We've recently returned from a family holiday and although we had a lovely time it was also pretty hard work at times and I was reminded of a comment from another mum who described her holiday as "all the same sh*t I normally do, but with none of my stuff and none of my friends".
Friends are a key tool in the parenting arsenal. I rely on mine for all sorts of things and I probably spend more time with them than my husband. Becoming a mum has meant that I've had to make friends with a completely new group of people for the first time since going to university. Many daunting, cringeworthy and awkward moments have lead me to this list of friends you need when you become a mum:
The "all-weather" friend
This mum gets top billing as she is easily the most important person in your day-to-day life. She's the friend you call at 11pm with a screaming baby in the background having run out of Calpol. The friend who you can count on to babysit when you just want to go to the hairdressers. You often don't have to vocalise your needs; she just gets it.
The "slightly ahead" friend
When I had my twins it was really useful to have a fellow twin-mum-friend whose babies were a couple of months older than mine. It give me an insight into what was coming up next and she was brilliant at passing on her newly discovered wisdom.
The "seen it all before" friend
You'll probably see this mum at a playgroup having an in-depth conversation about the state of the economy whilst changing her toddler's nappy and simultaneously breastfeeding her baby. She'll have at least 3 children, not that you'd know it because she breezes through each challenge and obstacle without breaking a sweat. She's capable of anything and nothing phases her. A GREAT friend for occasional emergency childcare. Her attitude is "what's one more?"
The "first-time" friend
It is possible to get a slightly cynical as you have your third (fourth...fifth...) child, so having a friend who is experiencing it all for the first time is just lovely. When you're feeling a bit jaded, and you're casually working out the number of days until your children turn 18 on the back of an enormous childcare invoice with baked bean stains on, she reminds you of the sheer wonder and excitement of the first smile, first tooth, first steps.
The "neurotic" friend
A bit cruel, I know, but this friend is seriously good value. She'll disinfect everything her child touches (and definitely everything of his that your child touches), get daily development alerts to her phone, visit the doctor for every sniffle, and follow every parenting forum and blog. She'll do baby yoga, signing, swimming, crafting, gardening, music, dancing, cooking and massage. She'll give you the odd giggle, the occasional top tip and the reassurance that there is always someone more uptight than you.