Then one day about two months before Pepper was born, and Abby was 16 months old, I had an incredible urge to hang with other mums and natter about mum stuff while our babies played. I started looking up playgroups and things, and wondered if any of the day care mums could do with an extra friend around the place. But the biggest thing I turned to was social media – it’s so easy to put out a casual invitation to play, and to my great surprise, I was taken up on my offers.
I reconnected with old friends who I hadn’t seen in years, but now had babies of their own. Court and I used to party together when we were young’uns, drinking vodka and listening to punk and generally being menaces. We have five kids between us now, and we struggle to get through a cup of coffee and a whole sentence when we’re together, but it’s such an easy relationship, that it doesn’t bother us in the slightest. In fact, we embrace the chaos!
I found a friend in Caitlin when she commented on my blog a fair bit (and even won a giveaway back in the day with a hilarious fireman/Britney Spears/drunken nap story) and I noticed on her blog that we had similar interests and lived fairly close. I asked if she wanted to catch up, and now I love her so hard I might even bring her to Melbourne with me. She brought me food when I had Pepper, and has been such lovely company. She even brought me back hot sauce from her last trip to the US, and that means proper friends.
My friendship with Madi would raise the eyebrows of those who think the internet is a cesspit of danger – I suggested we play when we had been following each other on Instagram, and someone mentioned our children looked like twins. They totally did, and we met at a park a couple of weeks before peps was born. She was SO fun, and had similar parenting style to me, and after a while we realised our husbands had been super-good friends in high school. She is amazingly talented at creating and sewing, and I was even hanging around her stall at the markets on the day Pepper was born – I had been having those sorts of contractions since 2am, so I figured the walk around the markets would do me good. Our kids love each other so much.
I rarely saw the other mums at day care, as my kids were only there once a week, and I kept missing everyone at pick up and drop off. One day a little card was sitting in Abby’s locker – an invitation to play sometime as her little twin friends were moving to a new day care, and they wouldn’t see each other any more. I sent a text and said we’d love to play, and we even scored an invite to their second birthday a few months later. Katy and I work at the same university, and she often dares me to stand outside her window and dance (it’s a one-way window and I can’t see in!) and if I do, she’ll buy me coffee. She’s so fun (and so funny) and is another nice, relaxed mum who is awesome to talk to about everything from blogging to babies and everything in between. Only she runs marathons and I just can’t get into that. I’m genuinely going to miss her when I leave here, and was firmly in the “cons” list when I did a pro and con about going. It’s not fair to make such an amazing friend, then have to move away!
I have been reading Chantelle’s blog for years, and was (am!) always so inspired by her. Her blog was always cool, her content was always amazing, and I watched from afar. Sometimes we chatted, but we really started proper hanging out when we finally met on our way to the Whitsundays earlier this year. She was so smart, and so lovely, and so funny, and I was stoked she didn’t think I was a freaky internet nutcase. I mean, I AM, but I have my good points too! Now I don’t know what I’d do without her, I talk to her almost every day, and see her (and her incredibly adorable girls) whenever I can. She is the best person to ask for advice and to bounce ideas off, and has such a creative and big-ideas mind. I’m going to be sad leaving her behind too, but I know she’ll always be with me online. She can’t get rid of me that easily.
My list of online friends who I can always go to for advice or to share funny cat pictures or parenting woes is a post in itself. I have connected with the most incredible people and one day I will put them all here so you can love them too. The best part of these guys is they are always here in my computer, and no matter where I go, they’re never far away.
Did becoming a mum push you out of your comfort zone and make new friends? I dread to think of how lame the girls’ birthday parties would have been if I hadn’t reached out to others. Friends are wonderful things 🙂