at a similar time, ideal for advice and sharing the pain that is parenting. I couldn’t bring myself to pay to make friends as I thought I would be fine flying solo, because let’s face it, most of the info you learn at these classes is freely available on Google, everyone goes to make buddies. I decided to go to the free NHS classes and then just wait till after the baby arrived and I just presumed I would make loads of friends at the coffee shop or while draped in beautiful maxi dresses holding my sleeping newborn baby at baby massage.

Wrong. I made one friend, we bonded over our dislike of Tumble Tots and continued to meet up with our offspring for a good 2 years after. Unfortunately, I have just moved away. A reasonable distance away that I can no longer pop round in my scruffy clothes to let our children run wild in the lounge while we hide in the kitchen drinking coffee. I am in the position of needing to make new mum friends.

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As you can see I am a big fan of cake, if you are too please be my friend.

You have to start by realising what kind of parent you are. I don’t mean all of this ‘I’m a crunchy mummy’ vs ‘I’m an attachment parent’ bullshit. Nope, I don’t even know what that means but neither sound like something I would enjoy. I just mean, think about what you do that could potentially offend people and HIDE IT until you know they do it to. I don’t care if you breastfed or bottle fed. I don’t care how you weaned. I don’t care about whether you co sleep or cry it out. What I want to know, is what ‘mum you’ is like. She is likely to be an enhanced version of pre-mum you, but less impulsive and with a bigger handbag full of shit (just for the record, sometimes actual shit is in there).

I want to know how you ‘mum’.

For example, swearing. I swear. I do, I have tried to stop. I can’t. My daughter hears me swear, I fully intend on teaching her that swearing is something only grown ups should do and it isn’t nice but I don’t get too worked up about it. Now if you are a serial swearer like me, it won’t do you any favours to befriend someone who thinks swearing around anyone under 18 is diabolical. You can try and hide it until you find out this vital little nugget of information, but eventually you will slip up and you will have wasted vital ‘friend finding’ time. I suggest watching how they react to their children, if you see an eye roll and an exasperated sigh they might just be on board with the whole swearing thing. Listen out for the muttered under the breath ‘for fucks sake’ as their child demands to be carried when they have armfuls of stuff. This person may be someone who feeds their kid coco pops for breakfast or someone who lovingly makes overnight oats with chia and hemp. What I am saying is that this bit doesn’t matter, how you parent your kids isn’t the important bit, its how you ‘mum’. They could lovingly stare into their child’s eyes and say ‘of course sweetheart’ before muttering obscenities under their breath, it is the bit they do for themselves that matters. Does that make sense?

Look at it like this. If you do eventually go for a coffee together, do they order cake? Do they suggest wine?? These are all clear indicators that this person is one to befriend. If they are dieting and cannot order cake, do they look longingly at it? That is enough in my book.

I find myself at the nursery gates looking around at the other parents and looking for the one that looks slightly bewildered, like me. The one that probably hasn’t brushed her hair and has a questionable stain on her trousers. At the coffee shop (I don’t spend ALL of my time drinking coffee I promise) I look for the one who is just sitting for a minute relishing the silence, or hovering near the cake. I look for the mum that gives me a smile or an eye roll if theres a feral kid near by (even if it is her own).

Once you have made that mum friend, you know things will turn out ok when they tell you about their vagina. That sounds weird, I’ll grant you but in my experience it is a common topic of conversation amongst mum friends. Birth stories are a given, nothing is off limits. It becomes the norm to tell people how many stitches you had or how long your post baby poo took. This is NORMAL. Don’t be alarmed if your new mum friend starts telling you this. Your new mum friend will totally get it when you text at 2am with the crying emoji. They will understand if you cancel because your kid has some kind of illness, but they will also surprise you sometimes and suggest you still come over because they have been housebound for a week and are willing to risk a cold for a bit of adult company.

Good luck out there mamas – good luck finding your tribe. I apologise if my excessive swearing and talk of vaginas has offended anyone, I am not everyones cup of tea and so the people I look out for may be the people you actively avoid and that’s fine! I hope you find your tribe too.

 

A handy and humorous guide to making new 'mum friends'.

 

 

The Pramshed

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58 thoughts on “A handy guide to making new ‘mum friends’.

