Sunday, 10 May 2015

Making Mummy Friends! How do you do it?

Anyone who has had a baby has probably experienced the great friend exodus - meaning when you have a baby a lot of those friends you had before suddenly don't want to talk to you anymore. Apparently despite years of supporting them through their various breakups or losing a job, celebrating their successes and so on, when you have this wonderful new thing in your life means you are no longer in the same 'phase of life' as them or you 'are too focused on your life' and they want nothing more to do with you. Sigh... so as new mums, we now head out into the world looking for new friends. Easier said than done!

You may have read on my blog that our little family made a big move across the country to be closer to my parents and our support network. The problem is, we're feeling even more isolated! We moved to a small town, not a big family area, about 50 minutes south of Newcastle and the same distance from the Central Coast. Sometimes I feel totally alone out here, you can go days without really seeing anyone else. I've been struggling to get out of the house with the koala, which is driving us both nuts! I joined a Facebook-founded mothers group in Newcastle and its full of some really great mums and babies. They are lovely and supportive, but I often can't make the last minute catch ups and those that are somewhere deep in Newcastle are often just too hard to get to. We need to get out and meet people so I've been making the effort, but the 50 minute drive with a screaming baby is sometimes too much to bear! There are no playgroups in the area and I couldn't get into any of the Newcastle mothers groups, even after crying on the phone to them. Literally I broke down in tears, but apparently they were all full.

Finally, I discovered that my local library has a Baby and Books session each week! Its only 15 minutes away, so I thought 'GREAT! Finally I might be able to find a some mum friends close to home'. Alas, the first week I went I was the ONLY ONE THERE! Seriously? I was devastated. I had been so excited.

After my first attempt, I thought, 'maybe I'll just stay home next week'. But that would mean my little koala would be stuck at home with an anti-social mum. That's not fair on her. I don't want her to have a lonely childhood like I did. So I sucked it up and tried again the next week.

This week, there was one other mother there, unfortunately that mother didn't seem to appreciate how lucky she was to have her little baby. The mother entered the library, put her baby on the floor and sat on the nearby chairs. I was on the floor with the koala and greeted said mother 'hi, how old's your little one?' '9 months, maybe 10, whatever' she replied. 'Really? she's a little one isn't she?' I say (noting she was smaller than my 7 month only koala who is tiny). The mother replies with 'maybe 9 months, I don't know, I haven't kept track'. This seems odd to me. Who doesn't know the exact age of their baby down to the day? She proceeds to ignore her baby the entire session. How can you squander this precious gift of motherhood you've been given? Needless to say, this isn't the type of mum I was hoping to connect with.

It's hard making new friends in a new place, especially when you live somewhere isolated. As a new mother, you are suddenly not surrounded by people in the workplace, you're not going out to bars or parties. Making friends can be really hard! If you are lucky you can join a mothers group, if you are unlucky like me, you have to put in the effort to find other ways to meet people. Sometimes I can go the entire week without seeing anyone except my baby, husband and the people I pass in the supermarket.

It isn't easy, we are muddling our way through the best we can. Its hard driving so far with a cranky baby but I know how important it is for my baby to socialise and for my sanity too!

For all those mother's out there feeling isolated, try joining a mothers group, checking out whats on at the local library or look into mum and bub classes like Baby Sensory or Kanga Training.

It's easy to feel alone when you're suddenly a stay at home mum, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Wishing all the mothers out there friend-making success!

xo


39 comments:

  1. I haven't become a mum but I have had "friends" disappear when there's a sudden change in your life. It happened to my mum when she got divorced, suddenly they were avoiding her in the street, and when I had seperated from my own partner years ago, suddenly people no longer had any idea what to say. Life is better off without those people.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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    1. You're poor mother :( and you! Yes, it does seem that way! I hope I am never the kind of friend that would abandon people in that situation. We're all definitely better off without such fickle friends

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  2. I'm lucky to be living in a suburb of Sydney, so I had more available mums groups than time. I'd try early childhood centers - they usually run programs for 0-12 week old babies, but may help put you in touch with your own cohort. Failing that joining or starting a local mums Facebook group or meet up group. Good luck!

