Nobody gets an award for making friends when they have children. It’s a relatively easy thing to chat up a fellow parent at the park or Starbucks. “How old is he?” these conversations often start off, and then from there they dovetail into topics like baby products, local play gyms, milestones, and if you really hit it off, they conclude with a phone number exchange.
More times than not, though, one’s mum friends are categorised as just that: mum friends. We don’t necessarily consider these women people we would choose to be friends with if we didn’t have children, but rather people we hang out with on occasion because we have children.
I’ve recently realised that there’s a reason for that: We don’t see our mum friends consistently enough.
Anyone who has children knows how the “making plans” game goes. It’s like trying to nail down a date with a celebrity. Someone is always sick; running late; napping; etc. Unless you live next door to said mum friend, odds are you’re not going to see them every week — and therein lies the problem. Because it’s almost like you’re starting all over again every time. How can we do that with others when we only see them every other month? (And when tiny humans are interrupting our every sentence?)
When we’re young and childless, it’s easy to make friends. We see the same people at school or work every day; we go to parties; we have the freedom to talk on the phone (or text) at will. When we get older, especially when children become part of the equation, it takes work. But, it pays to do the work. Who wouldn’t want another person in their life that they can genuinely laugh with? Or another person to call on in an emergency? Someone they can be their unadulterated self in front of? Friends, like everything good in life, are always worth the work. Don’t think of meeting up with someone you don’t know all that well at the park on a day that you’re tired and cranky as a chore, think of it as the potential beginning of something really great.
Friendships seem to go through seasons in life, sometimes, they’re like spring when everything is in bloom, and other times they’re sparse like winter. But, at this very moment in my world of friendships, it’s summer. And I want to enjoy every minute of it, and hopefully, with a little effort, make this season last as long as possible.
[We ‘mum friends’ hang out together whilst our children had a blast playing outside and after we came back home to relax as you can see …. All photo’s taken by Russian photographer Daria Skorogodskikh who is living in Paris at the moment.]
Alexander is wearing a T-shirt by Emile et Ida and jeans by Mini Rodini. Adrian is wearing a T-shirt by Mini Rodini and jeans by Diesel Kids.