  1. Oh I really like cake, we could so totally be mum friends. I drifted away from a friend who very judgementally parented differently to me. I couldn’t have cared less about what she was doing but she very much cared about all my mistakes! #fortheloveofBLOG

  2. Aww mum friends are seriously the best kind of friends because they totally totally get it! Hope you find your new mum friends soon – they are going to be lucky to have you!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  3. Ah all so true! It’s about finding your tribe, as you say. Finding the ones that don’t care if you turn up late, looking a mess, having forgotten your baby’s cup because they’ve been there themselves and readily have spares to lend you. I hope you find another tribe soon. Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG! 🙂

  4. This made me smile, finding mum frineds was essential to me on my first pregnancy as all my friends were still working and re kids. My NCT close friends are still some of my besties 19 years later! #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. I love this, I think you and I would be perfect Mum friends! I only made mum friends ‘proper’ when my eldest started school, I found the perfect one! She was me. Then she went back to work and I was set aside for friends she could talk about ‘other’ stuff with. *sob* 😃
    #fortheloveofblog

  6. Omg. Can we be friends. Can we can we. Please? I am the parent that calls my child a dick in public (only once- but I can’t take it back!) the one that says “as long as there’s no blood, leave them to it” and continues to hide in the kitchen with her coffee. Being a military mum means that ever few years I move away from whatever little troupe has formed and have to start all over again (of course I’m never out of touch with a good few of them, but Skype isn’t the same as collapsing on your friends sofa with a glass of wine.

    I freaking love this post. Like really love it. #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. It is so hard to define the term ‘mum friends’ isnt it? I was the first of mine to have children and I did ‘pay for friends’ with NCT which was pretty much all it was but I am so glad that I did because 6 years later we are still friends and the ones that keep me sane because whether we like the term or not it is my mum friends that dont mind telling htem about the poo stories ot the utter joy at rolling or sleeping more than 2 hours straight! x

  8. Hi Sammie, becoming a parent opens up a whole new world doesn’t it? I was lucky, I found my mum tribe and we all parent different, we don’t feel like we have to be somebody else with each other and we can laugh at each others failings and mishaps, we get on fab. We’ve stayed friends now for nearly 5 years. I wouldn’t be without them.
    Cake and wine are definitely in our must haves 😉
    #FortheloveofBLOG

  9. We could totally be mum friends. I am far too swear and will always want the cake even if I don’t eat it. In fact, I’d probably eat it just to make everyone else not feel awkward. Also vag chat is utterly acceptable. I once started a chat about waxing lady gardens with a group of Mum’s – thought one of them would die from embarrassment and knew we would never really hit it off! Haha. I’m lucky in that I had a group of 6 friends but 4 years on some of us are much closer than others. It’s probably to do with cake/gin ratios. #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. This gave me a laugh. I love when a group of mums get together and they’re all prim and proper, sussing each other out. A week later, they’re completely different people and finally admitting their flaws! #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. I am the mom with the unbrushed hair and the questionable stain on her pants. But my baby is clean and perfectly dressed. After getting Peachy outdoor ready, there wasn’t time to make myself look presentable. Having a baby has allowed me to live life with no shame and make no apologies. #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. I’ve just moved away from the few mum friends I had 🙁 And a long distance too. I struggle with social anxiety, so even just getting myself together to get out to toddler groups is hell on earth, and once I’m there it’s not any better. We’re trying again on Monday. I’ve moved away from work friends too (I’m now purely a SAHM whereas I used to work weekends after my maternity leave ended) and I’m desperately missing conversations that aren’t about potty training and house renovations >.< I'm making my new friends here on the internet though! #fortheloveofBLOG

  13. Fabulous post.

    I find it hard to find mum friends. I never went to any antenatal classes because I was working all the time. I never even heard of the word NCT until a few months ago but still don’t know what it’s all about. I do attend a baby sensory class each week with my little one. But the mums there are very cliquey. I joined in a conversation with them once (yeah only the once!) but when the conversation turned to meeting up for a coffee I said sorry I can’t make it as I’m at work, well they just looked at me and one mum said oh poor you, I don’t know how you could work and then that was it. I go to the class for my baby not to make friends with mums stuck up their own backsides! Working fulll time does mean I’m not able to meet up with any mums , but honestly it doesnt bother me as I have nothing in common with them anyway!

