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new friends - another bonus of having a baby

New friends? Just another bonus of having a baby.

So, as well as having a new amazing little accessory to lug around with you, put in fancy outfits and if you’re that way inclined put massive headbands* on a bald baby so it looks more girlie, then fill your boots. The bundle is yours!

But what else is amazing? Well I’ll blog the other baby related points but this one’s about new friends. *Imagine thumbs up Inbetweeners style, fweeeeeeends*
So even before I got dragged along to an antenatal class, I was already sweating with the prospect of having to venture to baby groups.  In fact, I was adamant I wasn’t going to go to one. What would I have in common with all those other “Mummy to Henry” and “Mummy to Isabella” types? They’d probably all sit around in their smock dresses breastfeeding and showing off about how many hours their baby slept, or how many poos they’d done that day – etc.
No, I was going to go shopping and have lots of lunch dates. And be an independent mum.
My first experience of being way out of my comfort zone happened in December 2013; we ventured to antenatal class at our chosen hospital. My initial thoughts were who in their right mind thinks a 7.30pm-9.30pm class is a good idea on a Monday? My second was, we could treat ourselves to a McDonald’s tea on the way home. Every cloud.
So, first class; Dads have to do the intros – all a bit awkward for them, but let’s face it not a patch on how awkward we’d be feeling in a few months time with feet in stirrups. We realised that in a class of 20 we were one of only two that were producing outside of wedlock. Great, we’re having a bastard child.
Anyway, I digress. Classes were OK, always went on longer than expected, people made small talk doubting that we’d ever see anyone again. And anyway, I didn’t need too, I was independent Costa visiting mum.
Last session came and the lady asked if we wanted to share emails – ‘suppose so, I can always ignore them anyway’ I thought.
A few weeks later one of the dads set up a Facebook group, out of nosiness I accepted the request to join and so did a few others. Nothing really happened until the first baby arrived and it was announced, then another and another. Niceties were exchanged. And then, someone hesitantly suggested meeting up.
I was the first to respond. Desperate to get out of the four walls, and an excuse to peel my joggers off. Sod Costa, I was going balls deep into a Tuesday afternoon baby group.

And thank god I did.

I have made the best group of mum friends I could have hoped for. They’re NORMAL!! (Well there’s a few oddballs but I shan’t name & shame!)  AND they didn’t wop their boobs out, they didn’t wear smock – and even better their babies didn’t sleep either. Wooo hooo! We were all sharing this misery together!!
By the end of the group we’d arranged to meet up again and well, the rest is history.
We shared many a sunny mat leave down at Marwell Zoo, looted the shelves when we heard Kiddicare was shutting, spent hours agonising over 1 tog or 2.5tog grobag for the summer nights, and later on debated whether we stick with normal formula, follow on or straight from the udder milk. We also visited a fair few garden centres. And latterly we’ve shared many glasses of fizz and vodka shots. And hangovers.
So, why are new mum friends so great? They don’t replace your pre-baby mates. No way. They just become an additional bonus. They’re going through exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. And one day you want your non-baby buddies to do this crazy adventure too, so there’s no need to put them off reproducing  by sharing snot sucking and projectile vomiting stories.
*For the judgemental types, I have never adorned my child with a headband.