I've just got back from my friend *Jane's house. She is one of the best mum friends I could have found (actually, all my mum-friends are fantastic, I'd be lost without them. This post is not a gushing 'I'm so lucky' one however). She has 3 beautiful children, she has similar morals and parenting ideas to me so spending the morning with her makes me come away feeling a mixture of hope, reassurance and a lovely uplifted soul.
As I mentioned, even though I wasn't going to (but I guess it sort of backs up this blog) I've been so lucky with my little circle of mum friends- they are supportive, help with childcare, are always there for a moan or for advice and yes, the odd glass of wine as well. I only discovered them recently, however. Until a year ago I had a couple of mum friends, a couple of really good ones but no real support network. I think this was my own fault for only sporadically going to baby groups and getting involved but when you have you first child everything is just so difficult. Even navigating your way out of the house between feeds and nappy changes seems almost pointless until you actually get used to it and find people you want to get of the house to spend time with.
My ladies are the good. The best in fact. So I thought I'd put some examples of how to behave as a mum-friend based on my experiences (I have of course, behaved badly myself on the odd occasion)
The Bad: The constantly ill/teething child. The promise of a rearranged coffee and catchup that never comes.
The Good: The cake. That fabulous mum that brings cake/biscuits (once a jar of pickles...) over so you don't have to think about that and can concentrate on cleaning your house and pretending that you don't basically live in squalor before they come.
The Bad: The standup. I've been stood up by an old mum-friend twice before. TWICE I have managed to get out of the house with baby, bags, on time with my sanity (just about) to get to the cafe and be stood up.
The Good: My regular Monday morning playdate/coffees whilst we trash the chosen one's house.
The Bad: The friend who I saw regularly before having Kit... then she got busy... then I had Kit... then she got even busier. Now I see her if I travel to her, rearrange my plans and get booked in two months in advance. You need to be available at short notice for those must-have rants...
The Good: The babysitting swap. I'm yet to do this but we are planning to- each babysit for another for an evening. Free childcare with someone you trust who also has childcare experience? Genius!
The Bad: Focusing on yourself, your children, your troubles but not acknowledging (or just ignoring) your fellow mum-friend who is also sleep deprived, dealing with teething, tantrums, childcare crisis and juggling work. We are in this together ladiesothers. GO, GO, GO!