It’s hard enough to make new friends as an adult, but add in a flapping boob and a toddler on the precipice of a tantrum and it’s enough to make me give up before I’ve even started.
I’m sat at yet another play group with my boob out feeding my youngest while my toddler is getting to grips with the toys. I’ve got one eye on my boob and the other eyeing my toddler.
I’m already at capacity and although I really want and need to meet new people I’m probably at the worst stage in my life for doing so.
It’s hard enough to find the confidence to make new friends as an adult, but add in a flapping boob and a toddler on the precipice of a tantrum at any time and it’s enough to make me give up before I’ve even started.
Of course, there are plenty of places to meet new mum friends, but who wants to attempt to socialise with a puke-stained, bedraggled, tit-flapping me who can barely string a sentence together. Prospective mum friends – who themselves are in the same boat – have to look through a great deal of crap to squirrel out whether they want to be friends with me and my kids.
And there in lies another problem. It’s not just me they’re making friends with, it’s with my kids too.
I’m a knackered mum, attempting to wrangle my kids, all while trying to work out whether I’m portraying myself well enough to attract ‘mum friends’ AND trying to suss out whether I too like Judy and her two little darlings.
I promise I’m not being defeatest, just admitting that it is hard work and not enjoyable all the time. If I’m honest there are times when I would have preferred to have gone for a smear test than attempt to strike up yet another conversation with a mum.
With old friends, they got to know me and me alone. What I like, what I do, what motivates me.
For new friends, the first thing they see is my post-birth shabby wardrobe, the messy mum-bun, the eye bags that wouldn’t fit in an overhead locker of an aeroplane. And then my kids. How I interact with them and how they act with other kids.
It’s a whole new ball game and even though you desperately want to talk another mum about how difficult you’re finding it, you want to ensure you put your best foot forward so it ends up being a vicious circle.
You’re so strapped for time too. There a just tit bits of conversations to be had, snap shots in between you both attempting to parent your kids while striking up this new friendship. It’s so tiring.
You’ll be pleased to hear though, with my son at 2.5-years-old and my daughter at 9-months I have made some Mum friends.
I may not have been able to put my best self forward at all times, I’ve felt pretty low about myself, but through the rollercoaster of parenthood, I’ve managed to squirrel out some corking friendships.
I used to get upset that new people weren’t getting to see the ‘best’ me, that they just saw the operating at 50% me. But then again I guess that’s real life and the new me.
I’m always interested to hear how others have felt about making friends as a new mum. How did you feel about how you came across? Did you find it easy? Did you feel people were judging whether you would be good friend material on how you were with your kids?
And just remember, be kind to yourself. It IS hard meeting new friends, it’s not you. You’ve got this. I promise.