Parenting

Why Don’t I Have Mum Friends?

Ever since I had Amelia I’ve had this feeling of being left out of the mama world a little bit, of not really fitting in. I didn’t really get the whole Mum squad thang, and I didn’t feel like I belonged in this new world. A big part of me, tbh, didn’t really want to fit into the world of motherhood. That’s not to say I didn’t want to be a Mum, I just didn’t want to redefine myself entirely around motherhood. A big part of this was telling anyone who’d listen;

 

“I already have friends thanks, I don’t need new Mum friends ta very much!”

 

When Amelia was small I would see other mums, particularly groups of mum friends, in various settings; at our weekly swimming lessons, in cafes and coffee shops, nattering over tea in the park, and of course at soft play. Occasionally I would overhear snippets of their conversations (intentionally or not, I’ll let you decide *wink wink*) and this would only serve to remind me that I am not one of them. I don’t talk like these mums, I don’t think like these mums, I don’t look like these mums, I am not like these mums.

 

Was I doing it all wrong?

I started to wonder if I was doing it wrong, this mama thing. Maybe I’m too young (hardly the youngest mum in the world, I was nearly 27 when I had Amelia) or maybe I was too concerned about my career to really be a proper mum.Could it be because I’m not married, we don’t own a house, and we’re far from balling?

 

There’s a strong chance it’s because I don’t really like wine (I know, right?!), or because I’m not constantly stressed out to the max, sleep deprived, or worrying about when the right time is to get Amelia into clarinet lessons. Maybe it’s because I didn’t breastfeed… (that’s another post entirely, right there!)

 

Maybe it’s because I’m a fraud.

 

So what was my damage about mum friends?

I had these unrealistic ideals of what is was to be a mum. In my head a family was a perfect little unit, living in a nice house with a garden where money wasn’t always tight and mum got to stay at home doing crafts and shit generally being fabulous. My mind played out visions of days filled with ‘mummy and me’ groups, musical tots club, and making friends at soft play.

 

Other mums would totally want to be our friends because we’re beyond cool. Even though I kept telling people I didn’t need Mum friends, I kind of expected that a bunch would fall in my lap anyway. Alongside all of this, I imagined that I would also be killing it still at work, running a successful business and bringing home some serious performance related bonuses to help fund all of our extra-curricular activities.

 

I was even ready for the so-called ‘bad times’. The times when I would arrive for that weekly mum meet up all outwardly zen, and whisper secretly that I was just soooo tired from all the sleepless nights that I had a glass of wine at 4 o’clock yesterday (*gasp*). We would all nod along and chuckle lightheartedly at our mum fates and enjoy a nice latte while the kids munched happily on rice cakes.

 

Even though I said I didn't need mum friends I sorta thought a bunch would fall in my lap anyway.

 

 

Be real, sister…

All of the above? Erm, not so much. I didn’t actually make any mum friends, because I avoided ante-natal classes like the plague and failed to join any groups. I did sort of immerse myself briefly in a little group at swimming, but that soon bored me – they were all just a bit too happy for my liking, and it all felt kind of fake. We tried out musical tots, but it only took a couple of visits before we (I) were waking up on a Thursday morning, looking at each other (me looking at Amelia), and saying;

 

“Nah, let’s just stay in our pyjamas and eat caramel snack-a-jacks and chocolate buttons!”

 

I wasn’t really all that stressed out, and Amelia slept like a dream most of the time (don’t hate me), and I  don’t really like wine. Some days were boring, some days were loads of fun, some days we didn’t do much, and some days were full of activities. It was what it was, and it got steadily more enjoyable the more she was able to interact and play with me.

 

I don’t have time for mum friends…

I went back to work when Amelia was about 7 months old, and I was pretty good at separating work from home, Of course I missed Amelia, but I didn’t ache for her, and I wasn’t especially miserable being away from her.

 

She split her time between my mum and a childminder close to my work, but even with all of that support it soon became apparent that I wasn’t going to be able to pull the 60+ hour weeks that I was pre-baby. I loved my job, but my work suffered when I couldn’t give it the time it needed, and it wasn’t long before I made the tough decision to give it up.

