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WHY DO I STRUGGLE TO MAKE MUM FRIENDS

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Being a blogger, can be a little deceiving. Now not in the way you may be thinking. As bloggers we all have that place where we can be ourselves, be able to write about issues that could be considered controversial. However, being confident and outspoken is not something I like to do in person. I don't want you to think that I am not real, when I write, have general ramblings or vent. I like to try and paint a picture of real motherhood and not a 'pinterest mum' who can whip up a batch of cookies, have a clutter free and clean home all whilst looking after a bunch of toddlers. You know, the kind of mum who generally has their shit together. Even though it may seem as if I am a confident and an outgoing person, I guess it's easy to show this behind a screen. I am far from this, when it comes to meeting new people or going to new groups, it's a bit of a struggle. 



When I actually sit down and think about it, I haven't always been like this especially when it comes to making friends. As a child I would always be the first one to say hello or ask if they wanted to come around to my house, but as I got older things started to change. I soon became shy, timid, and nervous around new groups. I would always dread being asked questions in class. I remember most of the time not focusing on my work and worrying too much about being asking questions. Pretty much throughout my school life, college and even university this was still a worry for me and when I went into the world of work I would hate giving presentations or even speak about daily targets in front of group of people. I would have to say that these overwhelming feelings have always been there, until I met my husband and he gave me so much confidence, to be myself, to realise that I was always enough. We moved in together, got engaged and got married and it was then when those overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, not being good enough came back. It was hard to escape.

I would try and focus on the positive things in my life, like my marriage and trying for a baby. However it wasn't as plain sailing as I thought it would be. For me, becoming a mother was something that is precious to me, as it was something that I never thought that would never be possible for me. There were times where I would cry myself to sleep and fill myself with false hope, to tell myself to keep positive and keep going. It was then that an isolated feeling consumed me, no one understood how I was feeling. This was one of the biggest hurdles that I facing in my life and I couldn't really talk about it. I would often watch other people and ask myself why them and not me? Being able to have my own baby was a dream. However, what seem liked forever our prayers were being answered and we were pregnant with our first baby. But as happier times were coming our way those feelings were still there in the pit of my stomach...

When I think back to my pregnancy, you could say it was one of those idyllic ones. It was the one time in my life that I felt so comfortable and so beautiful in my own skin, full of confidence and self worth.  I began to feel as if I was getting back to the person I became just after I met my husband. My pregnancy wasn't all full of unicorns and rainbows there were hard parts, like with any pregnancy. I had faint morning sickness, sciatic pain, frequent heart burn and the most ugly swollen feet towards the end of the pregnancy. Despite these though, I still see that it was quite idyllic. I had my daughter naturally with had no complications and I was home with my new family within days. As you might expect with a new born, family and friends flocked round to see our beautiful little lady and this time in our lives was perfect and we couldn't have been happier. But after everything settled I started to feel different...

Most of the time I would feel intense overwhelming feelings that consumed me, and were hard to escape. It would take my breath away with no effort, and leave me feeling completely exhausted. I would lay there most nights listening to my daughter and husband sleep and I would lay their wide eyed unable to switch off. It was like there was a never ending list of worries going through my mind. I would have to go and check my daughter several times during the night just to see if she was breathing. I know to some extent that most new parents feel the overwhelming sense of worry. It's normal. But as the months passed, deep down I knew that something was not quite right. There were moments that I would try and pluck up the courage to tell someone, I remember a time where I broke down in front of my Dad, but then, when it came to the crunch I just tried to shrug off the feelings with sleep exhaustion.

It began to effect my life. I would panic if I had to go out to get something, I couldn't face meeting people for play dates, I would even get flustered whenever we had family functions. I can remember the exact time that my husband knew something was wrong. We were getting ready to go to a local community centre to try and get signed off from the health visiting team, my daughter was around six weeks old. We were running late and my daughter was crying hysterically because she wanted a feed and I went out into the kitchen to make her a bottle. Then as I was feeding her my husband came over and said that I was holding the bottle the wrong way around, the valve was on the bottom. I burst into tears. I know that my husband wasn't trying to cause any upset but I just couldn't hide my feelings in anymore. I wanted some help. At the appointment, it was too much, when it came to talking about it, I just wanted to shrug those feelings off again. In the end, my husband stepped up to tell them how I was feeling and even though deep down it is something that I had been struggling for some time, they said it was to do with the baby. I knew it was more than just that! But I felt a sense of relief, someone knew. Anxiety is such a complicated matter. It seems as if everyone experiences the symptoms differently. However, for every person who suffers from the condition, there is another person who completely doesn’t understand it. Over the last few years there have been ups and down. I have had times where my anxiety hasn't got the best of me, but days for it all to come crashing down and I feel as if I have made no progress. My anxiety will never be resolved with a click of a finger, it's something that I have to work bloody hard at. I have to push myself and I have to know when something is just too much and to be happy. 

