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Do you think it’s easier to make friends when you have a baby? Before I became pregnant, I always used to see baby friends gathering around in cafes and pubs. I always wondered how they met and what that would be like... Would they have met and get along if they didn’t have a baby? That’s the million dollar question.
Why do you need baby friends?
Since I’ve found out I was pregnant, I’ve experienced so many changes happening all the time, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. With so much going on, I feel the need to tell the world about my pregnancy and share my experience with whoever is prepared to listen. This is why baby friends are needed. I want to know everything there is to know about pregnancy so I like asking for advice. I like to know that there are other people in the same boat as me basically.
The same applies for when I finally have my baby girl. Obviously she won’t come with instructions so I think I will need a lot of help to make sure that I am doing the right thing. Of course, there is not just one way of doing things perfectly but this is when baby friends can help you get different views and useful tips.
Are your non-baby friends not good enough anymore?
I can honestly say that people with babies change. They have different priorities in life and they don’t go out very often anymore. There are always people dropping out of social occasions because their baby is ill or whatever... Non-baby friends can’t understand this massive lifestyle change and why should they?
On the other hand, mums and baby friends talk about babies all the time so I think for the sake of our own sanity; we need to keep our non-baby friends to have some proper adult conversations and enjoy ourselves as a person and not as a parent.
How do you start making baby friends?
You can start making baby friends online first of all. There are lots of baby clubs, websites and forums which are dedicated to mums and mums-to-be. Just type them on Google and a few will come up. I started with www.babybump.com, www.netmums.com and www.mumsnet.com.
I am also lucky because our Koolmami Facebook fans and our Koolmami Twitter followers have been supporting us right from the start, even when we were trying to conceive. They are also my baby friends, they are a great source of information, encouragement and inspiration. I don’t have any family in this country so sometimes it could feel very lonely.
These lovely baby friends told me about ante-natal classes which are organised by the NHS and NCT (the National Childbirth Trust), baby groups and all sorts of different classes you can go with your baby such as singing, swimming, drama, breast feeding, etc. Apparently your Midwife will be giving your leaflets about them so don't worry. This is a great opportunity to make baby friends as you already have something in common, a baby!
I had the chance to go to a free NCT coffee meeting yesterday for the first time in my life and I found myself surprised at how easy it is to start talking to other mums. I went on my own, I am a shy person normally (although many friends don’t believe me) but these mums (future baby friends) want to know about you and you find yourself wanting to know about them too.
Having a baby can be a really stressful, lonely and confusing time (there is so much to learn!) but once you start opening up to your baby friends (whoever they are and however you found them) you get a lot of information and support. Go on, try it!
xx Lorena: 22 weeks pregnant.