What’s the one thing any mama wants more than sleep? Friends!
Any mum, working or stay at home, knows that the key to staying sane is having good friends. People who you can talk to about anything – baby poop, make up, grocery shopping etc. Someone who you can talk to that’s not a Toddler. Someone who you can tell ‘I screamed at my son last night’ and they’ll be like ‘me too, don’t worry’.
Being a military wife, one of the things I dread most – aside from deployments – is leaving my friends. It’s taken a while to weed out the good, true friends from the crazy ones and when we move I’ll have to go through the process again.
Making mum friends is like dating. But more intense. You don’t want to come off as desperate (even though you are), you don’t know when to take it from bumping in to each other at the park to actually exchanging phone numbers, then when you get her number you have to come up with the perfect, aloof text and pray she replies. It’s hard work.
Not to mention that, just like dating, you have to weed out the crazy ones from the good ones. I’ve encountered my number of both. Sometimes you host a play date at your house and end up thinking ‘your baby is cute but for the love of God get out of my house!’.
Once you get good friends, it’s wonderful. You can go on regular play dates, go for lunch (even though the mess that two toddlers make in a restaurant is unlike any you’ve seen before) and have someone to go to playgroups and the park with so you can actually chat.
The best kinds are the ones who don’t judge you, and you can tell each other how crazy motherhood makes you without feeling like they’re gonna run home and call CPS. You actually have someone who understands you, comforts you and reassures you that you’re doing okay.
I see a lot of mums online talk about how lonely they are and how stressful the process of mum-friend-‘dating’ is. The key thing is to put yourself out there. Join up to a baby-friendly gym class, go to baby/toddler groups, go to the park, be where the mums are! Most importantly, be open, confident and friendly. It won’t always go to plan, she might not call you, she might be crazy but when you find those few good friends, it’s so worth it!
To all my mum friends, wherever you are in the world, this is an appreciation post to you!