I feel like there are set times in your life when it is easiest (and most important) to get a really good friendship group which is normally school, uni, babies and if you’re lucky work. When I was pregnant I really felt the pressure to make Mum friends, everyone seems to act like NCT is the holy grail (and only way) to make Mum friends and if you don’t sign up you’re locked out of every Mum clique around. I preferred the (way cheaper) Daisy Foundation and signed up for the Active Birth Classes which was a six week course of relaxation, breathing exercises and discussion for mums to be.
I think there are massive benefits of doing mum only courses, I think generally if you put a group of women together with something in common they start chatting and there is a good chance they will make friends. Turn up with your partner and it’s too easy to just hang out with them. My first course had a friendly group but nothing was really organised outside of class, however I did meet Emma and had some WhatsApp chats there which was good. I had time to book onto the next six week term which Emma joined me on. At the introductory session a few of the women said they were also booked onto NCT which made me panic that I should be doing the same or I would never make friends. Last minute searching showed they were all fully booked and I went into full pessimist mode that I would never have any mum friends and therefore my child would never learn to socialise and therefore we were both screwed socially and it was all my fault.
At the risk of sounding like that Baz Luhrmann song…isn’t it funny of all the things you can devote time to worrying about that will never happen! It turned out that the second term of Daisy Foundation made me some amazing friends who would support me through my husband leaving me (which I NEVER thought would happen).
We’ve had some tough times and having the support of a group of good women is invaluable. Some of the women had really tough births and struggled with breastfeeding issues and hospital drama in the early days. We all need to have rants and reassurance at some point. It was the perfect antidote one shitty afternoon when a massive WhatsApp revenge brainstorming session cheered me up massively. One of my friends (who had better remain anonymous) is particularly skilled and came up with pubes under the pizza cheese (unusually I did not have the resources at my disposal that week) and rubbing eye drops on poo to develop a nasty eye infection (which I’m not quite so crazy/gross/nasty to actually do). She was also plotting to leave a horrendous shit nappy with the spare wheel in her rental car if they screw her on charges so I have made a mental note to never piss her off.
So I guess don’t panic if you have an ante-natal class that you don’t click with, it is partly luck and if you keep doing classes and make an effort you will find your tribe eventually (and you really don’t have to pay NCT prices to get there). And just a general point about not worrying about stuff that hasn’t happened, stay positive as the chances are that good things are coming your way…and you can’t plan for the bad stuff so you might as well forget about it and live your life.
(Photo of us pre and post baby, coloured circles as not everyone wants their/their baby’s face plastered on my blog)