We’re told it takes a village to raise a baby, but if you’re one of the first of your friends to have a baby, how does one find said 'village'?
We’re warned about how lonely it is once the visitors stop coming and your partner goes back to work. In my case, I had my baby in the middle of the pandemic, so I didn't have visitors in the first place. And instead of getting countless messages throughout the day, my phone is eerily silent.
We’re told to find 'mum friends' because they get it. We're told that your pre-baby friends will probably fall away. I always assumed that this stemmed from the mother’s side. I thought the mother would be too busy with the baby, or wouldn't feel up to it, or couldn’t relate to her friends anymore because she’d moved into a new life stage. In my experience, it came from the friends. It was complete radio silence.
"We’d love to meet him when you’re ready," they'd say. But I never heard from them again.
I tried to organise catch-ups, but they ended up being on the only weekend that everyone was busy - if they even engaged with the Facebook event at all.
It left me wondering, where are the friends who showed up at my baby shower, gushing over me and offering to babysit? Was it only good in theory? How did I have enough friends to have two medium-sized baby showers, in two cities, before my son was born, but now most of them have not even met him?
There were no mothers' groups during the pandemic. I turned to new apps like Peanut where you can connect with other mums in your area (like Bumble for mums). You can match with people but, like many Bumble matches, many don’t message you or engage in any way.
If you’re lucky to be added to a mothers' group, it only takes a few months before people simply start ghosting.
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