When you have a baby, there is a lot of emphasis on the importance of ‘Mummy friends’. You might go to baby groups or sign up to an online Mummy forum in order to seek out these like-minded women in a similar phase of life to yourself. And it is very important, I believe, to find your Mummy friends, your little support network of people you can message at 9am about how ready you are for bedtime and a glass of wine, or who you can call on for a much needed coffee and adult conversation who will just get where you are coming from perfectly and understand your mummy struggles completely.
But I have also realised how important non Mummy friends are too. They remind you of the person who you were before you became mum, they know when you need tea and when you need wine, they can read you like a book before you’ve even opened your mouth, and if you ever needed people like this in your life, it is definitely now. It’s only natural as you change and evolve through life that some friends are going to fall by the wayside and as you transition into motherhood you realise that the ones who scarper weren’t worth bothering with in the first place, and those that stick around are well worth holding onto. Becoming a Mum is without a doubt one of the biggest changes that you will ever experience and those friends that stick by you throughout that process, who make you cups of tea and who love your baby as if they were their own, well they are keepers.
Sometimes it takes a good chat with a friend outside of the ‘mummy and baby’ bubble to realise that you are doing a good job, that it isn’t the end of the world if all Darcie wants to eat is vegetables and cheese and that you still have enough brain left to maintain an adult conversation that doesn’t involve the words ‘nappy’ or ‘naptime’. Non Mummy friends won’t always understand everything that is going on with the complex ins and outs of your child’s sleep routine or just why it is so important to you that your child doesn’t snack after 4pm, but they will understand when you see them and just want to talk about ‘the good old days’ and they can always offer you a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear or just the reassurance that you are doing okay. They can care for your child in the same way that family do, be a voice of reason when you need it and are usually more than happy to take your child for an hour or two when you just really need a break. They can remind you that you were a human being with a life before you had a baby, that you have interests outside of soft play and trips to the park and lets be honest, if they are here for you now, I really think they will always be there for you.
Every time I receive a message from a friend asking how myself and Darcie are doing or telling me just how cute that last picture of Darcie was on Instagram, it lifts my spirits that I have so many lovely people in my life who really and genuinely care for me and my daughter. It must be hard to have a friend change so suddenly into this new role of a mother if you don’t have children yourself and don’t feel like you can fully understand their new way of life, and that is why I am so grateful for my friends who have stuck by me on this crazy ride. Whether I see you every week or we only message every other month, just know that I appreciate you and will absolutely return the favour when you have your own little bundles of joy.