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    1. Unfortunately there are no playgroups around here or early childhood centres... issues with living in a tiny town... I'm sure it'll get better when we move once our house is built! :)

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  3. We stopped going to Wiggle and Giggle at the Library when my eldest wasn't able to sit still for the entire session {to much for the 'wiggling' part of the class}. We head out to a thing called 'Paint and Play' in the Park run by our local Playground on Wednesday and on Fridays we attend Gymbaroo. Hopefully you might find some activities like that in your local area. Fingers crossed that you find something to suit you a little better. You're doing a good job Mama xo

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    1. We went to the library again today, my girl crawled all over the place! She's a crazy thing! Paint and play sounds like so much fun! We do Baby Sensory but its an hour drive away, similar to Gymbaroo, bub has so much fun!!!

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  4. That sounds super hard for you! It's definitely hard enough finding new friends as you merge into the life of parenthood, but it would 10 times harder in an isolated area. Hang in there, hopefully you will find some other Mummas to talk with.

    And for that chick in the library....what a stupid woman! Yes, maybe she was tired, or pissed off because she hasn't slept properly for days, but as you said.....who the hell doesn't know the age of their baby?? Stay away from that one. xo

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    1. It is hard, but we'll keep working at it! We'll be moving into civilisation when our house is built but until then we'll power on :)

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  5. Yes, it can be isolating at times. Especially when many of your friends don't have kids or have returned to work. I found Playgroup Australia and became part of a regular playgroup through them. You can try out a few playgroups in your area and find a group that suits you. I was also lucky to find another playgroup at my local community garden where there were a lot of lovely like minded mums. Good luck to everyone out there navigating the world of Motherhood. Bec xo P.S I popped over from Blog Chics on FB. I am at www.lovethatparty.com.au pop on over and say hi!

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    1. Wedont have any playgroups around here, maybe I'll try joining any activities I can find :) thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I too suffer this same problem! I moved a little over a year ago because of my husband's job. He works A LOT therefore I am here with the kids all day and my friends are 5 hours away! I have made one friend since moving here and she is going through a divorce so on a different wave then me. I blogged about my experience if you would like to take a look--->http://domesticatedmomster.com/2015/01/28/in-search-of-another-mommy/

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    1. Thanks, its so hard isnt it! I hope you make some friends soon too!

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  7. Oh and I am stopping by from #BlogFair :D

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  8. It can be such an isolating time, and making a huge move and to a smaller area must be hard. I was lucky that my best friend had babies around the same time as I, and she is quite social, and I'm much an introvert, so it helped me branch out. Now the kids are all at school and I feel a bit lost again sometimes. Still have our little group but rarely see each other as everyone is back at work. It's a tough gig sometimes!

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    1. Thats so lovely you could share pregnancy and new bubs with your best friend :) I'm sure you'll make new friends now your kids are in school, keep trying with the old ones, Im sure they still love you!

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  9. I remember making that move from full time work to stay at home mum. I found playgroup a good avenue, mothers who wanted to be there with their children and often because they need the socialisation more than their kids. Good luck, I understand how you feel.

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    1. We don't have playgroups around here, maybe there are other mothers in the area that feel like me because it is quite isolated. Maybe I should look into starting one!

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  10. I've moved a couple of times since having kids - once across the country and once just around the same city - and it is difficult. I've always been lucky to have plenty of options to try though. Good on you for keeping on trying. Best of luck. It's great to have an amazing online community at least. I know back in my Mum's day when she lived in a small country town there wasn't even that. (Visiting today from #TeamIBOT).

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    1. My online community is fabulous! And those mummys I do know up in Newcastle are great, its just so far away. I feel for your mother in a small country town. I think its always going to be difficult making new friends but we try what we can :)

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  11. I recently became a SAHM after being a working mum for many years. Friends have come and many more have gone, but I'm a big believer that it's about quality not quantity. It's about finding the right kind of friends ... not like that lady in the library, steer clear of that one!!
    I totally understand that it can be very isolating being a SAHM. Now that my older children are at school I have the opportunity to socialise with the other mums in the school yard and sometimes that extends beyond the school gates, which is nice.
    However, I also have a newborn so I will need to look into playgroups as she gets older, both for her socialisation and for my own. My other two children were in childcare from a young age, so this is a whole new ball game for me!
    I hope it all goes well for you x

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    1. Being a SAHM is harder than it seems, school is a great opportunity to meet people isnt it :) Congrats on your little newborn! Thats so wonderful and I'm sure you'll have opportunities for playgroups as she gets old xo

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  12. It's tough isn't it, especially when you've moved to a new isolated location. Sometimes all we need is to speak to another adult. My boy and I just happened to be at the park today and I started up a conversation with another mum with a babe(8weeks) and toddler. The other mum was just excited to have an adult conversation. You do have to put yourself out there don't you and starting something yourself might just fill the need for others. hope you find something that enables you to find to find the right tribe for you.