Perhaps there will be a time in my life where I will be confident and not feel isolated when it comes to trying to make mum friends. There are times with the right encouragement where I have taken my daughter to classes that has pushed me totally out of my comfort zone and they've actually been okay. In the midst of the nervous feelings I found that other mums feel exactly the same. In that as soon as you become a mum there are times where you feel lonely and feel isolated but for me it's important to keep pushing and to know when it's too much. As you know, my daughter will be starting nursery soon and I have been wondering what the 'school gates' will be like. Will there be certain groups of women who will come over to talk to me, to judge me or invite me over for a coffee and a play date. I guess only time will tell, but I am going to try my hardest to say hello, make conversation for my daughter as she means the world to me. 
37 comments on "WHY DO I STRUGGLE TO MAKE MUM FRIENDS"
  1. Having anexity can be so hard I can relate as i had to really push myself to go out and make mummy friends. I still somtimes hate being out of my comfort zone.

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  2. I can totally identify with this!!!It has taken me until the youngest (of 4!!) was in primary school to make mum friends. I used to get so jealous of all these little mum cliques but I just had no confidence to talk to people. Thankfully I'm much better now!Hopefully your nursery will be full of lovely , friendly mums!!!

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  3. I do sorry to hear you're feeling like this. Although I don't worry so much about going to new groups, I too suffer from anxiety (it really does affect everyone differently!) and can clearly remember those newborn overwhelming feelings. It sounds like you're really strong though so I know you can get through this xxx

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  4. Such an honest and well written post. Having anxiety is awful for anyone, but especially so when your a mother because it seems like so many other mothers have it all together - and they all seem to know each other and have billions of other 'mummy friends too. But rest assured the majority of them will be feeling as much social anxiety as you. Sending lots of hugs to you xx

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  5. What a raw and well expressed post. I suffer from anxiety as well so I can really relate x

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  6. Such a well written post! I too suffer with anxiety and also depression and its tough. Well done fore getting out on those days though its such a accomplishment afterwards isn't it xx

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  7. It's very brave of you to speak out about your feelings, but I bet you find so many people can identify with you. certainly can, I have to force myself in social situations, it never comes naturally, and I worry constantly that I'm interrupting, don't fit in, or people think badly of me. Perhaps we should all realise that people feel this way and make it easier for each other? I hope so.

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  8. I was extremely lucky that I had a couple of friends have babies at the same as me, so it was definitely easier to make new friends with an old friend by my side. I'm fortune to not suffer from anxiety although in a lot of ways I do lack confidence. Well done on an excellent blog post.

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  9. I completely understand this - when we had the children I felt I lost a piece of me that I struggled to get back. I panic that people are judging me when I speak so sometimes it is easier not to but then worry they think I'm stuck up. I try but it is hard. Once I get to know people I am better but that first hurdle is always a hard one.

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  10. I am really shy and have never spoken to many of the mums on the playground, now with Anya starting school there'll be a whole new class worth of parents eeeeek!

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  11. I find it hard to make mum friends in real life, online i have 200 lovely ladies who i know and who are all supportive, but i cant deal with meeting people like in a baby group and attempt to share likes etc.. anxiety is a big part of that too.. but im trying to get better xx

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  12. Thanks for writing this post, it will help others who deal with anxiety and worry about making friends.
    I've never been a "jazz hands" type so could really identify with this.

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  13. Well done for speaking out. Anxiety is such a tough cookie. You can be going along fine and then suddenly it rears its head again. I am sure that in time it will get easier x

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  14. I'm so sorry you feel this way. How brave you are sharing though. I know you're not the only one. It can be all so overwhelming and lonely sometimes.

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  15. I've suffered from anxiety and depression too and it's very courageous to talk about it, and so good that more and more people are talking. Making friends is daunting anyway, but there will be like minded mums out there who you'll find. I remember thinking I would never meet any friends when we moved house, but I did. #BlogCrush

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  16. What an honest post. You write so well. It can be so harde to be the new mum....I found that when my children started school it was so tricky at first. But then I realised that all new mums feel this way. Thank you for sharing your feelings though. That can't have been easy. #blogcrush

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  17. I can relate so deeply to this. It took me a long time to realise I had anxiety, but as a mum it really does force us to do our best to live with anxiety and find ways to help us. When my second daughter started school she was struggling as she was so introverted and anxious to make friends even thought lots of others were desperate to be her friend so I made a real effort to join the group of mums who were socialising over coffee once a week to show her that even mummy had to make new friends. It really helped her so much and also ended up being great for me too. I now have some of the best friends I have ever had. #blogcrush

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  18. I can identify with a relate to this too. I actually didn't struggle quite so much when my son was a newborn, but that is possibly the only time in my life when I haven't struggled. Having him as my conversation opener and topic somehow helped. But I've always found it quite challenging to make new friends despite having a knack of making people really like me in my professional sphere, I find social relationships hard. I'm crippled by a fear that other people won't like me, and perhaps it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Sadly, unlike a lot of people, I even seem to struggle making friends online the way so many women do. Sorry, probably not terribly helpful, as I clearly do not have any answers! I have managed to navigate the school gate and birthday parties ok, and perhaps that is because once again I'm in a position of following my son's lead. I think you have to take it one day at a time.

