Mummy stuff

Friendship in the age of motherhood

Top three of the things I miss since becoming a mother: a decent lie-in, my old boobs and my old friends. The lie-in should be easily achieved; the boobs could be done and dealt with if I really wanted to (blog post in itself), but friends… Something has changed since I became a mum.

Becoming a mother has brought me closer to those of my friends who had children before me. Our get-togethers are rare and precious. Other (childless) friendships have survived the change in perspective without further losses. But unfortunately, I have a few casualties to announce.

I have read about it, other mums told me about it, but still, it’s been one of the things I didn’t want to accept until it happened to me: The loss of friends through motherhood. Let’s call them friends A, B and C.

Friend A has developed a habit of inviting me to events that I found difficult to attend. Especially during the first few months after my child’s entering into this world: dinners that only started at 9pm, a night out in a club, lunch during little L’s naptime. Admittedly, I have turned down most of it. I wanted to meet A at weekends, but because ‘she never has time for herself’ that never happened. Funnily though, we did meet regularly at weekends before little L came along.

Friend B was always happy to meet me if I would be the one wrapping up the baby and taking it on the schlep from N1 to Southwest London. Of course, I couldn’t expect her to make the way to our place in return. Because where I live is ‘so far away’.

Finally, friend C took to speaking to me as if my brain had been replaced with mushy peas and as if my world was the one of baby wipes and… baby wipes only. I had – unsuccessfully – tried to convince her that inside, I still was the same person I had always been. Ok, maybe I wasn’t living on the same cloud anymore and my feet had taken to treading much more earthly grounds. But still, I knew how it felt to float along, circling around myself…

Getting older, I find it increasingly hard to make new friends. Not only is the baggage of quirks and little neuroses that everybody comes with more obvious than when we were kids. We are also much less ready to overlook each other’s flaws than when we were sitting in the sandpit. Also, it seems to be getting more and more complicated to find time to invest in friendships. Kids, husbands, work, the humble self – there is always something.

Being scattered across the globe doesn’t help either. Stockholm, Hong Kong, Munich, New York, Switzerland… Sounds fancy, right? Well, to be honest, it really sucks when all you want to do is pop in for a cup of tea and a chat.

A part of me is looking forward to the day that A, B and maybe even C will wake up to the sound of a great thump. The day when their children will say ‘hello’ to the world and push them from their tiny, fluffy cloud.

Another part of me is just sad and has to befriend the idea that maybe, I have been terribly boring all the time, and having a baby just offered a welcome excuse to cut the ties with me. Who knows?