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    1. When we had the storms, I went nuts because we had no outside communication. Adult conversation is so essential to sanity :) Good work on starting up a conversation with that mum in the park, its really hard to put yourself out there!

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  13. I hope you find some other mums to connect with soon Lu. I'm lucky to have a few other friends who had babies around the same time as me but as for all my other friends, its like Ive been sucked into a black hole and don't exist anymore. It really is quite lonely which I guess is why I spend so much time connecting with people online! I wish I was closer so I could come visit you, but Im in an entire other state unfortunately.

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    1. Absolutely :) I think its why I started my blog really, so I could connect with the outside world, even if its online. I'd visit you too if you were closer, your bubby is gorgeous :)

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  14. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to make friends. Motherhood is isolating and adding in living in a regional community and I imagine it's very tough. I've been in a similar position. We moved from Canberra to Sydney when my eldest son was about 9 months, leaving behind my great mother's group. My only advice is to persist and not to expect friendships to form quickly. You have to become acquaintances before you become friends. It'll take time but you will find friends! Good luck xx

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    1. Thanks :) Persistence is important and you are very right, friendships take time!

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  15. It's definitely hard I think when you first have kids, especially if you've moved. At least you're trying though.
    I feel for that other mother at the library though. I hope she's ok.

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    1. Yes, I've been thinking that, Im wondering if maybe she has PMD, if she comes again I'll try reaching out to her, maybe she needs the support too!

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  16. Girl, I totally hear you! I have like 2 mom friends and I've been searching for others. :P I'm visiting a new church next week. Maybe there will be some potential there!

    #BlogFair

    Dana @ www.thehighchairdiaries.com

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    1. Good luck! Its not easy but I hope you meet some friends too :)

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  17. Damn the Internet today! Not sure if my comment went through or not so will write again just in case. Feel free to delete if you already got one from me. So sorry you feel isolated and that awful experience with the questionable mum at the library. I've been lucky here in Sydney, you can't move for all the mums and their prams so I've been able to make friends easy enough. Also, lots of my friends started their families at the same time as me so I wasn't alone. Maybe as your Bub gets bigger you'll be able to travel somewhere weekly to connect with other mums. You're welcome to come hang out in Syndey! Or we could just be email friends x

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    1. Hehe Im always happy for email friends :) I've been wondering if that mum in the library had PMD and thats why she was so disconnected? Im feeling a bit bad for judging now. We used to live in Sydney but move away so we afford to buy a house etc, I really miss that connectively! I found it much easier to make friends there, but I didnt have a baby then either I suppose. (ps - sorry the internet screwed you around!) xo

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  18. This sounds tough, I find it really difficult to make new mum friends and I am surrounded by people. I hope you find some people to connect with soon, have you tried sporting clubs??

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    1. I think making friends anywhere has its challenges doesnt it! Im thinking maybe I'll look for notices at the local shops and see if theres anything I can find, most stuff around here is aimed for older people, my mum does art and writing and sewing, but not really my age range. Persistence is key :)

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  19. I think when you move somewhere new, it's always difficult isn't it? I know it's tough, but it will get easier, and when it comes to meeting new people, your little koala is going to be a real asset - she's your ticket to meeting other like minded mum's! Hang in there!

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    1. Thanks :) She is a loveable little thing, you cant help but want to be around her!

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  20. Most of my friends were mums before me but I did move to a new town when the eldest was little so I had to make new friends. It is difficult, even when you find activities to go to. I found that it did get easier when the children got a bit older so keep on the playgroup waiting lists and hang in their. Good for you for going back even when you had a not so good experience! Thanks for sharing with the #BlogFair

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    1. Thanks :) I went back this week and ended up with gastro lol it wont stop me though! I hope you have made some wonderful new friends too!

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