The importance of making friends during motherhood

Friends during motherhood

Let’s talk about something super important – making friends during motherhood.

Making friends as an adult can feel awkward and forced. You might also feel a tad embarrassed, thinking: “How have I got to this stage in my life and I don’t have enough friends?”.

You are not alone.

Many mothers friend themselves in the same position for a number of reasons, including old friendships no longer working, current mates ‘not getting’ you, or a messy separation where people you thought were friends sided with your ex.

The reason is not important. Having good friends is!

Motherhood can be amazing, but it can also be a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges. Having a tribe of supportive and understanding friends can make all the difference.

Think about it – who else can you complain to about the joys of sleepless nights, the struggle of finding time for self-care, and the pressure to have a Pinterest-worthy birthday party for your toddler? Only your fellow mum friends will genuinely get it.

And if you’re feeling a little nervous about putting yourself out there, remember – we’re all in this crazy mum journey together. So let’s embrace the importance of making friends during motherhood and support each other along the way.

Emotional support

Have you ever felt pressured by those around you to be happy because you’re now a mum? Sometimes, society makes you feel like you have no right to be sad because being a mother is supposed to be the best thing that’s ever happened in your life!

The reality is mums may have baby blues, with one in seven mums experiencing postpartum depression. And no one understands this more than fellow mums.

Having friends who’ve been there and experienced similar feelings will not just give you the emotional support you badly need. They can also shield you from other people who will try to invalidate your feelings.

Practical help

When you say you need help, some would misunderstand what kind of help you need.

Actually, you don’t need someone to take over caring for your little one. Most of the time, what you need is someone who will wash the dishes, get the laundry done, and cook!

Other mums totally get that. They’ve been there, so they know how hard it is to get up and do household chores when you’ve just given birth. Having someone who understands what kind of help you need (without you saying it) means everything.

In addition, other mums have the practical know-how that you won’t learn from pregnancy and postpartum books. I mean, who can better demo how to baby wrap in one minute?

People to laugh with

When you become a mum, that’s when you finally understand mum jokes. And having friends who truly get what these jokes mean? Precious.

Being a mum is super taxing especially when you take the role seriously. Sometimes, you just need to know that that your dinosaur toddler isn’t the only dinosaur toddler to ever exist, and that you’re not the only one who hasn’t showered in days.

When you’re alone, these things can make you feel down. But when you look at it from the outside, most of these are actually pretty hilarious. Having someone to laugh about these moments with makes motherhood a lot better. Sometimes, you just need a friend who understands you don’t actually want to give your child away even when you joke about it.

People to cry with

Do you sometimes feel like you lost your personal identity when you became a mum? That now, you’re just your child’s mum?

Or you might feel you’ve lost your freedom being the primary caregiver while everyone else’s (clue: dad) life goes on exactly as it was before the baby.

That’s something that’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t felt that way. Your mum friends would, they likely feel exactly the same. A good cry can sometimes be all you need, and friends who have been in your shoes can give you the empathy you need at this time.

Having good friends during motherhood will give you people you can open up to, and this will lift the emotional load.

Being social

Us mums often wonder how we can feel lonely when we are so busy.

Running around after your children all day does not constitute a social life. And, if you never socialise on your terms with your friends, you will not only feel isolated but it can affect your mental health and cause other problems, such as social anxiety.

Good friends can provide a much-needed social outlet and help you feel connected to the world outside your home. 

Warning: If you have limited practice of socialising, you will lose your social skills and it can be hard to get back out there and mingle again.

Getting perspective

Being a new mum can also limit your worldview within your own experience.

But the truth is, each pregnancy, each postpartum, and each motherhood journey is unique. Learning about the stories of your fellow mums will make you feel less alone and more empowered about your own experiences and journey.

Having friends who share different perspectives will not just make you feel better but help you become more empathetic towards other mums as well.

Self-care support from friends during motherhood

Being a mum and running a household can be overwhelming. You are not alone if self-care is the least of your priorities. Not having a proper shower, enough sleep, exercise, or much needed “me” time can impact your mental and physical health. This makes it even harder to perform your mum duties.

Having mum friends in the same boat as you means you can encourage each other to take time for self-care. You can even do it together so you hold each other accountable.

For example, if you plan to take a 20-minute walk each day after school drop-off, you are likelier to skip it if you do it alone. But, if you have planned it with a friend, you will not want to disappoint them and feel more enthusiastic about doing it.

Never underestimate the importance of self-care.

Stress relief

You know those days when you are really stressed out and have no one to talk to about it? The stress goes round and round inside your head, worsening by the hour.

Having a good friend on hand right now is essential!

Whether you need to share your stresses and take advice, or you need to LET IT OUT, sharing how you feel with a friend who gets you will help you calm the farm and destress.

Who needs stress balls when you have a damn good mate to talk to?

Shared experiences

Yes, each motherhood journey is different as each child is different, but there are bits and pieces that we can only share with other mums.

Knowing you’re not the first and the last to experience what you’re going through at the moment can be helpful in making you feel better. You’ll learn that you’re not perfect, they’re not perfect … and that’s okay.

Other mums’ “mistakes” can be your valuable lessons. Their successes can become your template. And you know that someday, you’d get to share your stories, too. That’s how mothers get the wisdom mothers are known for.

Having friends during motherhood to tell you ‘it gets better’ could be exactly what you need right now.

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Alice Duff

About the author

Alice Duff is an American expat mum to 8-month-old Thaddeus. She is the founder of Born by One, which she designed to bring back the village style of parenting, ensuring that no parent is left to navigate parenthood alone.

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