“When you’re older, you can count your friends on one hand” is something my mum always said. Something I couldn’t quite understand whilst sitting in a common room full of friendships. One hand? Surely not? But yes mum, you were right! I just wanted to jot down a very raw and open post because I just feel like it will do me good, but mainly because it could be a refreshing read if you’ve been through a similar thing!
When I first become a mum, I tried my upmost best to stay sociable and try not to change as such. I didn’t want my friends to think I was slacking as a friend because I didn’t have the time or was too tired or I was having a bad day with Amelie. The list in endless. But unfortunately, shit happens. When you become a mum, these things are unavoidable and some people get their knickers in a twist when they choose not to be empathetic. I’ve been blocked on all social media for cancelling a plan, I’ve been assaulted in front of all of my school friends by an old ~friend~ (I’ll use that term very loosely), and of course there’s the friend that you simply just lose contact with (which can happen with or without a baby). These friendships are really sad because they generally fade due to growing in separate directions, and the logistics of making these friendships work are quite frankly pretty exhausting.
I know that I’m definitely not the first mum to lose friends after having a baby, but it really feels like you’re going through a 10 year divorce with a joint mortgage, a dog and 3 kids. It hurts. I mean, it’s been a year since the blocked on social media situation and it still upsets me. Sadly, but honestly, this is all part of parenthood. This is something that those friends will look back on in 5, 10, however many years, time when they have children and think “I get it now”. There’s also a high chance that you’ll make new friendships subsequently to popping your baby out. I met a lovely friend at the hospital after giving birth, I made another few friends through Instagram when I moved to Wiltshire, I have an amazing mum friend who lives 210 miles away but is just a text away at all times, and I met my best friend at my new job.
When you lose a friend, the first thing you need to ask yourself is “were they supportive?”. I don’t just mean supportive of you as a mother, I mean about everything. I have friends who have made some rash decisions and even though you sometimes have to grit your teeth whilst supporting them, it’s simply what friends do. So if they aren’t doing that, you never needed them anyway! And believe me, I learnt that very quickly when I was pulled to the floor by my hair for saying “I haven’t heard from you since having Amelie”. Not even a “Congratulations”. The end of a toxic friendship is honestly the healthiest option for your own sanity. You may have needed them once, but you sure as hell do not need them now. Being a new mum can be so lonely, so support is absolutely paramount.
Of course you’re going to have some friends that you have loved and cared for since you can remember, and will probably still love and care for when you’re grey and wrinkly and going out for lunch dates via the bus with your free OAP ticket. But that doesn’t apply to every friendship you’ve ever had – there are some that aren’t meant to last forever. It also doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone for to determine where they sit on your friendship ladder. I’ve known my best friend for under a year and she knows me inside and out, we’re close with each other’s families, our boyfriends are also best friends, we live around the corner from each other, and most importantly – we are at very similar stages in our lives! Love you, Meg.
One thing I’ve been terrible for is dwelling. What did I do? Where did it go wrong? Is it worth it? Shall I just text them? It’s so draining! Whatever happened has happened and ultimately you just need to move on and let it go. It’s so hard because I am very sensitive and a terrible over thinker, but I wish I could tell my past self that the best is yet to come. My goodness, this is heartfelt isn’t it. My main goal for this year is to worry less – about money, about salvaging friendships, about literally anything in life. You have a tiny human, bills, a house, and a whole lot of life to keep you away from rocky friendships. It’s so important to feel, and be, happy!
This post is a Mother Hen Club post. My role in Mother Hen is to create content mainly based on fashion and lifestyle as a young mum. For more information on Mother Hen you can follow them on Instagram @motherhenclub or have a look on their new website https://www.motherhenclub.co.uk.