Where would we all be without our mum friends, eh? Whether you strike up a conversation at the school gates or connect over your bumps at antenatal classes, the bonds that are formed in the trenches of motherhood are not easily broken.
After all, how many other friends can still look you in the eye after you’ve sat through a stranger extolling the virtues of getting your menfolk to massage a bit of Fry Light into your unmentionables?
So, in an ode to the friends we couldn’t get through motherhood without, here are five mates that every mother needs...
1. The Dancing Queen
She doesn’t think giving birth should mean giving up her social life; and she’s the undisputed queen of event organisation - as well as the dancefloor. She has an uncanny ability to propose a mums’ night out j-u-s-t when you were beginning to wonder if you'd ever party again, especially with people who don’t expect a tiny bag of stickers and napkin-wrapped cake when they go home. She can coax even the most home-loving mum to don her glad rags, and she’s the one who calmly and quietly works out how to split the bill at the end of a meal out - while everyone else is passively-aggressively accusing each other of being a tight-arse who hasn't paid for their pudding.
2. The Unflappable One
She’s the mum you secretly wish you were; she never seems to flap or panic, she’s always got a wise word or a reassuring thought, and she’s the person everybody turns to in a crisis. Sometimes you feel a tiny bit inadequate - after all, she’s always bailing everybody else out and you wonder who’s there for her if she ever has a problem that she can’t solve. She plays down her unwavering support of everyone around her, but you’d love her to know that she rocks, and that she’s appreciated much more than she realises.
3. The Laugh-A-Minute Mum
You know this mum; you bump into her in the playground on one of *those* mornings when the school run has rapidly descended into the highway to hell, and somehow she manages to make light of your misery and actually make you crack up with laughter - as opposed to just crack up. She always lightens the mood and could find the funny side of a one-sided unfunny thing. Her sense of fun is infectious, and an hour in her company is guaranteed to make you feel good, albeit leave you with face-ache. She may also give you cause to curse the slackening effect of childbirth on your pelvic floor…
4. The One That Almost Got Away
She thinks 'crying it out' is akin to child cruelty, but to you it’s just your baby's normal bedtime routine. Or maybe your baby is a ‘cloth bum’ and you abhor her refusal to embrace washable nappies and enter your secret world of ‘nappy porn’. And yet somehow, against all the odds, you’ve formed an unlikely but enduring friendship. You disagree on almost every element of parenting and you'd never have got on if you'd met before you became mums, but you’re both richer for the relationship. She’s the ying to your yang, and you're the gin to her tonic.
5. The Old Faithful
Your inability to drop everything for an impromptu Prosecco session on a 'school night' can wreak havoc on your friendships once you have a baby, as can the conversational gulf that sometimes emerges between women who are acquainted with varicose veins in embarrassing places and those who are not. But some old friends, particularly those who become mums around the same time as you, become cohorts and companions of the deepest kind. You can share the goriest details of your birth story with them without worrying whether you're going all TMI on a a delicate new friendship. And when motherhood gets tough, your old friends have the edge on reminding you of how strong you are based on what they've seen you deal with in the past, and how much much you’re capable of coping with.
Yup, once you’ve shared the highs and lows of motherhood with mums like these, you’ve definitely got mates for life.