parents

"Why I'm not friends with other mothers."

Em Rusciano with her six-year-old daughter, Odette.

Truth bomb alert.

I don’t have many friends with children. And by that, I mean I only have one friend who has had kids.

I know this one mother really well. We met when we were 10-years-old and she’s been stuck with me ever since. However she lives three hours away from my home and that makes hanging out nearly impossible. I only see her once a year.

So I guess I am technically down to none. Zero mum friends.

I love mothers, I write about mothers, I fight for mothers, I entertain mothers and most importantly – I am a mother! Yet in the past, I have found it really hard to be mates with them.

I know a lot of mothers and I am friendly with them but I wouldn’t call any of them at 4am in a DEFQON 1 meltdown. (Yes, that is how I judge the strength of a friendship. Is that wrong?!)

Both my girls are starting new schools this year and I am determined to make friends. I am ready. Up until now I haven’t been because I was being a wanker about the whole situation.

In the past I avoided other mothers because I perceived them as a judgmental right wing communist zombie cult, who were hell bent on ripping the sequins from my body and replacing them with front-pleated grey slacks and a pair of Crocs.

So I was being very rational about it.

Em in said sequins. You know, the ones she thought school mothers would rip off her.

I would go as far a to say I alienated myself from every mother I met; going out of my way to act like a pre-teen twat. I just wanted to bash them over the head with how YOUNG I was and how SO NOT LIKE them I was and look at me I am so young and not like you and groovy and cool and young and look at me.

It would go down like this:

Other Mother: “Hi Em, how is Chella going with her athletics?”

Em: “Great thanks. God I am so hungover from being at the club last night. I probably still have glitter in my hair. Do I? Those gays! From podium to primary school, huh? I really need a job with better hours. Kay, thanks by”.

What a dick head.

You know I also wonder if school mums get a bad wrap? Surely they can’t be as scary as they are made out to be? Look, there are probably a few bad eggs but the way some women I know talk about “the mums at school” in hushed frightened tones, you’d think dropping the kids off each day was akin to entering the Hunger Games arena.

Making new friends as an adult can be tough. Especially for me as I am an introverted loud mouth with little to no filter.

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When I floated the idea of this post with the other Mamamia writers, a few of them said they too had found it hard to make friends with The Mothers at their children’s schools. Their reasons were different to mine – I was just being an absolute flog. (In my defence, nobody really tried to make an effort to get to know me either. No one really seemed to have the time).

Maybe that’s the problem?

If mothers of school-aged kids actually find it difficult to befriend other mums, then I wonder if this is actually a reflection of our time poor lives? When you’re trying to do a million things in any given day, there’s no space to allow a relationship to evolve and grow (or fade) in the way our existing trusted friendships and relationships did. (Sensible thought process over, it happens sometimes.)

Each day at the  school gates we drop our kids off not really knowing what kind of shit the other mums are going through. There are so many different types of us. It IS like the Hunger Games in a way!

Em Rusciano with kids, Marchella and Odette.

I know we can’t all be mates; sometimes it is hard for the different fractions to get along. You’ve got the stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, mothers who work from home, the mother who don’t want to be involved, mothers who like to be involved and the mothers who avoid eye contact with other mothers because their house is too messy all the time to arrange a play date. (Me, oh me, all the me.)

I’m not looking for someone to potentially give me a kidney should the situation call for it – all I want is:

1. Someone to bitch about how fucking boring the school concerts are.

2. Someone to share my hip flask with, at aforementioned school concerts.

3. Someone to ring me and remind me that the school fete is coming up and I promised to bake something when I was drunk at the school concert.

Do you even know how hard it is complain to a gay man about having to find a recipe that is nut, wheat and gluten free so that your kid can have a birthday cake at school? They just don’t care!

I may not be successful but I am going to try and be more open to the mum friendship. Even if I can just find one Mum Mate – just one – I’ll be happy.

Are you friends with other mums? Do you enjoy the school drop off or get out of there faster than Usain Bolt?

Em will soon be touring her new stand-up show “Divorce the musical!”

Adelaide, you can find out more here.

And Melbourne, you guys can go here.

Everyone else. Just keep your credit card fingers at the ready and stay tuned.

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