 

I had no idea how we would cope financially, as I was earning the biggest chunk of our household income at the time, but I knew that it needed to be done. I’d also started to resent my mum, who Amelia seemed to be more attached to than she was to me (“seemed to” being the operative words here), and I had missed a whole bunch of milestones too.

 

 

Even though I said I didn't need mum friends I sorta thought a bunch would fall in my lap anyway.

 

 

So Where Do I Fit In?

For a long time I didn’t feel like I belonged in the mum world, and I actively avoided making any mum friends. But as cliched as it is, blogging has completely flipped that on its head. I’ve ‘met’ some friggin’ epic mama’s who are so like me in every way that I seriously can’t remember what my damage was about mum friends! I suppose it’s all about making the right connections.

 

Every single one of us is different, and every single one of us is a mum with her own issues, likes, dislikes, inner turmoil, and daily struggles. Some of us fully immerse ourselves in as many motherhood tribes as possible, while some just don’t, or dip in and out. Some mama’s work (aside from parenting) because we have to, or because we want to. some of us don’t because we can’t, don’t want to, or don’t have to.

 

There are mums who find parenting super stressful, and some less so. Some of us enjoy the baby days most, while others can’t wait for them to be over! There’s mums who get no sleep and some who sleep just fine. Mama’s with fussy eaters and those with kids who will eat just about anything in sight. We all have different approaches to parenting; things we will never do or don’t agree with, things we thought we’d never do but have changed our minds, things that make us cringe (did you know you’re ‘supposed’ to suck snot from babies noses?!) and things we just can’t do.

 

I could go on…

 

You can be in my squad! 😉

We all worry about the choices we make for our kids, whether we are doing right by them, making the right decisions and choices for them, and teaching them the right things. No matter what walk of life we come from, where we live, how we live, or our parenting styles. All of us have those moments when we just aren’t sure.

 

We all have that in common at least. So we can be mum friends if you like. I won’t judge you, or give a rat’s behind if you turn up here with snot down your front and cheerios in your hair at 2am. I’m cool like that.

 

 

Join the squad!

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32 thoughts on “Why Don’t I Have Mum Friends?

  1. I really love this. I didn’t have a Mom tribe until I found my blogging
    Friends! I’m going to share this with them!

  2. I don’t feel like I fit in with the mum squad either. I run my own business so work long hours from home so between work & the kids I don’t really have the time. Plus my little man has Autism so we just don’t seem to fit in with the other mum/kid groups as we just can’t do the same things #BloggerClubUK

    1. Oh I can totally imagine. My youngest brother is in the spectrum and I cared for him full time for a few years so I know the challenges there. Sounds like you’re doing just great! X

  3. oh bless you. Before meeting my blogging friends, I didnt feel like I was part of a squad at all. I was a mummy but I wasnt in a circle of friends and just stayed with my own mum. now I know that I am and thats what counts
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Some days I feel like I’m missing out, other days I’m kind of glad to be honest! Blogging great though, isn’t it?! I’ve met some amazing people too!x

  4. We all do worry about choices we make for our kids. But you are right it can feel like you are left out of some groups. blogging is a great way to connect with other mums who have the same thoughts that you do! It’s great you took the leap to stay at home. Thank you for sharing with #BloggerClubUK x

  5. I love this! I recently stopped going to a local playgroup after finally admitting to myself that it’s ok to hate going! Motherhood is different for everyone and that’s ok! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week xx

  6. I love this post, you are so honest and real and in some ways that is rare. I definitely did not feel apart of the mum club, mostly because none of my friends have kids like you I was 27 and the age for children and marriage is much older now (especially in London). So overall I felt angry and bored about what the reality of motherhood meant, I had no idea it was going to be so mundane or how tired I would be. Now that my son is a year it’s much better, I don’t think I am a newborn kind of mom haha I’m more like five year old kind of mom! This post was great I can completely relate to how you felt about the other moms being a little too happy haha. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    1. That’s such a nice thing to hear, I guess it’s quite daunting putting it all out there! Oh my god, this is so me! I was just telling someone at work the other day when she asked if I was ready to come back that (*whisper*) I don’t really like babies they’re a bit boring!
      Now that Amelia’s 3 she’s so much more fun! On her good days we have such a laugh and she’s interested in things and has a proper sense of humour..! I feel a post coming on! And I’m glad you said that about the age thing – I’ve often felt judged as a young Mum when in reality I’m pushing 30 people! I think we must be the same person – I wrote about the how boring it can be before and a lot of people were like “huh? How’d you have time to be bored?” Thanks so much for your comment xxx

