Before children, most of us have a nicely curated circle of friends with very solid backstories: we met them at school, university, work, play. But when our children come along, new people come into our lives and that little circle turns into more of a tribe. And thank goodness, because we can’t do this parenting thing alone. We’re all different, but here’s a general ‘friend-pattern’ you might see emerging when you become a mum.
1. The Wise One
She’s the mum with three kids and she’s been through it all. You might meet her at daycare, when she’s dropping off her third child, and then heading off to drop her other two at school. It seems like she’s light years ahead of you in the child-rearing game, but this is the mother you need to know. Ask her any parenting question and she’s usually got a really sensible, funny, clear-headed way of dealing with it. You feel good around her, because she’s proof that the longer you do this mum-thing, the better you get at it.
2. The Organiser
We love The Organiser. She is the first to message everyone about next week’s mothers’ group. The one on the daycare committee. The one hosting the street Christmas party. She has the unique ability to get people together, and without her, we would all be a little lonelier. This is also the friend that has one of those amazing whiteboard family planners, which you really must remember to buy one day …
3. The Powerhouse
Look beyond the high-achieving exterior, and The Powerhouse is usually a really inspiring woman who is getting a lot done in one day. These women have the demanding job, the endless extra curricular activities, and they can still whip together a brilliant dinner party. They are a lesson in getting sh*t done, and we love them for it.
4. The Talker
Whenever you need to blow off steam, or just rave about your kid for a bit, The Talker is there. Together, you can dive straight into a full-blown conversation about gastro or teething, and it’s no-judgement information sharing for as long as you need it. You could talk for hours, and you usually do.
5. The Kid-free
Strangely, when you have children, it can sometimes be so refreshing to hang out with people who don’t have kids. Maybe they’re not there yet, maybe they’ve chosen not to do the child-thing, but this is the friend who distracts you from the endless parent hamster wheel. You go to the movies, you have an after work drink together, you talk about philosophy and books and just … other stuff. It’s a nice reminder that the world doesn’t always revolve around our children.
6. The Shoulder (to cry on)
If you don’t have family living around you, this is the friend you need the most. The one you can call when the wheels fall off at home, and you just need some help. It takes time to build this friendship, but eventually, this is the one person who will magically text you when you’ve had the hardest day ever, just to ask if you’re okay. I am forever amazed by The Shoulder. She/he is pure kindness, and with a bit of luck, you’ll be friends for a very long time.
Have you noticed a friend pattern since becoming a parent? Let us know.