    Well done for writing this very honest post too. I think it is actually quite a common way to feel, and I suppose that gives me some comfort too! #KCACOLS

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  19. As we get older, things like making friends get harder. We nee dto take cues from our kids -- like puppies, children make it easier to attract the attention of others. If you pick up on these cues, it may make tings easier. I am in no way making light of anxiety. That makes everything difficult. Very real and honest post. Sending hugs. #blogcrush

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  20. you're right, other mums do feel most of the same. I've had to push myself too sometimes and I'm pleased I did. keep pushing yourself when you feel you can x #KCACOLS

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  22. Anxiety is a horrible thing it's really hard to live with and really hard to open up to people. Hope you learning to cope better it took me a very long time. #KCACOLS

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  23. This is such a brave and honest post. I struggle with feeling of anxiety a lot as well, I make plans and then find myself hoping the other person will cancel but then feel lonely if they do. My little girl is starting nursery soon as well and I have also wondered about the school gates and other mums and their cliques. I feel jealous of these established groups of mums that meet up all the time. Maybe nursery be a way in for us to find our own group, I hope so! #postsfromtheheart

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  24. Anxiety is a really hard thing to overcome, but you have taken great steps. The next step is the school gates, to which I am sure you will make lots of new mummy friends.

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  25. It is so difficult doing mum things when you have anxiety. You want your children to experience everything, and it is so hard when your anxiety is throwing all sorts of scenarios around in your head.

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  26. I have felt this way too about making mum friends. I don't really feel comfortable at baby groups and found I as going because I felt I should go to "fit in". Well done for going and putting yourself out there, you will form new friendships through your kids. It can just take time. My eldest has been at nursery for 18 months and I only just plucked up the courage to befriend another Mum. We've now met up with the kids a few times. Well done for writing such an emotional post, it can't have been easy to put such raw emotions into words and put it out there for all to read. Xxx #postsfromtheheart

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  27. I know exactly how you feel.

    Making mum friends is hard. It feels like starting school all over again

    #postsFromTheHeart

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    1. Making mum friends is exactly like school yet we do it for our kids and ourselves. I have struggled because I went back to work early and I work full time 40 hours a week and no one seems to want to meet weekends!
      http://www.onesliceoflemon.com/

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  28. I struggle always have, which is strange because I think I actually make a very good friend. Maybe not always right there, but sometimes the best ones are the ones you can call on for support even when they aren't actually there. #postsfromtheheart

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  29. I can relate to a lot of this. It's hard to make new connections when your head is full of worries or the fear of being judged. Parenting comes with both those things in spades. With my four year old I went to classes but never made any mum friends. It was through the nursery that I found my little group, at birthday parties and nursery events. I think it gets a little easier when the kids are older and you've found your motherhood style, but maybe I've just been lucky to find a couple of mums who feel like I do. I hope you get that too.
    #postsfromtheheart

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  30. Ah bless you. Making friends is never easy, no matter how old you get. Have you tried downloading Mush? I made some really wonderful friends on that app xxx

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  31. Forgot to say I was popping in from #PostsFromTheHeart xxx

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  32. This is such a heartfelt post - well done you for writing. I remember I found it so hard to make mum friends to begin with and used to get anxious about everything. Especially as we had also just moved countries - I felt so isolated. Although it was hard it was really putting myself out there that increased my confidence and actually led to me meeting friends. A friend told me, it's a bit like dating, making mum friends - and I realised she was right! I had to just make a move if I wanted to get anywhere! I also think it's easier when your child gets a bit older - as they start being sociable too and it feels more natural to chat to other mums. Now I'm 'that mum' at the playground who seems to know everyone, but I was not always like that! I'm going to remind myself of that soon, as we are moving so I'll be starting over again. x

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  33. Popping over from #KCACOLS - perhaps we can grab a cuppa? :) <3

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  34. You are not alone. I'm sure you know that. I also feel that if your child is making you a better person, you're doing the parenting thing right. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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  35. I found starting school was a turning point on the mum friend front - you just get thrown together #KCACOLS

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