by EMMA MACGILLIVRAY
I am a female, 30 years old, with a loving husband and a 9 month old son living in Sydney. I like meeting people and socialising. I don’t have a criminal history and I like animals. Most say I am a nice person. My husband gets along with everyone and son is quite adorable. Who wants to be friends with me? Anyone? Hellooooooo?
My New Year’s resolution was to say “Yes” to everything. No, not because I found inspiration in the not-so-hilarious Jim Carey film ‘The Yes Man’ but because at the beginning of the year my husband, my 3 month old son and I relocated from Melbourne to Sydney.
My resolution was in effort to make some new friends. I was terrified of the thought of leaving my nearest and dearest in Melbourne but I knew that I would give it my best shot in the hope of making a new batch of lovely buddies –albeit in between the nappies, feeds and naps.
So far, I think I have said “yes” to everything. Every coffee date, every playgroup, every mothers group and every dinner with other couples with children. My new Sydney mother’s group failed miserably and was rather embarrassing (my son James and I were the only ones that showed up) and the coffee dates have been ‘blind dates’ where both parties have come away thinking “Oh that was nice but we have NOTHING in common”.
Thus far I have a made a total of two Sydney friends that I love dearly and we cherish our weekly catch ups aptly named ‘wine time’ (pronounced woine toime) but the three of us need more. We all need to meet new people. Funnily enough, we’re all from Melbourne. It’s strange how that happens. I think it’s because we had more in common than just babies.
As every mother does at some point, I had a low moment a few weeks ago. James had croup, it hadn’t stopped raining for 2 weeks and our beloved pet died. I needed to do something before I sunk into that dark hole that every new mother hears about and fears.
So, I started something that is very out of character for me…a YouTube blog called Consumer Mum. I talk about my latest baby and beauty product finds. A good product has me pulling out the savings card before you can say “Sucked in”. It is a great hobby and I love sharing my finds (but please don’t be overwhelmed by my tens of hits – fame hasn’t gone to my head yet). However after psychoanalysing myself, I realised that I started it purely for someone to talk to. I know that the person wasn’t opposite me sipping on a cup of tea at my dining room table but I thought that the other mum on the other end of the interwebs was hopefully finding me to be their digital buddy too.
I think there needs to be something other than a system where a group of 10 or so women are thrown into a room with NOTHING in common than a baby that is around the same age and a bout of mastitis. Don’t get me wrong, I found the one session of my first mother’s group in Melbourne that I did actually attend to be very helpful and insightful but needless to say I knew from the get go that the other very lovely ladies and I weren’t going to be attending our children’s weddings together in 25 years time.
I think there needs to be a forum for mums to meet other mums with similar interests and have MORE in common than just their baby or child. We do everything to get our children interacting with other little people. Playgroups, crèche, activities…but what about us? Being a mum is rather lonely but no one tells you that. It feels particularly lonely when you’ve gone from being a full time professional and as soon as your little bundle of joy arrives in the world you are transported back into the 1950’s and you’re looking for your identity in the washing machine. I feel like I’m Samantha in Bewitched. If only I could wiggle my nose and POOF, I have a friend.
Sadly, I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.
I think of my Mum who was in a very similar situation when she had my brother and I in the early eighties. My Dad’s job meant that they lived in all kinds of crazy places when we were very young and back then they didn’t have iPhones, Internet, Facebook or Skype for god’s sake! I don’t know how she did it but all I know is, we now live in a digital age so why is it so freaking hard to make friends as a mum?
I think there needs to be a RSVP for mums but without the weirdos. Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea but with wine and good fun. Think of a place for Mums everywhere to meet, socialise and make FRIENDS. Friends in the true sense of the word – not just another woman that has a baby the same age. I don’t know what this is but I’m on a mission to create this imaginary, delightful world.
Am I the only one or are there thousands of other women out there just like me looking for a friend? If so, I’ll be your BF 4 EVS.
P.S. just so you know, the highlight of my day was filling up the car with petrol and having a hearty 30 second laugh when my son spat out a leaf (I have no idea where he got it from). Shit, I need some friends.
Have you ever moved to a new city and found it hard to meet new people? Are you still friends with the people you’ve known since school or have you made new friends as you’ve gotten older?