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Monday, 21 March 2011

Motherhood vs friends

Over the past six months I've noticed a dramatic shift in my circle of friends. I was very surprised to find out that becoming a Mother altered the roles that girlfriends play dramatically. When I think about it in hindsight, there is no way that becoming a mother couldn't change friendships. Previous to the birth of baby Grub, my friends mainly consisted of students or people who work casually in the hospitality industry. Who live in share houses, have casual relationships, go out spontaneously after work for cocktails, a late night dinner or to see a band. I am the first of my friends to get married and start a family and at times I feel like not one of my friends understand what I'm going through. The reality of dealing with sleepless nights because of a moody baby or the adjustments you have to make in your life in order to become a wife and a Mother doesn't really hit home until your actually living it.

Late nights and late mornings
The first few months after bringing baby Grub home I felt were the worst. I was still adjusting to becoming a new Mother, having the usual breast feeding issues like latching issues and cracked, sore nipples, feeling emotional, isolated and very tired. A hug, cup of coffee and a chat with an understanding friend, would have done wonders. A few friends did visit me on occasion but if it wasn't for my family members, especially Mike, my Mum and Aunties, I think I wouldn't have coped as well as I did.

Overtired and grumpy.. me not Grub!
Finding new mummy friends as helped a lot, not only can I talk about issues I'm dealing with, I can help support other Mothers through their struggles. I'm going through the same thing as they are and that interaction tends to make me feel like I'm not on my own. Becoming a Mother has opened the door to a world of new friendships that I would not have had otherwise. Mothers that I have hardly any similarities with other than our babies are both six months, yet we can talk for hours. It’s just a case of having the confidence to get out there and find them.

Whilst its fantastic to make new mummy friends, I think its also important to maintain your old friendships to help hold on to who you were before your children came along. Its the balance between old and new friendships that helps you stay sane. I know us Mothers are busy most of the time and that the only spare time we have to ourselves is after we've put our babies to sleep after a long day. But every now and then do try to use that time to send an old friend a text saying that your thinking of them, remind yourself to send that birthday card you've been meaning to, or pick up the phone and have a quick chat. These little things will help keep the friendship alive, if the other party is willing. Remember that the overwhelming early stages of motherhood will pass quickly and if you value your friendships it will pay off to work at them through the crazy days of sleep-deprivation, endless nappies and breastfeeding.


1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth de Fredrick9 September 2011 at 15:50

    It's completely indescribable how your life changes once you become a Mother. - Only another Mother can understand what it's like to be a Mother and a huge shift in priorities comes with that.

    I'm lucky enough to have good friends without kids that I can still chat to for hours (even if we haven't talked for 6 months!)

    But, most of our friends now, are parents - it's just not easy to catch up in the evenings like we used to and non parent friends work during the day.

    Also I can only imagine how my non parent friends get a little bored with constant comments like "he touched my nose and hubbys nose at the same time and said nose two, isn't that cute."

    Unfortunately a lot of non-parents are like I was (having no idea the impact that a baby has on your life) so you kind of drift apart, but I guess you will drift back together once they have babies or you weren't really that close anyway.