I’ve found it really difficult to maintain friendships and make new friends since having children.
I was the first out of my group of friends to have a baby and I struggled to stay in contact. Initially, it could have been baby brain or the extreme tiredness that meant I often forgot to reply or contact them in the first place. Then, logistically I found it hard to meet up as it usually involved quite a long travel time etc., I was exclusively breastfeeding and I didn’t want to be away from my baby for too long.
Over time, I began to feel like I had less and less in common with them and our worlds were growing further and further apart; they were meeting up and going out for drinks or for dinner or weekends away etc. and I was at home exclusively breastfeeding, exhausted, changing nappies, playing with toys and singing nursery rhymes.
This could have just been my perception, but I couldn’t help feeling like it and I felt (feel) lost with what to do to fix it.
Over the 6 years I have been a mum, I have found it challenging to meet other parents and form new friendships. I have been to a few parent and baby groups, but I have struggled to connect with anyone in a meaningful way. I found them useful to share experiences and advice, but I didn’t form any close friendships.
Over the past 18 months I have done quite a lot of self-reflection. This has been a challenging time for so many people, and I was lucky that my family were all safe and healthy and that I was able to continue working from home. I wanted to make sure that I used this time in a positive way. I worked hard to strengthen my family relationships and reflected on many aspects of my life.
I made a conscious decision to push myself out of my comfort zone, to widen my ‘circle’ and increase my confidence. One thing I did was to join a parent Facebook and WhatsApp group. Then when the last lockdown was lifted, I went to a new parent and baby group that had just started.
It was the best decision. In the first session, I spoke to a lot of mums with a range of parenting situations. It was lovely to share experiences and just generally get out of the house and speak to other people!
But most of all, I met an amazing mum who I clicked with instantly. She has the most adorable little girl who is not much older than my youngest. They adore each other already. I feel like I have known her forever and I’m so excited for our families to grow together <3
The moral of this story: it is never too late. It took me 6 years, 3 children and 3 different towns!
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