  7. This reminded me of an Ed Sheeran quote – “There’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you.” I think that this applies to motherhood, however we approach it 🙂 #blogstravaganza

  8. This makes me feel so sad! I totally relate, the only mum friends I have are the friends I already had who ended up getting pregnant! I was pregnant with my daughter at 21 and her dad was less than nice, I felt incredibly alone. This time round, with a lovely baby daddy, I still struggled and I was neither young nor inexperienced. Be in my mum squad? I’m currently in the one in it though!

    #RV&HT Thanks for linking up!

  9. I totally get this! I felt the same as you until I started blogging and found my tribe and doesn’t it feel good?! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this lovely xoxo

    1. Totally! I’m far from having made life-long friends yet, but I’ve met some wonderful people, and it’s just great to have found a whole community of like-minded mums!! Thanks for hosting xxx

  10. YES YES YES!

    I’ve been in the parenting game for a long time and I’ve always felt this way. I came to peace with it early on. It’s okay to not clique up with the soccer moms. Variety is the spice of life.

    Love your blog!

    #StayClassyMama

  11. I’m not a mother – but it looks like you’re doing ok to me. Love’s the most important part, after all! (Don’t judge me and my corny phrases – my parents are pretty much hippies.) #RV&HT

  12. I think I am a member of that squad – yay! I was in a similar position but that was because I was worrying and thinking that I was not “good” enough. I don’t know why I had some weird too high standards of what moms should be. Your post has actually made me think about myself and my situation a bit more clearly. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    1. It’s so easy to put too much pressure on ourselves isn’t it?! I worried a lot about being judged as a mum by other mums, and I think that really held me back from meeting other mums xx

  13. Ha! Yup, went through a similar thin, and I did go to the groups and I did do all the things. Didn’t make any difference. I knew we didn’t quite fit from day one. When my son was diagnosed with ASD as he turned three, people thought I’d start hanging out with other SEN parents. That didn’t happen either. Turns out I just sit on the periphery of allllll the groups. I only have one kid, don’t want another one, no interest in pregnancy talk, prefer to be positive but realistic,…. I could go on. It’s taken a long time to reconcile that being different is OK and that I’m no less a mother for living my motherhood the way I do. BTW I think sitting on the sofa eating buttons sounds like much more fun than baby groups! #BloggingClubUK

    1. I think I just felt like I needed to be someone I wasn’t at baby groups, which probably says a lot more about me than the other people there! I’ll admit I like to keep my circle pretty small anyway (mainly because I’m a rubbish friend!) but I do wonder “what if?” when it comes to mum friends… I wish I’d have made more of an effort, and then at least that way if it didn’t work I could say I’d tried haha! X

  14. I’m really shy (except for hiding in a blog or vlog obviously) so have struggled to keep up with the social side of motherhood so that my kids didn’t suffer. I think it is important for new mums to know there isn’t a right way, we’re all just making it up as we go along #bigpinklink

    1. I agree entirely – it’s only now really that I realise that we don’t have to be pigeon-holed, but equally that I’m not an outsider… if that makes any sense at all! x

  15. This is exactly what was eating at me!! I can’t be doing it right because I’m not attached at the hip to a bottle of red, or propping my eyes open with matchsticks in an angry haze! Although I will admit to being mildly fuelled by caffeine but that started around the time of my A-levels so I’m not blaming that one on the kids!!! Glad I’m not alone!! X

  16. I loved this. I have felt the same way. I only have one child and she is about to be 9 now. And the entire time I have been a mother, I have felt like I wasn’t a good one. I felt like I couldn’t keep up and that meant I was selfish and toxic. After years and years of experience, I now understand that we all struggle. Many just keep it quiet. And it is so important to be honest. Thanks so much for this! #bigpinklink

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