Last night my little boy had a headache. It came on right before bedtime and he was crying for medicine, partly out of pain and partly out of exhaustion and just needing go to sleep.
I looked in the medicine cupboard and gasped. I had run out of kids’ paracetamol.
I returned to my boy and stroking his warm forehead, told him his daddy would dash down the road and buy some more.
But ten minutes later I got this text: “The supermarket doesn’t sell the kids’ paracetamol and all the chemists are shut. I’ll drive to the all-night chemist 20 mins away.”
“Don’t do that. Come home. I’ll ask Sarah,” was my reply.
Sarah, my saviour
Sarah is a member of my ‘mum squad’. And she conveniently lives two doors up from me.
Within minutes of my husband coming home, I was dosing my boy up with strawberry-flavoured medicine, all thanks to Sarah.
It made me think though about how often I call upon my mum squad; those special mum-friends you have in your circle who will always have your back, and you theirs. These are the friends who you can count on, who come through with the stuff you need, when you need it. Whether that’s advice, a stiff drink or kids’ medicine because you ran out.
Here’s how to identify your mum squad (and if you don’t think you have a squad, here’s how to build one):
1. You speak in mum-code to each other
You text the words, “Just left” when you were supposed to meet one of them at the park 20 minutes ago, knowing she will translate this to read, “I have had a poonami to deal with, couldn’t find his hat and spent way too long looking for it before giving up and grabbing mine and adjusting the strap … oh, and I just found the keys so can leave now”.
2. You are in each other’s trust circle
You have her, as well as a few trusted others’ names down as an authorised person to pick up your little love from childcare/school. She also has your name on her ‘approved persons’ list.
You guys are in each other’s trust circles.
3. You don’t let anyone speak sh!t about your squad
“You are a GREAT mum, don’t listen to that. Also, I want to slap her. How dare she make you feel like this?!” You won’t stand for anyone making your gals feel bad, especially when it has to do with their mothering.
4. You always have her back (and a spare nappy)
Your baby supplies are theirs and vice versa. When one of your visiting friends tells you she forgot to pack teething gel in her giant Mary Poppins-style nappy bag, your reply is, “No worries, you know where it is; top drawer.”
You always have her back, and they ALL have yours.
5. You never tell
You were there when one of your mum squad turned her back for a millisecond and her baby fell off the bed. You picked him up and made sure he was OK. He was! But you will NEVER, EVER let that one slip to her safety-conscious husband who wouldn’t dream of placing his just-rolling baby on the bed.
What happens at mum squad get-togethers, stays at mum squad get-togethers. Always.
6. You break the rules
“Oh, let’s just get drive-through Maccas for lunch and let them continue sleeping in the car. We’ll park next to each other at the beach. So what if they are not having their day sleep at home in their cots? I need a Big Mac!”
Yep, she gets it and orders you both a chocolate sundae.
7. You have ‘in’ jokes
“Hey, remember that time my little man said you-know-what at my MIL’s? Ha, that was hilarious!” And you know that everyone sitting with you on the picnic rug amongst the half-eaten rusks will know exactly what it was that he said. And no, I’m not telling!