Being a mum can be really lonely. I'm sure a lot of you were surprised to discover this after having a baby. Your work friends continue to be your friends but on the weekends, and your friends that have kids may be at a different ‘mum season’ to you. There are only so many times I could walk around a shopping centre or sit in a café when I had Jack and moved to Sydney. I want to share my story on how I made the amazing friends I have today and hope it helps you to become brave enough to make the step to create your own forever friendship circle.
Six years ago we had been living in London and then moved back to Adelaide after falling pregnant with Jack. I had my sisters to go to with questions and help and my parents living across the road so life was pretty amazing when I became a mum. Only ten months later Cam was offered a job in Sydney too good to refuse so we packed up our tiny family and moved to a city where we only knew a small handful of people (all working and no kids).
I am a very social person and love being surrounded by lots of friends. Going from that to a complete loner was really depressing. I loved hanging with Jack everyday but was desperate to talk to someone older than 11 months. I then found out I was pregnant with Eva so even though my friendship circle was growing (my kids and me) it wasn't really the age group I was looking for. I couldn't take another day of Cam’s arrival home being our highlight. I was so grateful to have my friend (you met in an earlier blog) Jules living close by so one weekend I asked her to introduce me to anyone she knew with kids and preferably the same age as Jack or pregnant, as that was also going to work now!
My girlfriends now I'm sure would look back and stalker would come to mind when thinking of me because that’s exactly what I did. There was no way I was letting go of an adult conversation or park companion. I even got greedy and asked them to introduce me to their friends. I could see the change it was having on me, and making a new life in Sydney took care of the homesickness I had for Adelaide. We hosted a dinner party so Cam could meet the boys and a friendship circle was created. Did that sound really easy? It was but I was completely out of my comfort zone and decided friends beat loneliness.
We had a park on the end of our street I used to take Jack to after his morning sleep and every Monday I would watch a group of mums meet up and chat over morning tea while all their kids played together. I started to wonder how many other mums felt like the loner I did six months before and craved for friends that I had myself finally made. I was going to start a mums group!
With two brand new mums on the first week, we began to grow and news spread and friends of friends were invited. I was surrounded by a community that became my family in Sydney and my children were growing up with lifelong friends. Five years on and I have never once felt alone. I'm not a one best friend chick but do have a small circle of girls that I love with my heart and soul and can rely on them for anything. As my mum seasons change so does my friendships. I now have school mum friends. You girls rock by the way! While play dates become a school holiday treat and catching up with friends is more like a quick pop in or coffee meet, I still, in this busy time of my current life need my close friends.
So many mums say they have no friends and no one talks to them and if you are this person I say this. Be brave and go and find some! You will never make friends if you stand in a corner by yourself and wait for someone to come to you. Pick up the phone and invite someone over, don’t wait for an invitation from someone that may never give it to you. You have to put in 90% of the effort to make a friend; it’s not about turn taking. Find mums whose kids are similar ages to yours. Pursuing a friendship with a mum who has school kids or works part time while yours are younger and you are home every day will probably never work. Make friends with mums who are in the same season as you. Both you and your kids will benefit from this. Join a mums group in your community or your local church’s playgroup.
I promise you, you are not the only person who is trying to make a friend and when you see groups of friends talking, don’t be intimidated or judgemental because they were you before they became brave and went an introduced themselves to another mum. I know this because I was one of them. Pick up the phone or drive to a playgroup because someone wants to be your friend and life as a mum is SO much better with them.
© The Realistic Mum