Posted by: Shireen | December 19, 2010

Friendship

Reverb10 Writing Prompt #16

Friendship – How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

Warning: long post….beware! 🙂

I am not sure if it is a single friendship that has changed my perspective, but I think that my perspective on friendship has changed over the last year or so.

Firstly, I realised that I never really understood how motherhood changes your whole life, how hard it is to maintain friendships while trying to nurse a grumpy baby every few hours and how never getting any sleep affects the ability to string together a sentence, let alone keeping up with emails.   I never realised how hard it was to just get the dishes done after having people over for coffee, or how you would sell your Tiffany’s necklace for just three hours of uninterrupted sleep!

I have only a few friends who had a baby before me – but even still, I wish that I had been more understanding as to how tired and exhausted they really were.  I might have given them pampering gifts and fussed over what wonderful mothers they were, but I never truly understood how physically and emotionally exhausted they must have been.  I wish that I had at least done the dishes after we went over to visit – I now appreciate what would have been supportive.

The second thing that I learned is that you really find out who your friends are when you have a baby.

Everyone thinks that a new mum needs time and space with their baby, and I think that is what I thought too, but what I have learned is that a new mum needs her girls!  She needs to know that she is still that same girl she was before her baby became the centre of her world.  She needs to have a little cry when the baby isn’t napping or feeding properly.  She just needs her best friends to say, “Hey, it’s going to be okay!”

They are the ones who make a fuss of you when you are getting bigger, who shop with you for maternity clothes, who buy things for the baby even when you are too nervous to, and the ones who help you feel pretty when you are large as a baby elephant!  But most of all they are the ones who, even when they are girls who know nothing about pregnancy yet, research and find out what would be most perfect and helpful maternity product to support you as a new mum.  They are like a protective circle around you letting you know that they will be there for you and your baby.

These are the same friends that cry with you when the baby arrives and surround you and your little one with so much love.  They are the ones on the other end of the phone or the Skype camera, or Facebook page, adoring your baby as much as you do and letting you blubber on the phone about how amazing/hard it all is at times.  They are the ones who are still around after a year of you never having time to write back to emails or of you forgetting what day of the week it is!

Being pregnant and having a baby showed me sides of my friends that I had never seen before – they amazed me!  And the most wonderful thing is watching these friends with Little Bee.  They are crazy about her and she about them!  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see that.

The third thing I learned about friendship this year is that having mummy friends has kept me sane!!  I have only a few mum friends, some as close as next door and some so far away that I wish they were closer,  but they are priceless.  They aren’t the kind that judge the fact that I gave Little Bee some store-bought food every now and then, or that I had to give her formula earlier than I thought I would or that Little Bee is still not sleeping through the night.  Nope, they are the kind that commiserate over a difficult night and offer a rice cake to Little Bee when I have forgotten to bring snacks of any kind to baby group!  They feel the same joy as I do when Baby Gap is having a sale, and give helpful advice on baby food that Little Bee might actually eat!  They understand how crazy busy, but yet at the same time how slow life has now become.   For this time in my life, there are some things only a mummy would understand and my mummy friends are the best at helping me feel like a capable mother rather than a failure when the house is a mess, I have food in my hair and Little Bee has not taken a proper nap.  Thank you, mummy friends!

Finally, I learned that I can pass it on.  I can be a friend to those mummies who are newer than me.  Now that I know the drill, I can be the one to say, “Hey, just get to 6 months…it will all get much easier!”  I can be the kind of supportive friend that I wish I had been to my friends who became mothers before me.

I think it has been an amazing year for building new friendships and loving some of the old friends even more than I ever did.  So at the end of this long and winding post, thank you to my girlies without whom, I would never be me!

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Responses

  1. “it will get easier after 6 months” is what you told me a few months back and you were so right!
    and yes, thank god for mummy friends!!!!

  2. Oh salma bee! You just wait… It just gets better and better! X

  3. So true and so beautifully written!
    Thank you for being my friend,mummy or not 😉

  4. Thank, Dani! I love that my new mummy friends are the kind of people I would have hung out with before Little Bee was even a twinkle in my eye! It makes it more fun now that we are the stroller troop 😉


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