The importance of my mummy friends (aka a thanks to my NCT mamma tribe)

The importance of my mummy friends (aka a thanks to my NCT mamma tribe)

We used to huddle in coffee shops, my new mum friends and I, corralled in by pushchairs, sipping coffee in a quiet corner, occasionally whipping out a boob or a bottle to feed our babies.We would share sympathetic looks over a latte when a little one cried or one of us had to carry that tiny bundle into the changing room for a nappy change. We were all tired, actually beyond tired, but those meeting every week or two kept us going. Part of that was the caffeine and part of that was the conversation and support.

None of us knew what we were doing. We were all first time mums with various birth stories and none of them what our NCT class had prepared us for. A few of us knew that despite our hopes for a natural delivery with a lovely, caring midwife, we’d see the rest of our pregnancy journey as it had begun – under the care of a consultant. Others had hoped for plain sailing but still had a couple of spanners in the works. Whatever the story and ending, we had got there in the end and we were muddling our way through as best we knew.

But we had taken something vital from that NCT ante-natal class and it wasn’t learning how to build a den with a sheet and two chairs while our partner’s rubbed our backs. That something was each other.

We had all met when we were heavily pregnant and somehow that formed a mummy bond which most other friendships just haven’t been able to match. It’s not that my friendship with any of these women is stronger than the ones that have come before, because they aren’t. But they are unique friendships.

Although now we don’t see each other as frequently, these are the woman who I share my moans to, my musings on whether to have more children, my observations about parenting and my baby making equipment. These are the women I messaged in the early hours during those early weeks of motherhood, when my nipples were bleeding, or I didn’t know if it was too warm for a sleeping bag. Perhaps it’s also because we were all off work together, in the trenches with new-borns all at the same time, or because we were the only other people we knew who would be up at insane o’clock and happy to talk about anything.

My other mum friends are amazing and incredibly important to me too, but in different ways and offer a different type of support. They’re more friends who happen to be mums, than mummy-friends, and I wouldn’t want them to feel like their importance is diminished in this post. They are the women who were my point of reference in deciding to try for a baby and through those attempts at trying. They are also the ones who are my anchors. They’re the ones I go to when I need to know that it’s all going to be okay and I will have some sleep eventually. They are the woman who knew me long before I became a mother and who remind me of who I am, and who I will still be when Small Boy is grown and flown the coop.

I also made new mummy friends after I became a mum. These are mums I met at classes and groups, with little ones around the same age as Small Boy. Apart from a couple, I didn’t really gel with these in quite the same way, although it could be said that as time went on I would see some of these more regularly, albeit it confined to a weekly play group.

It’s now two and a half years since I attended those NCT classes and I don’t see my NCT mummy friends as much as I did. Most of us are back working and with varied work patterns and commitments, it’s hard to get us altogether in one place. Now rather than the whole gang it tends to be two or three of us meeting up.

We tend not to be huddling over a latte now, we’re sat on someone’s carpet amongst building blocks and toy cars, pretending to drink tea from an empty plastic cup. And when we do, I look at the faces of those women, slurping away at thin air, and think thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me and how you’ve kept me sane.
Mummy friends, you really are amazing.

The Pramshed
Hot Pink Wellingtons

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. 13th February 2018 / 11:32 pm

    You are absolutely spot on! I really feel that our women friends are so important and we do have different groups, I have my lifelong friends since school, my university friends, my mothers group friends like you talk of here and now I have an amazing group of school mums who I adore. We all support each other in different ways, we learn and grow together. I am glad you found amazing friends to support you through those new mummy days as they can be the best and hardest times of our life! Thank you for being part of #ablogginggoodtime

  2. 9th February 2018 / 12:49 pm

    I never had any real mom friends until recently and my boys are 16 and 11 now. I have heard how important it is to have these moms as your friends, especially when the kids are little and you’re a new mom. I’m so happy you found your momma tribe:) #mg

