When I was 15, we moved into a new house on a new street. I knew a boy who lived down the road and I thought I would befriend him. I didn’t like him as in a crush, I liked him because he shared the same music interests (techno!) as me and he was in our circle of friends. I envisaged us hanging out after school, and just being friends. I bit the bullet and asked him if he wouldn’t mind burning me the latest Ministry of Sound Volume 2 CD and that I’d pick it up when I come to hang out (those last words were possible said mumbled and quickly).
‘No worries, I can do that, give me a couple of days’ (downloading in those days took that long haha). When it was ready and I went to pick it up, he said, ‘Make sure you bring the $20 for the CD. I’ll put it in the letterbox for you..’.
Ahhh uhh ok sweet, will do, yup leave in the letterbox….
Awkward! In my head, we were to hangout, as friends. Perhaps I didn’t verbalise it or perhaps he just didn’t like to hangout with me at all, which is sweet. I’ll just avoid him for the rest of my teenage life…!!!!!! Ohhh the embarrassment, the shame, the awkwardness. Tad over dramatic? When your a teen and you get rejected, even if the other didn’t know that is what it was, you feel a tad silly. Or at least I did.
Which brings me to the topic of making new friends when we adult. In particular, making mummy friends. It’s hard. It’s often awkward.
I’ve had the above scenario play out in a similar way in adult world, since Lily came along.
At the playground, I took the plunge and sparked up a conversation with a mum who was battling a little tyke who wanted their socks kept on. I liked her. She seemed similar to me in her personality, I liked her Kmart active wear and I thought cool, we might be able to catch up again! I swapped numbers with her. I text her. And she is yet to text me back. It’s been 2 months. I feel cheated in a way. What didn’t she like about me not to text? I felt we were clicking with our jokes and messy mum buns. Hmmm…
I have the best group of antenatal mummy friends. I love them. I sure know I’ve relied on them for support over the last year and a bit. And I hope I’ve reciprocated that support to them. They are wonderful, strong, supportive, non judgey women who hold their households together like snotty glue. They offer gentle advice, have good taste in wine and are pretty bloody awesome. They got it going on.
But when we start to move back into our work and out of that newborness daze, your left feeling a little lost with what to do, especially if your at home.
Don’t get me wrong, we are content with being at home, creating huts/obstacle courses, reading, exploring the neighbourhood and doing those things you do anyway with your little one. It’s that mummy talk time over wines/coffee (or not!) that sometimes you just need. I would love to have a crystal ball and go back in time, pre Lily and show my new found friends what it was like. I’m sure we all had very different lives before kiddies. I was a raver. Nuff said.
So we’ve been on the search for activities to do, for Lily, for Lily, of course hahahahahah, annnnnnnnd possibly for myself to meet some ladies. It’s actually like dating. But no booze, and yourve got a kid hanging off your arm wiping ‘nana’ hands all over your top that you had thought carefully about wearing to try impress….
There are lots of activities run in the region for mums with kiddies under the age of 5. In all the activities we head to, Lily thrives. She is off and away, doing her own thing, completely not doing what the instructors are saying (she is 15months for gods sake, I don’t follow instructions and I’m 31). And I freaking love her for it. But that’s often where it stops and I start to become selfish. Because Lily is loving it but I am not. I interact with the mummies but its not reciprocated. We are all trying to do the same thing here ladies! And that is survive this roller coaster that is parenthood. Why not try to ride the roller coaster with a polite ‘Hi how are you, I’m so and so, Nice to meet you’. Even if you
don’t exchange numbers (OK, we’ve just met, let’s do lunch before we exchange numbers..take it slow? Cool?) it would still make the other mum feel good and included and happy that she is not alone. Totally get people having bad days, we all have them. But why discourage mummas who are looking for not only interaction for their kids but interaction for themselves?
Did my dress sense offend you? Am I just a total dick? Do I smell? (My school friends may say this could be the case as my nick name at school was JessBO).
Imagine going to a foreign country, not speaking the language and having to start a new job that you’ve never had any training or experience in. And then imagine every week you have to start a completely new job, not speaking the language. That’s parenting.
Imagine doing that job with people you know speak your language but dont help or take the time to say hello. Awful huh? We need to support each other, lift each other up and in the least little bit, say hello. I’m not talking about becoming besties with you love, just a hello will be sweet and if more, we can take it from there. Slowly. Just like dating?
It can be a lonely place at times. But a beautiful family member said ‘Jess, you are never alone when you have a kid’. So true, she just can’t share a glass of wine with me (yet) and have a good old gossip . But she can stare blankly at me, thinking I’m bonkers, while I have a good thrash around, listening to my Ministry of Sound CD (volume 2).
(Ps: on this journey, I’ve met some wonderful women and mums who have taken the time to get to know my Lilypie and I. So if we have crossed paths, that was more than a fleeting hello, thank you for doing so. It means a lot. 😊)