Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Why Don't More Coffee Mornings End in Hair Pulling?

One of my fears of motherhood was loneliness. So when I got pregnant I made as many provisions to set myself up with an active "mummy & baby" social life as possible. I hit pregnancy yoga, "Aqua Bump" and NCT antenatal. Then when little lady arrived we rocked up at mum & baby yoga, swimming lessons, local parent & baby coffee morning and a buggy walk.

Result is I have hoards of new friends and such an active social life I have found I need to set aside "Euna and me Days" to make sure these activities don't rob me of too much one to one time! 

It's a tricky old business though this Mummy to Mummy socialising. The way is paved with conversational grenades and a lot of topics are ticking time bombs. 

I read a blog entry a few weeks ago (I forget where) and some talked about "Mumvy" where you envy another Momma's swagger. Her style, her clothes, the latest parenting book she's quoting from... Whatever. You want to BE her. 

The truth is before it was "Mumvy" it was "friendvy" or "sistervy" or "colleaguevy". Fact is the grass is always greener. ALWAYS. Difference is when you were trying to be a trendier friend or the smarter sister or the more dynamic colleague, these things were all for you. Now you want to be the more nurturing Mum or the more eco Mum or the more pro-active Mum not for you... You want to be THAT Mum for your CHILDREN. 

Totally different story. 

We can mostly live with disappointing ourselves, I do it everyday that I DON'T put on Gillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred". But disappointing our children? Under-performing for them? Woah. That smarts.

So we all play the compare game. It's a game I don't play well. It's an awkward game. And the most important thing to remember is that game has NO WINNERS. Why? Because there aren't actually any finishing lines. There is no attainable ideal that works for all. The "Best Mum" you can be isn't the same flavour as "Best Mum" she can be. 

That last paragraph makes me sound way more balanced than I am. Do I go home questioning EVERYTHING I'm doing when I hear "Joanne from yoga" doesn't use baby wipes because of the toxins? Yes. Do I despair at my negligence after seeing "Helen from coffee morning" raise her eyebrows at my shop bought hummus? Or course! Then I lie in bed wondering if there's a reason I could devise for ringing Helen at 11:00pm and dropping casually in to the conversation that I had infact checked the salt content and it was FINE!

Worse is that I have no idea how to respond when this happens... It pops up in conversation that I baby led wean or use cloth nappies or breastfeed. So I say "I breastfeed" and then her response makes it clear that what she has actually heard is "I think bottle-feeding is poisoning your baby". She'll say something like "yeah well my milk never came in" and I have NO idea what to say to that.  It's like I feel bad that I have made that Mum justify herself, annoyed she's made me out as if I have boasted and stumped because I need to formulate a response that pulls her back off the defensive whilst making it clear I never meant it like that! You can see my exasperation from my long and poorly punctuated sentence! 

The truth is we're all vulnerable. We're all in a haze of sleepless nights, lingering pregnancy hormones, new Mum insecurities and stifled by that overwhelming love for our babies. Really it's a wonder more coffee mornings don't end up in b&%£h slaps and hair pulling! 

1. Mummy friends are amazing, but you have got to find that sweet spot where everybody feels comfortable enough to be themselves, be happy with their own parenting decisions and be happy with other people's parenting decisions as being great for them.

2. My new teacups are amazing and I love them. :D


  1. It is true. I did similar to you, got involved with as many baby and mommy things as we could, I love it. Then we all had second babies right around the same time. Now I am halfway across the country trying to start all over again. This time at dance class, the playground and any other things my daughters are interested in.

    1. Oh wow! I can't WAIT to go through second time with some of my new friends because they will be there from the beginning this time! Hope you are settling in well in your new location? :)

  2. Choosing what is right for you and your baby comes from the best intentions of each parent. It's incredible the number of people that will try to make you feel like crap if you don't do what are doing or the other set of parents that will justify their choices to you. #1 Lesson says it all. Thank you for sharing and participating in Empowered Living blog hop. Hope to see you again.

    1. INTENTIONS! You hit the nail on the head there! It is ALL about intentions, a shame most people can't just see we've all got great intentions and wish each other well with that! :)

  3. PS. Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous.

    1. THANK YOU! :D Basically this blog is just a VERY elaborate brag about her gorgeousness! He he! :D


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