    Sorry for the essay! xx

    #fortheloveofBLOG

  14. I agree it is such a challenge making mum friends after you become a parent. I moved house when my daughter was six months old and knew no one and started going to every baby group I could. I am luck to have made some great mum friends. Some of them I don’t think we would have ever become friends if we weren’t both mums because we seem to have nothing else in common. But they are lovely people and I am so lucky that parenthood brought us together. Others I think are friends for life. #fortheloveofBLOG

  15. I love this! great read! I also didn’t want to “pay” to meet friends at NCT classes, but was lucky having friends already with babies, who would also be off on mat leave at the same time. I also was really lucky and had a great NHS group, and after going through some of what you’ve described above have a firm few new friends from the group. It’s not always easy though, and have witnessed the judging too. Not cool. I like cake, and coffee…we can be blogging mum friends 🙂 good luck in your new area! #fortheloveofBLOG xxx

  16. I found it so hard to make ‘mum friends’ and still do. Luckily I found myself a few via the internet (don’t tell my mother, she would be mortified that I met strangers off the internet haha) and they tick all the keys boxes, vagina talk, swear like sailors, talk of diets but still end up knee deep in cake and booze when we do get the chance to meet without the children! A good mum friend is worth their weight in gold! #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. Haha! That bit about coco pops or chia seed oatmeal made me almost piss myself laughing. I think you talk so much sense! I have barely any mum friends. In fact… I don’t have any mum friends.lol. I am the first in my friendship group to start a family, I have felt like a prat in almost all the classes I have tried to integrate into with my toddler and I have no tribe. If I had someone like you around I’d feel very reassured.lol. Sometimes I would love to have a friend to send a crying emoji to in the middle of the night…. all my friends are asleep! Twats. Xxx #fortheloveofBLOG

  18. You had me as friend as soon as you said cake lol. It can be hard to find people you can relax with.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  19. Love this! I’m a new mum-to-be in Bangkok and was dreading the “finding mum friends” bit as I’m the wine drinking, deal with things on the run, swearing sort and I feel like I am surrounded by expert expat perfect mum specimens, but I know I’ll eventually find someone to mess things up with, he he #fortheloveofblog

  20. If you were in Melbourne yo would totally fit in with my mum friends and I, we talk total rubbish, eat cake, drink coffee, and wine and even say the word vagina or other words not so pleasant. I used to be so afraid to be myself around these seemly posh mums and then though stuff it I’m going to be me and suddenly made loads of like minded friends, so that’s my advice, be you and people will gravitate to you. #fortheloveofblog

  21. Haha yes, this is brilliant! I’m a swearer and not ashamed to admit it. I also can’t help it, I think the words are so engrained in my mind that to try and not utter them every so often would be akin to stopping talking all together. Good luck finding some mummas on your wave length x #fortheloveofblog

  22. I’ve so enjoyed finding Mum friends on the same wavelength – my newest moved to my village and knew no one… we started talking about vaginas and TV-babysitting over wine within a couple of days. Yesss!!
    Cake cheers! #fortheloveofblog

  23. hehe this made me chuckle. i didnt want to pay for nct either. after b was born i did some classes and found the cildren’s centers good for groups. i made some friends there. now that im back at work though im just so busy and dont typically see anyone in real life ha! #fortheloveofblog

  24. Haha, this is brill! I am totally in agreement with this. I’ll confess, we paid for friends through NCT and we struck lucky. I’m not a natural at making small talk and I couldn’t do it at all when sleep deprived. I needed those ladies. If we lived nearby I would absolutely be asking to meet you for tea and cake. Hope you find a new mob / gang / tribe soon! #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. I knew a mum I had befriended would be a close pal from the day I accidentally called my baby a ‘bitch’ when she bit me whilst feeding. Rather than being aghast, the mum friend said ‘I’m so glad I’m not the only mum that swears at their newborn’. Loved the post!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Haha yep I am a swearer too. I am particularly fond of the term bollock. For example ‘Come home you bastard, she is being a bit of a bollock today’ said to my long suffering husband.

