5 Reasons Why Mums Need Good Friends
Taking time out to spend with your girlfriends is beneficial for your health, your kids and your marriage. And while having friends at every stage of your life is important, it’s the friendships we make during motherhood that can really help our wellbeing. Here are 5 reasons why we think mums need to surround themselves with good friends.
1. They Help You Deal With Stress
Research shows that when women are going through a tough time they seek out social interactions. While men’s bodies typically react to stress with a ‘fight or flight’ response women will look for ways to connect with their girlfriends. Be it with a simple phone call, a walk or a coffee, a woman benefits from knowing she has someone to turn to when times get tough. I know personally when I find myself in a pickle, be it with parenting or general life, my girlfriends are the ones I turn to first. They will let me talk through my problem without feeling the need to solve it. Which is why having a few good friends who are willing to listen to you despite their own busy lives are worth their weight in gold.
2. They’re Not Your Mother
While our mums always mean well, sometimes their advice can be slightly dated. Things have changed since they were first time mothers. Basics such as bottles and nappies are completely different now to what they once were. Having mum friends around you means they are going through what you are in real time. So if your baby is presenting with extremely green poo one day, your friend will most likely tell you it could be from the formula. Your mum may freak out and tell you to call an ambulance!
3. They Will Always Tell You The Truth
Sometimes you just need to hear the truth, right? Am I being a bitch about my MIL? Should I have 50 people to my son’s first birthday? Is it normal to not want sex for ages after giving birth? Is it normal to want to? Who else but your girlfriends are going to be brutally honest? They have nothing to lose or gain. Our friends are there to keep us in check. To let us know if we’re being too lenient with our kids. Or not strict enough. It’s great to be able to shoot through a quick message to someone and know that they will respond quicker than google.
4. They Get You Like Your Husband Can’t
A friend of mine calls me regularly to complain about her heavy periods. She says that when she tried telling her husband he said ‘aren’t you used to the pain after all these years?’ Ummm…what?! Men simply do not understand certain things. Women just GET it. We can complain to each other about trying to juggle work and kids. Cooking meals every night. Making the school lunches. Trying to work from home while running a household. Complaining about leaking breasts. A weak bladder. The fact we can no longer jump on trampolines. Or wear high heels without dying. All this means nothing to our men. Of course we still love them. And we love the fact they try their hardest to get us. But they just don’t. Period.
5. They’ve Been Where You Are
While it’s awesome to have friends with kids the same age as yours. It’s even better having friends with kids of different ages. Especially older ones. Through them you’re able to gain a bit of an insight in what lays ahead for you and your child. Our friendship group has a mum with a young child as well as a mum with a 19 year old daughter. The mum of the teenager is especially ‘useful’ as we bombard her with constant questions about dating, sex and teenage life in general. While our kids may not be quite at that stage yet they will be one day, so the intel is most beneficial!
So how do you go about making new friends as a mum or an adult in general?
- Get out there – Literally get out of the house and go for a walk. Talk to other mums in the park. See if they want to catch up for a coffee next week, You may just meet your new BFF.
- Make the first move – It’s scary, yes. But take a deep breath and start up a conversation with the other mum at the playground. What’s the worst that can happen?
- Get contact information – Make sure you exchange contact information so that you can organise a coffee the following week or meet each other again at the park.
- Plan the first playdate – You already have something in common- your children! So use it to your advantage and be the first to plan a playdate. Pick a time and place that’ll work for both of you.