    • 9th February 2018 / 12:58 pm

      Yeah, sorry I meant to say #ablogginggoodtime

    • 9th February 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Thanks Michelle! They’ve been such a blessing and help keeping me same. Expect I’ll have to befriend school mums later on once he starts there. Not easy when you’re an introvert, but Small Boy is good motivation. It’s just a shame with school catchment areas none of us will have kids in the same school

  3. 15th January 2018 / 12:52 pm

    I still meet up regularly with some of my NCT gang – there are 5 of us who all had girls and we’ve kept in touch. We see each other at least every month and have a chat group on Facebook messenger! Couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG

  4. Catherine
    11th January 2018 / 2:09 pm

    This is so lovely! I never did NCT but have made new mum friends since having Amelia and I love having that! Makes all the difference when you are going through the same things at the same time. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Helen Treharne
      11th January 2018 / 8:39 pm

      It really does help to have others who are in the same boat at the same time!

  5. 10th January 2018 / 9:38 pm

    I didn’t do NCT classes and have always felt like I missed out on the friendship aspect of it. I struggle to make friends at play groups, even more so now that I’m back at work, so I don’t have many mum friends. But luckily I have a few that I don’t know what I’d do without! #fortheloveofblog

    • Helen Treharne
      10th January 2018 / 11:19 pm

      I think we were very lucky to have found each other and I haven’t bonded as well with women I’ve met in other groups. Like you, working makes it very difficult to get to groups and when I have gone it feels like people already have established friendships. As an older mum, I’m at a stage in my life when I can’t be @rsed with making a lot of effort which doesn’t help! I’m an introvert so it’s not a winning combination.

  6. 8th January 2018 / 5:44 pm

    This takes me back to the early days of NCT, the coffee dates and then the sitting on the floor, ours are 7 now and it is so different but mum friends are so so important no matter where they are from #SharingTheBlogLove

  7. 7th January 2018 / 6:57 pm

    I often hear women say that they don’t want to have friends purely based on the fact that they also have children, but it really is so important that when you become a mother that you have friends you can turn to to talk through all of those little dilemmas. This does make me a bit sad for my own NCT group though, who never really bonded all that closely and kind of split off into two separate groups. Thankfully I’ve found other friends who I feel I can talk to, and without them I think it would be really tough. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • 8th January 2018 / 3:20 pm

      I was incredibly lucky with my NCT group, although it perhaps helped that it was so small – five of us, and we were all quite heavily pregnant at the time it started, and most of had some sort of complication or challenge which meant we were consultant led. That gave us bond – albeit we did get a bit “yeah that’s great but I won’t be allowed to do that by the hospital”.

  8. 7th January 2018 / 11:56 am

    Oh what a lovely post, and so true. Almost 7 years after meeting my NCT mummies, I am still in very regular touch with three of them, one even came on holiday with us this summer. Now, with both of my infants at primary school, I am also making two sets of mummy friends there and am truly surprised by how strong the bond is between some of us. Mummies rock!

  9. 6th January 2018 / 10:04 pm

    I have very mixed views over NCT and making friends! I attended NCT classes over 5 years ago and I’m lucky that I still have 1 good friend that I still see. I think we would have’ve been friends however our paths would’ve crossed. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. 6th January 2018 / 2:32 pm

    It is so important. I remember those coffee shop days well – and how much I looked forward to them. Sarah #sharingthebloglove

  11. 4th January 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Love this. It’s so true. I’m still in contact with all the antenatal ladies, and I’m close with a couple of them.. They’re a lifeline at times.

    • Helen Treharne
      5th January 2018 / 8:53 pm

      It’s weird how close you can become when sometimes the only thing you have in common is being pregnant, but sometimes the strongest friendships can be born from differences. You all bring something different to the mix but equally share many of the same core values. Love my mummy tribe.

  12. 4th January 2018 / 1:21 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, I wrote a similar post in November, until you get them you don’t realise how important your ‘mumma tribe’ is. I was lucky that my friends became mummy friends at the same time. Equally quite special. I’ve no idea how I’d have managed without them.

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