During pregnancy, our bodies go through a major transformation, which can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. Then follows motherhood, which changes our entire life as we know it forever.
While we turn to our partners, our families and our friends for support, sometimes it’s our ‘mum friends’ – those fellow mothers that we are closest to – who seem to be able to ‘get’ us better than anyone else.
We need the support and help of each and every loved one in our lives, and this is always so appreciated; but there is something so special about the feeling of solidarity that we get from chatting, laughing, and even crying with our mum friends. Here are 10 reasons why they are simply the best.
1. They can relate to our experiences and struggles
Becoming a mum is an often overwhelming experience, and we can find ourselves feeling sad and lost – sometimes for no apparent reason. It’s in these instances, when our partners and family are at a total loss as to what to say or do – that our mum friends really step up to the plate.
Any concern or worry you have; any struggle you’re going through; any tricky aspect of motherhood you may be experiencing – you can rest assured that your mum friend has been there, and will be able to help you through.
2. They give the best advice
When you have consulted all the baby books and websites but you are still at a loss as to how to get your baby to sleep, or your pre-schooler to brush their teeth, there is no need to feel defeated – because you just know that your mum friends will have gone through it, and will know what to do.
Whether you’re looking for advice about feeding your baby, your sex life after pregnancy, finding the right school for your child, or dealing with tween tantrums; your mum friends are the best source of advice and comfort.
3. They will always step in when we come up short
Despite having multiple checklists, baby brain will inevitably kick in, and we’ll end up forgetting to pack something vitally important in our changing bags. This is where our mum friends are our absolute saviours, stepping in to volunteer extra baby wipes or nappy cream for your tiny tot, or tissues for your toddler’s permanently running nose.
The beauty of this exercise is that you’ll be able to do the same for them the next time they find themselves in need.
4. You can talk about vomit and poop all day, and they won’t bat an eyelid
You know those conversations you have with people who aren’t parents that usually end with them gasping and exclaiming, ‘God, that’s disgusting. I don’t know how you do it!’? You can rest assured that you will never have to put up with that.
Yes, your mum friends have been through it all – the explosive nappies, the projectile vomiting, the sleepless nights that leave you feeling like a zombie. They won’t even raise an eyebrow as you regale them with the tale of how you spent the night before cleaning a stream of spit-up from your back.
5. They understand your ‘mum schedule’
It doesn’t matter how far in advance we have made arrangements, how much we need an afternoon ‘off’, or how determined we are to stick to our plans – inevitably, something will pop up, and we’ll have to either cancel our plans entirely or change them. This is totally fine – but it’s also something that not everyone can get. One person who can absolutely understand and empathise is your mum friend.
Your mum friends have been there; they know that a last-minute nappy emergency, a sick child or an impromptu parent-teacher meeting have to come first, and that it’s nothing personal. It’s all just part and parcel of having a little one to look after!
6. They will be there for you when motherhood gets to be too much
Let’s be honest here; motherhood can be totally overwhelming, and there will be times when you will just feel like giving up. You will also most likely question yourself and everything you do as a mother. This is where your mum friends will become your superheroes. Having shared in your thoughts, feelings and experiences, they will be able to not only comfort you in your time of need but remind you of how amazingly well you are doing – after all, they see you at your best and your worst.
7. They’re great with your children
With beloved little ones of their own, your mum friends know exactly how to talk to, and act around your children. This is especially handy when you have your hands full, and you need a little help with your routine. And it’s a total plus when their children join you for a coffee or lunch date – in this way, you are more like a ‘mum team’, working together to keep chaos at bay.
8. They will never judge you
Before welcoming our children, we all have those moments where we swear, “I'll never be that kind of mum” - then you give birth, and all of your preconceptions go out the window! Every mother's journey is different, and your mum friends can relate to this completely – which is why they will never try to judge you, or try to 'one up' you. They understand that, as mums, we need to support one another as one big community – even if our journeys are different.
9. They help you to build your 'mum tribe'
Often, new mothers can be left feeling really isolated and alone, particularly if they are the first one from their friend group to have a baby. Having just one mum friend to talk to and troubleshoot with is important, but what's even better is that she can then introduce you to other mum friends who are going through the same experiences and need a little extra support. In this way, you can really build your 'mum tribe' – a group of friends who you can laugh with, turn to in times of doubt or need, or just grab a coffee with when you really need a break.
10. They teach us SO much
There is no guide book that can trump real-life experience, which is why there is so much to learn from our mum friends. If there’s an area that we’re not too familiar with, we know we can always rely on our fellow mums to educate us. For example, thanks to that friend we have fondly christened the ‘health nut’, we now know that a 250ml glass of Avonmore Whole Super Milk can provide our family with a significant portion of their recommended intake of calcium, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D – essential for strong, healthy teeth and bones. An important lesson learned!