By Nina Palmo
I’ve been a mum for seven years, I have two kids, and I still haven’t learned how to make mum friends. I am not quite sure why that is. I have other deep connections in my life. I’m lucky enough to be married to a person who truly understands me, is a full partner in parenting and life, and makes me laugh every single day. I have a best friend I’ve known since third grade who can finish my sentences. I have an amazing family and set of in-laws. I even have some incredible online friendships that I hope to turn into in-person friendships one day. But I can’t seem to make mum friends.
I’m not flying completely solo in this motherhood gig. There are several local mamas I get along well with and can trust. Some I see often and others rarely, but I know that if I were in need of help, I could call one of these mums and they would help me, just as I would do for them. I truly appreciate these mums in my life and I don’t take these relationships for granted. At this point you may be thinking, THOSE ARE YOUR MUM FRIENDS. And you may be right. These mums are my friends, after all. They are wonderful people and I’m so happy to have them in my life. Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe this is what adult friendships look like after parenthood.
If so, adult friendship after parenthood sucks. I want more than that. I want the type of friendship that means calling someone up on a Saturday afternoon and getting together to do something that day, not scheduling a playdate for three weeks later. I want the type of friendship that means seeing each other regularly enough that our spouses are friends and our kids are comfortable around each other. I want a real friendship without endless loops of, “we should get together soon”. I want deeper connections that go beyond the mundane struggles of daily life with kids. I want the kind of friendship that involves laughing together, crying together, traveling together, and not feeling the need to clean your house before your friend comes over.
I am sure I am part of the problem. As an introvert who is terrible at small talk, I will never be the life of the party. I have fun with people I know well, but it takes a long time for me to get there. I don’t make new friends easily. I’m selective about who I open up to. I am terrible at “putting myself out there”. I click with relatively few people. I text in complete sentences. I might be too quick to write people off.