  26. You sound like the best kind of mum friends! I have a fab group of mum friends and we mainly get together, eat cake, moan about how tired we are and plan how much alcohol we are going to drink on our next night out! Perfect! #fortheloveofBLOG

  27. You sound just like me, I swear more than I would like to and can’t get enough cake. I did pay for the NCT but I only made one friend who I still see and consider one of my best friends now. The others made us feel pretty crap about our parenting. But yes there is now a serious case of over share by at least one of us each time we meet!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  28. You’re my type of mum for sure – I believe that most things can be made better by coffee, wine, cake, or a combination of all three. I never made those ‘mum’ friends at my antenatal classes or any subsequent baby classes – I found nice people to chat to, but no one I really clicked with. Thankfully, I have a great online support group of fabulous mothers who totally get it. It’s a shame they’re scattered all over the bloomin’ country. #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. Love this, thanks!

    I had a tough time making mummy friends, I had adopted two older kids and pitched up at school with my son thinking WTF, what do I do?

    Thankfully I met some great mums via the PTA – my kinda mums, and other adoption mums with whom I can share my woes. Then we moved to France and I had to start all over again! #fortheloveofBLOG

  30. Omg yes!! You sound like my sort of person! I have been lucky enough to find an amazing little ‘mum tribe’, there are four of us, and you have just nailed it haha. We would welcome you with open arms if you were looking for mum friends in our area 😉 xx #fortheloveofblog

  31. I actually laughed out loud at this! I have had to find new ‘mum friends’ 3 times and only the middle set were really ones I think I can be myself with. The first lot were from NCT and I totally did not fit in with them and have lost touch since we moved away. The third lot are most recent and are ‘Primary school Mum friends’. They are lovely and we meet up regularly, but I cannot completely be ‘me’ – the swearing thing for example…they don’t do that (I really do do that!). But the middle lot…they are my mates for life. We take each other warts and all. Luckily I have only moved 20 minutes away from them and still see them most weeks. It’s hard, but eventually we all find our soul mates :-). #fortheloveofblog

  32. I didn’t make any mum friends at the classes and ended up moving as well. with time I made some amazing friends that are mothers or soon to mothers and motherhood made us click. talking about our babies and those milestones not to mention sometimes seeking advice to see if it also happened to them. #fortheloveofblog

  33. I’ve been rejected by 3 baby groups (that I know of) and am still not sure what a bestie is? Having just had my third baby I am at a point where I have a spattering of people who are akin to angels and couldn’t wish for anything more. My angels are not all mummy’s (or daddy’s) but they all have big hearts, staying power and unashamed honesty.

    1. Rejected? That’s awful! I am glad you have your angels, I’m sure you are an angel to them as well. There is nothing better in a friend than unashamed honesty in my opinion!

  34. I am very lucky that my sister in law had a baby about six months before me. It meant that we could bond more and now she is one of those I message first for help.
    She knows when wine is needed, or when mummy needs a nap or for her to come and cook me a few days worth of dinners. I may not have a tribe, but she alone has made me know I’m not going insane. It’s just called motherhood hahaha! #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. You sound like a great mum friend to have! I hardly see my NCT friends nowadays as we are all busy doing different things but when we do manage to get together it’s great! #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  36. You definitely sound like my kind of mum haha! I’m always the one wondering around looking as though I have a real drug addiction and I can see people questioning whether my lack of ‘With it’ is from drug abuse or no sleep! (It’s the no sleep by the way) and I’m also the awkward one that doesn’t say much and stares into space day dreaming about sleep and a magical land where the princess is allowed to sleep for a hundred years! (Yeah I wish)
    Great post! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  37. I love this! I found it so hard meeting new mums with the sleep deprivation in full flow – I’m always the socially awkward one! Hope you find your mum friends, you sound like the kind of mum friend I’d love to have! Thanks for co-hosting #fortheloveofBLOG x

  38. Haha this is just amazing! I was completely on the same wave length! – and yes, it is completely normal to discuss bodily functions (of both you and the kids) and birthing stories! They’re a rite of passage aren’t they? Haha! I do love me a bit of cake also, although if there’s a ring donut I’d take that anyday! I swear too, although I do try to rein it in around the kids (my boy just turned one, I know my luck will be his first word will be shit or something haha!) but sometimes they do just make you want to scream in the corner!
    Such a great post 🙂 – Becky x

  39. I have to continuously make new mum friends when we move and it is exhausting but you can and will make friends wherever you are in the world or stage in life. I will say NONE of my friends complain about the hour I text them and will often text back lol.

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