The #mblogchat topic this week was mummy friends. I have always felt I could participate in some way to this chat on a Sunday night, this week I felt like a child sat on the sidelines watching all of the other kids playing.
I’ve always been a loner, I have a group of friends that I have had since college but if six months or so passed and I hadnt seen or spoken to them, this wouldnt be unusual. I’m not the type of person to pick up the phone when I have a problem either, I’d tell friends about things after the event. This is just who I am, but when I had RLT I felt more optimitic, confident and self assured, so made an effort to go to groups, events and take up opportunities so that he isn’t missing out on anything…. But wow, it has been hard.
I’m 33, I work in communications, I know how to put a front of confidence on for work, but my goodness, it has been so difficult to do the same in real life. I thought working with academics where I have to justify my very existence every day was hard, but being made to feel invisible by mums is harder because I am afraid that it will impact on my son’s social opportunities. Will the other kids all go to the park together? Will he have no friends to play with at nursery? Why am I not a good candiate for a mummy friend?
My OH says that I can come across as cold and aloof when people first meet me, but when you get to know me, you realise that this is my lack of confidence. I’m not really sure what to do about this, I’ve tried to be really smiley, happy, initiate conversations with people sat on their own who may be feeling the same way, but as my son is seven months old I still haven’t managed to get invites to the meets in coffee shops and baby gym on a Thursday.
One mum, who I went to school and college with, has asked me once to go along with her to meet a few mums, two of which I went to school with but didn’t know and two others that I’d never seen before. I felt like it put her in a real difficult situation, she was the only one interested in talking to me and RLT. I did get invited out for their Christmas night out with an hours notice, but I felt again that this lovely girl from school would be split and it would impact on her night, so I declined the offer. Also an hours notice, how desperate would I look? ( oh the irony)
The mum group mentioned above are the only ones close to my age too, which shouldn’t matter, but it does. When I’ve been to other groups I have been 8-10 years older than some of the mum’s and when they sit there and talk about the thought of turning thirty as terrifying, then say ‘no offence’ it’s perfectly clear we’re not on the same wave length.
Mum friends is the only aspect of having a baby that has really got me down, I now realise why girls actually try and plan to have their second or third child at the same time as someone that they know. It doesn’t matter to me so much now that RLT can interact, but the first few months were very lonely.
There will be more posts like this the closer I get to going back to work. I’ve felt my mood take a turn for the worse since Christmas, this is something I’m conscious of and will be starting some mindfulness training in the next few days.
So basically the moral of this brain fart is that if you are struggling with this aspect of mum life, you are not alone, I’ve been there too. We all cope in different ways and for me, twitter has been invaluable. As much as the people who followed me for work will probably now hate me ( I have VPs of Uni follow me who probably are thinking I’m so unprofessional) the mum friends that I have made have helped me through some dark times and although we will probably never meet, I will never forget the kindness they offered when I needed it most.
So thank you twittersphere. You’ve saved some of my marbles.