Being a new mum can be an incredibly daunting time – not only have you got this new bundle of joy to keep alive, you feel overwhelmed, your life no longer resembles anything you have experienced before and you are so, so exhausted. You are awake in the deepest depths of the night, a zombie in the day, you feel your house is a mess and your life revolves around an endless cycle of feeding, naps, laundry – it can feel like you are just trying to stay afloat. Don’t worry – that’s normal.
It’s not surprising that friendships begin to change to how they were before. Gone are the days of nights out, prosecco and dancing, this truly is a new chapter and sadly, not everyone will be in for the ride. For me, it seems my friends divided into two groups – everyone seemed ecstatic for us that Violet had arrived but slowly but surely a few faces who had been a big part in my life seemed to drift away into the distance – never to be seen again.
The friends that stuck around really showed up – they were the ones who turned up at my door with homemade lasagne, a shoulder to cry (sleep) on, offering to help out, hold the baby, make the tea – they didn’t care my pajamas had baby sick on and I hadn’t applied mascara in days – I knew they were with me for the long run. Those moments meant the world.
As for the friends that didn’t stick around, it stings – don’t get me wrong. Often I’d be sitting feeding my baby in the night feed when a picture of all my friends out together without would pop up on Facebook – that packs a low punch but a sweet smile from that baby will cure all, trust me. Over time, I’ve come to see it that we walked towards a crossroads together and then chose different paths, that’s all. It’s a shame and it sad, but it happens I don’t have bad feelings towards them.
Now, with a smaller selection of close friends than ever before, there is also the minefield of making new Mum friends. If you thought school or going on a blind date was bad, walking into a new baby group can be terrifying – everyone sitting around chatting like they’ve got their act together when inside everyone is feeling exactly like you.
The thing I’ve learned about making new Mum friends is that you’ve just got to bite the bullet and do it. I found myself asking ‘I’m thirty-four years old, why is it THIS HARD to ask her for a coffee’ but you just have to suck it up and put yourself out there – ask for a number, add her on Facebook, make contact as I guarantee that 99% of the time, they’ll be just as pleased to hear from you and to have made a new friend. Plus, think of all the tea and cake you’ll share!
So, I may have won some, I may have lost some, I may have had to push my boundaries and show more vulnerabilities than ever before, but I’ve certainly learned that those who have stuck by you through everything or joined you along the way are here for the long run. So don’t feel shy to reach out, ask for help, lean on them or let them lean on you – they are your people so cherish them!