Mrs Lighty was once told that when you become a mother, you’re instantly initiated into this super cool club where lovely ladies bond together over the one thing they’ve instantly got in common: their little darlings. At the time, we were wading our way through the murky waters of infertility, and I remember thinking that I didn’t want a baby for that reason, I just wanted a baby because I desperately wanted a baby.
But then I finally fell pregnant. And decided to do some NCT classes. And at that moment, it became clear. Once you’re a mum, you’re automatically enrolled in The Secret Sisterhood of the Awesome Mothers.
Yes, there are unfortunately times where the mummy olympics might rear its ugly head, and there are always going to be clashes between parenting styles, but true mummy friendships transcend these problems. With true mummy friends, you have found your tribe.
And you’ll find that even mothers outside of your immediate tribe will fall into your Awesome Mothers’ Club, just by being mothers themselves and being within proximity of another mother. It’s a very rare occasion when you walk past another mother, en-route to anywhere, and the two of you won’t share a little smile. A little smile that comes from knowing that you’re both within the same lovely, rewarding, terrifying, exhausting, mucky, beautiful Secret Sisterhood of Mothers. A smile that comes from knowing that maybe, just maybe, that mother you’re passing in the street has been up all night with a teething toddler and a little smile from a fellow mum – who maybe, just maybe, has been watching Ceebeebies on Iplayer since 5am because her little one got up before the channel even started for the day – will be all that she needs to brighten her day.
And the benefits don’t just stop there. No, indeed, once you become a member of The Secret Sisterhood of the Awesome Mothers, you automatically qualify for the following benefits:
- Help with opening doors: no true friendly mother worth their salt will watch another mother struggle through a doorway with a pram or a child in their arms and not offer help, particularly if that child is younger than yours. This offer extends to holding lift doors until your fellow mum can maneouvre their buggy into the tiny space on offer, too.
- Chit chat when queueing / on the bus / in lifts etc etc: I love the random conversations that strike up between mothers in these situations. I mean, it probably helps that Mrs Lighty generally doesn’t shut up, but I really do love having a random friendly natter with another mum that I’ve bumped into in whatever situation I find myself in. I once got so involved in a conversation with another mum when in a toy shop, that I found out not only the name of her little boy, but the fact that Baby Lighty’s name was her second choice, her baby’s birth weight, current weight, the names of her two grown up daughters, discovered a mutual love / hate relationship with In the Night Garden, and the fact that her son was a surprise and she didn’t find out she was pregnant unti she was 30 weeks gone, all in the space of 10 minutes!! Let’s face it, mothering can be lonely at times, particularly when you’re talking to someone who’s vocabulary consists of “balabubummmbo”, so striking up random conversations with fellow mums can often brighten a day.
- Words of support from unexpected places: those times are often a life saver. You know, the moment when your little darling is having a meltdown in a shop, and you’re trying your best to be your understanding, gentle mummy self, whilst trying to avoid the glances of annoyance that you’re sure are coming your way from other shoppers. Sometimes a few reassuring words that all of our little angels have their moments, or even a smile of support from another mum, are all you need to feel better. I recently got chatting (see I told you Mrs Lighty never shuts up!) to a fellow mum at a wedding, who told me how lovely it was that I still wore Baby Lighty in the sling at 13 months, and how they are only small for such a short space of time, and that I should enjoy the snuggles while I can. Having had an “Oh I’m surprised you still wear him in the sling!” comment earlier on that same day, the conversation from within the Awesome Mothers Club was a breath of fresh air!
- The loan of baby wipes / nappy bags / bibs /toys etc etc: Off to baby group and you’ve forgotten your bib? Risked popping to a friend’s house without your change bag, not counting on the newly-weaned poop factor? Dropped your rice cakes on the floor? Don’t worry, the Awesome Mothers Club will step in. I’ve lost count of the amount of loans I’ve had from friends and loans I’ve given back (although, on loaning a nappy, I REALLY don’t need it back afterwards, thank you!!). And sometimes it’s just easier to reach for your own wipes to give to a friend, because yours are just there, rather than your friend having to juggle her baby, go find her change bag and wrestle the wipes out of the packet; the Awesome Mothers Club will always recognise that.
- That little pick-me-up, just when you need it: when I’ve had a bad day / week / month, if I’ve ever even so much as mentioned it to the mothers within my tribe, they are always there with words of encouragement. From overly high expectations over Baby Lighty’s birthday party, through to little every day giggles over tales of wardrobe woes like splitting your dress with your post-baby fat bum as you bend to pick up the baby (that didn’t happen, and definitely didn’t happen to Mrs Lighty as she was about to head out the door to work!) and of course discussing feelings of mummy guilt with my baby Facebook group, there’s always another mum that has either been through it or is just there with a “you’re a fab mum and you’re doing great”. Thanks ladies 🙂
- The ability to arrange meet ups with Mums you’ve only met once or twice before: whether it’s a mum from a new baby group you’ve started attending or someone that lives in your area that you get chatting to over a baby weaning course, it’s not unusual to find yourself exchanging phone numbers and arranging to meet at the park like you never would with any other friendship.
- Common ground with total (Mummy) strangers: something which I constantly tell Mr Lighty – as it must work for Dads too – is that once you’re a Mum, you instantly have something in common with other Mums: a baby. This allows you to strike up small talk in social situations straight away on the likes of fruit purées, sleeping (or not sleeping) through the night, and, if you’re really lucky, poop.
- Someone to share it all with: and this is the crux of it all for me. I can’t imagine how lonely it would be to do this whole motherhood gig without my Mummy friends there to share the ups and downs. It breaks my heart when I read blog posts from fellow mums that are feeling a bit lonely or isolated, and that’s why I always try to subsribe to the Awesome Mothers’ Club whenever I can, as I know that if I was feeling down – or worse still, like a bad mother – I’d want to hear some words of support and / or receive a friendly smile from a stranger.
So thank you to all of my awesome mummy friends, I’m lucky enough that they are fabulous and plentiful. Thank you for all of the laughs, support, encouragement, listening to my worries and answering my stupid questions; this motherhood gig would certainly be a lot duller without you all!
This post is dedicated to the lovely Mrs Wighty who is leaving our tribe for pastures new today. We will miss you lots, and can’t wait to see you at an “event” soon! xxx
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