So it has taken me a while to figure this out; this whole friendships after childbirth thing. I think I just always assumed that nothing would (or should) change with my circle of friends after I brought my little man into the world. I was wrong. It is a sad truth (bear with me… it gets better I promise!) that some people struggle to A. be around pregnant women and B. maintain friendships with women after they have children as they become ‘mothers’ and therefore cannot possibly go on nights out or have fun of any kind right? I have come to realise that is of utmost importance that after settling into your own mama groove that you establish connections and friendships with fellow mamas that understand the new you and are willing to indulge the old you in the odd night out/retail therapy day of frivolity; your mama clan.
I admittedly have lost a few friends who I thought were life long ‘sisters’ because of reasons such as their incapability to empathise or apparently hold a conversation with a pregnant or newborn bearing woman. I don’t think that such characters are entirely to blame and don’t get me wrong I do have some amazing ‘pre-bubba’ friends that I still continue to see regularly.
I believe that sometimes it is genuinely hard for people to grasp that, although you are growing a human being or have performed the miracle of life, you are still the same person; ok yes you have changed somewhat and you have a totally new agenda, but it is so so important for new mothers to feel that they are still THEM. That they are still loved and supported by their friends for who they are. That they can still… ‘mama it up without losing Y O U’ (cheeky little throw in of my tagline there…)
Ok… back to the positive… I am now two years down the line of figuring out this whole ‘balancing of mothering/social life/relationship/work/time to ones self/housework’ thing, and I still haven’t got it all figured out but what I can tell you is that I have realised how important it is to connect with fellow moms.
I recently went to see ‘Bad Moms’ (dubiously at first – does having fun make us bad mothers?) with two of my newly reacquainted friends from University that now have children and it was the best night I have had for a while. and I am pretty sure that is because we all had one massive thing in common, can truly empathise with each other, support eachother and understand the mama need to keep rockin’ on.
Sometimes there are times when other mamas wont hold the same ideals or they may have conflicting parenting styles to you; but I have learnt that a non judgemental stance is always for the best (unless they do not share the non judgemental stance, in this situation there is no hope so continue searching!) I mean we are all just as clueless as each other when it truly comes down to it right? We are all muddling through trying to do the best by our children.
So go… go far and wide and find your mama clan! If you already have one then great, share the love and spread the news!