We all know how much our lives change when we have kids. Nothing (our bodies, work or relationship) is the same as it once was. However, one aspect of life that I didn’t anticipate was the changes to my friendships.
It started pretty much as soon as I fell pregnant – I was too exhausted for late nights out so the friend who I usually hung out with over pinot grigio and greasy pizza suddenly fell by the wayside. We tried a few coffee dates but it really wasn’t the same!
As soon as bub came along, things changed even more. Getting out of the house was a real challenge, my brain was fried and intelligent conversation was non-existent. Soon, I found myself hanging out with other friends who also had grizzling, drooling babies. We drank cups of tea, started (but never finished) countless conversations and gave each other vital companionship on those long early days with a newborn.
As the years progress, my friendships became dominated by my children and their activities. It started with the community mother’s group – a group of women with nothing in common except the suburb we live in and the age of our babies. These days we mainly do park catch ups with fellow parents from daycare and pre-school or other parents we’ve met in the local area.
Some of these friendships have lasted mere weeks, others have endured for years and those mums are now part of my inner clan. However, I’ve realised that there are certain ‘types’ of mum friends that when you find them, you need to hold on to them.
Mum friends with hand-me-downs
These are mums with kids who are a year or two older than yours and don’t have any younger siblings/cousins to pass clothes onto. It’s even better when they tell you to just throw out (or pass on) what you don’t want. It doesn’t even matter if the clothes are well worn– they’re perfect daycare clothes! Of course, when you get some barely worn outfits from brands you’d never pay full price for then you’re really winning! This type of relationship benefits everyone. Your friend gets a guilt-free declutter and you can avoid hitting the shops next time your kid goes through a growth spurt.
Mum friends with band-aids
You know those super organised mums – the ones that have a little pocket in her bag full of (clean) tissues, Panadol and band-aids. She could probably even pass you a tampon if you needed it. She’s got snacks, she’s got water bottles and she’s got spare clothes for those toilet training accidents.
This mum could have been a Scout in her youth (their motto was ‘be prepared’ after all). Who needs to be the organised mum when you have an organised friend?!
Mum friends who can do pick up
Whether it’s because you’re stuck in traffic or you’ve got an unexpected meeting sometimes getting to the school gate by 3:10 is IMPOSSIBLE. Which is why we all need a mum friend who can do pick up every so often.
This type of mum friend would ideally live within walking distance of the school. She wouldn’t have a heap of afternoon activities to take her kids too and is happy to shepherd your kids to her place, give them a biscuit and send them outside to play. Bonus points if your kids actually want to play with hers.
Mum friends with wine
Most of the time, socialising with mum friends is pretty PG. You usually catch up over coffee, cake or some of the snacks your kids have abandoned. However, sometimes on a Friday arvo, it’s nice when your mum friends looks at your tired face and hedges a bet: “I’ve got tea… or would you like a cheeky chardonnay for a Friday?!” And the answer is always “Yes. Yes I would.”
Sometimes it’s just nice to acknowledge that we’re adults and looking after kids is hard. We deserve to have a Friday night ‘after work drink’ with a friend just like the old pre-kids days. Unfortunately for us, work isn’t over and there’s still a few hours to go until bedtime!
Mum friends who make you feel better about yourself
This mum friend is the one who always forgets snacks and ends up buying her kid a sugar filled muffin for morning tea. Or she doesn’t have a nappy and her kid has just done a poonami. Maybe she turned up to a birthday party and completely forgot the present.
The thing is, we’ve all been this mum at some point or another. Some of us are that mum most days. Next time you forget the bib or turn up 15 minutes late for pickup, don’t despair or beat yourself up. Just think that you’ve made another mum feel a little bit better that day!
Mum friends who know all the things
At school, these would have been the girls with the older sisters. These days, they are the mums who either spend more time on Facebook or actually read all those parenting emails that fill up our inboxes. Wherever they get their info from, they just seem to ‘know’ more than us. They know when the Wiggles are touring and when to buy tickets. They know what the latest kids’ products are and where to buy them. They know that the flu shot is now free for kids and why you need to get in quick. Plus, she’s only too happy to share all her info.
Mum friends who keep it real
This is the mum who absolutely gets it. She knows what exhaustion is because her 2-year-old is also not sleeping through the night. She admits that sometimes she wonders whether she and her husband will ever get the romance back. She tells you that her secret dream is to book a hotel room and hide there on her own for 24 hours. This mum isn’t about competing or painting her life as worse or better than yours. She’s just honest about the reality of being a mum. But this mum is the first to admit that she loves her kids more than life itself. She says she lies in bed with them each night and breathes in their sweet, milky scent, thankful that she’s had another day as a mum to these gorgeous kids.
Do you have any other types of mum friends that we’ve missed? Tells us in the comments below!