Making new friends after the arrival of your little cherubs can be surprisingly hard. Having kids of similar ages does not necessarily a friendship make. Similarly, keeping your old friends after you've had kids can be difficult too. Just because you've known each other for 15 years doesn't mean that you'll develop the same kind of parenting style, or living via the same life philosophies. With both, it's a bit of a balance. It's about being open and accepting, and not forcing your opinions, nor is it about judging others for their choices. So in light of this, I've compiled a small list of things that you shouldn't do when making (or keeping) friends with kids...
1. Talk non stop about how well your kid sleeps...
When Eliana was about 6 months old, I was at the park with both of my girls. A pair of women showed up with kids in tow, kids all around the same age as mine. As the little darlings began to play together, the mums started to chat. I found myself thinking,
"Oh sweet, potential mummy friends that live nearby! Woo!"
About 3 minutes and 42 seconds into the mummy bonding session, one of the women (with sleeping 6 month old on her chest.. ugh) said to me,
"So is she sleeping through the night yet?"
I couldn't help it. My reaction was borne from years of sleep deprivation, and such dickheadish questions, and I practically snorted my breakfast all over this woman. I'm pretty sure there was even a 'HA!' and a hint of stink eye. All I could think was,
"Is this how women start conversations now?" and maybe even "I hope the 8 month sleep regression hits you like a mofo"
Now, I realise that to some, this may just seem like an innocent question, and I'm sure that it was... but sleep has always been an issue for me, it's my sore spot (or one of them). Maybe replace sleep questions with,
"Are you breastfeeding?"
"Did you have a natural birth?"
"How long did it take you to fall pregnant?"
And it might just conjure up similar emotions.
2. Live in complete ignorance of your child's shitty behaviour...
All kids misbehave. All of them. Little Johnny isn't an angel. Don't rant and rave about how well behaved your kid is while they're wrestling mine to the ground in a choke hold. I will probably lose your number.
3. Belittle me, or ask me about my birth, breastfeeding or child sleep story, just to tell me that I should have done things differently (read, better)...
I can 100% guarantee you, that I've been beating myself up internally for (insert child's age here) about that. I've been wondering about the 'What ifs' or where I could have possibly gone wrong. I don't need you to regurgitate what could be years of negative feelings about it. I've pretty much come to terms with the way things went down, but right now you're risking a fly kick to the crotchal region.
4. Hand out advice to me, ESPECIALLY if i haven't asked you for it...
Pet hate here. Don't do it, just don't. If I didn't ask you for your advice or opinion, then I don't want it, just keep it. There is a big difference between dishing out advice, and sharing stories about how we approached certain aspects of parenting. A very big difference. Don't bang on about how I should have done it your way. If your kids turns out to be ok, then I might just ask you how you went about it for the next of my spawn, until then, keep it in sister.
5. Compare your kids to mine...
Look, we all do it. It's only natural. I think we all look around and compare people, compare them with ourselves, and we definitely compare our kids... BUT there's a time and a place. What you don't wanna do is,
"Oh, she's not walking yet? Well, Jimmy was walking about the time he turned 6 months, just stood up and went for it"
That... Don't do that. It's just downright annoying, and it makes you look like a jerk.
I'm sure there are plenty more that royally piss us off on any given day, but these are the top 5 for me. The ones that are guaranteed to give me the shits!
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version