I've been meaning to write for a while about the ebb and flow of friendships. I've been mulling it over, as I've seen my friendships change as I've become a mother.
When Ada was born (in quite dramatic fashion) I remember being surprised at who showed up at the hospital, who supported us, texted me to check on me, brought gifts and who didn't. I'll be honest- at the time I was kinda annoyed that some people who I thought were friends I never heard from. But I can see now that they probably just didn't have the faintest clue how to respond in that situation. And I've found some people assume that when you become a Mum you're not interested in doing the things you used to. Which can be true but isn't always. I'm still me.
However, in the last 16 months since Ada was born I've make more amazing friends that I could have ever imagined I would. They are mostly other mothers- friendships bourne of similar experiences, play date, online chats, coffee meet ups and dinners out.
As Ada has gotten older and life has become 'easier' I've been so lucky to enjoy time with such a wide variety of women I would have never met if it wasn't for our baby connection.
Earlier this month I went to Auckland to meet some mothers I've know online for a long time. You might think it's weird- the equivalent of a 'mummy online date.' But these ladies have known me since before Ada was born. They supported us through the tough early days and beyond. I know all about their kids and they know Ada. Meeting up was the next logical step and we had a great time. An afternoon meet up with the kids and dads and a slightly more rowdy dinner out (mums only!)
Just last night I went out for dinner with some Wellington based mums from the same group. What we have in common is our children of the same age, but the conversations spiral out to much more than 'mummy' talk.
Tonight Ada and I are going to a BBQ with toddlers and mums and dads from church. And next week I'm out to dinner again with some different mums. Then there's the ongoing play dates/coffee dates with different friends and their kids.
These people are my village. A slightly different village to what mothers might have had in the past. My village is made from mums I see every week at church, colleagues turned mums who I see every now and then for play dates, online friends who have been there at all hours with support and laughter and the odd inappropriate joke.
From these friends I've laughed and grown and become much more confident in myself as a person. I would honestly not be the same mother/person I am today without these friendships.
If I'd envisioned my friendships and social life before Ada came along I certainly wouldn't have imagined this. I love my village- online and 'real life' and wouldn't change a thing.