When I got pregnant, I think a small part of me assumed that I end up with this amazing circle of friends. We’d all be mums and take our kids to do stuff together, but we’d also do stuff without them. I don’t have a huge group of friends, and so I thought it was be a good chance to gain a bigger support network.
However, I’m 19 months down the line and after trying to meet people naturally and using all of the parent based apps there are on the market, I can say I’ve made 2 ‘mum friends’.
Making friends (I believe) is an extremely difficult task once you’ve left school. You meet people at work, but unless you’re really lucky, your work friends are just a different type of friend. Other than work, it’s hard to find a way to organically make new friends. Hence I thought, “well having a baby will surely make things easier?” – it does not.
I find it difficult to make friends, I’m very introverted and so when I meet new people I feel I have to be an extrovert and so I end up coming across a bit weird because I’m trying so hard to make people like me. Although becoming a mum has chilled me out a lot, and made it easier to talk to new people, I’ve found that regardless of whether you have kids in common with someone that doesn’t automatically mean that you’re bound to get on.
You have to have common ground that doesn’t revolve around children, but also at the same time, if you have different parenting styles (and you weren’t friends pre children) then it’s hard to figure out if you have anything in common at all. If you can tell you wouldn’t be friends before you had kids, then you probably won’t get on regardless (unless you have a similar parenting style or you’re similar people now you’ve had children).
I was slightly naive in thinking I’d make this whole new team of friends, but I think when you see so many things in films and TV and books about mums and dad’s just automatically getting on, you assume that will be the case. I’m aware that a lot of people will probably feel very differently to me, and if so that’s awesome and I’m genuinely happy for you – this is just my own personal experience.
Don’t get me wrong, most of my friends live all over the country and it can be lonely not having many friends who understand, but the best group of friends I’ve got live under the same roof as me. So don’t feel too bad for me.