Mum friends. They rock, don't they? In all their crazy, honest, hilarious glory. I bloody love 'em.
Who else gets it?
Mums. We're a totally unique species.
I mean, who else gets it like another mum? Who else gets the craziness? The desire to sometimes put your head in the oven whilst loving your kids so much you think you might die anyway, if the fish fingers don't kill you first, that is. The irritation when someone tells you to 'enjoy your kids when they're young?'
('F*** off! How about YOU enjoy them while they're young and I go have a facial?')
Lunging. Piles. And basically not giving a s***.
I have waxed lyrical MANY times about how much I love my mum friends.
I love 'em. I bloody do. They get me. They put up with me. They NEVER judge me. Even when I do embarrassing things under the influence of tequila. Like lunging on the dance floor in public, in my gym gear. (Probably because they're too busy doing it with me. Loons.)
I know I'm lucky. My experience of NCT was a good one. I met an eclectic bunch of girls who didn't give a s*** about keeping up appearances. Who were all about the honesty and piles. Cooking soup in a wok. And discussing world politics whilst forgetting to put their boobs away.
That last bit's a joke. We never talked about politics.
Always there for one another.
Our 'babies' are approaching seven and we are still brilliant friends.
We no longer all live on each other's doorsteps but we live inside What's App and Messenger and every now and then we meet up en masse and it's like time stands still. We banter. We moan. Someone cries because, well, when there's eight mums in one room and about 2,000 kids, the odds say that someone is going to cry.
Beyond these very special girls, I have been lucky enough to make other mum friends too. Through yoga and playgroup. Through my blog. Through opening up.
Because when you open up, amazing things happen. Others open up too. The stigma, the bravado, the need to be seen to be keeping it all together? It vanishes. And in that moment you bond.
No matter what your circumstances, your parenting style or your level of sleep deprivation.
Making each other feel less alone.
We're in this together. We really are. Because no one else quite gets it like another mum. No one.
My husband doesn't, I know. Sometimes he mistakes my blog as a place for man bashing and yet? I don't think I ever do this. Mostly. And I think perhaps he's tapping into this bond we all share. As mothers. And perhaps feeling a bit left out. It's a need to open up and feel less alone. A need which makes us say the truth. That motherhood is hard. That our kids drive us nuts. Sometimes. (Often.)
'Why don't you write more positive stuff about the kids?' he asks. 'Maybe then you would enjoy them more.'
Now, why didn't I think of that? *looks for the gun emoticon*
Feeling supported is important.
I didn't have as many mum friends on tap when baby number three came along.
They were still there. Of course. But they were busy. With life and older kids. As we all are. I really missed them. It was lonely not having mums around with babies the same age, that I could chat to and share our worries.
Because it doesn't matter how many times you do this baby lark, somehow it always feels like the first time.
What if you don't have any mum friends?
A recent survey by new social app for mums, Mush, revealed that 60% of mums spend ALL day with no adult interaction.* Imagine that? Actually, I don't need to. There were days after number three was born where it was so difficult to get it out and it was just me, the kids and the living room walls.
An app like Mush, would have allowed me to meet other like-minded mums in my local area with kids the same age. And yes, maybe it's a bit nerve wracking, messaging someone you like the look of but don't know to, erm, hang out in a park. Or go to a playgroup together. But, actually, is it? We live in the age of social media. Where we chat online all the time. And if it means I don't have to spend another horrendous Wednesday at sodding soft play ON MY OWN, well I'm in.
So. If you're feeling a bit low. Lonely. Or just in need of some fun mum company, bite the bullet and make some mum friends. You might question what you'll get out of it, really. Maybe you feel you already have enough friends and you don't need any more. But you know what? We do need more. At this stage in our lives. We need other mum friends. People like us, with kids like ours. We need people that live locally to us, so we feel connected. So it's easy to meet up. So we feel part of something. Believe me, it makes ALL the difference.
Remember. We're in this together.
And we are MUCH BETTER together.
*statistic from survey of 4000 mums, conducted by Mush
Main picture credit: HTML5 UP