THE MUMMY CUT
There are so many things you don’t/can’t expect when it comes to preparing for motherhood. By now most of us have read those mummy blogs discussing the impact of sleep deprivation, the difficulties of breastfeeding, lack of time to do everything you want to do (planned to do) in a day, whether or not you should go back to work, and the vulnerability that comes with such a huge, indescribable love. Trust me, it’s all true!
What I was least expecting though, of all these changes that came, was the ‘Mummy Cut’, and I’m not talking about hair, although I did do that too (it really does solve the hair pulling problem…until it grows back!)
I’m talking about the culling of friendships. But also the beginning of other, healthier ones. I never would have thought that I would cut anyone out of my life once my child entered the world. I was surrounded by family and friends who I loved and admired. Don’t get me wrong, there were always friends who I often wondered were they in fact ‘forever friends?’ But I saw them clearly in my immediate future. Of course nothing would change between us just because I had a baby, right!? Uhhh wrong!
There are many reasons why friendships break down. For the majority of what I’ve experienced though it’s a lack of effort, and to be fair that’s coming from both sides. When our baby was born she became the absolute centre of mine and my Husband’s Universe. Whilst we never expected her to be the centre of anyone else’s, we were a little shocked at the lack of effort some of our ‘friends’ made. She was christened at 4 months and we invited family and friends who had made the effort to meet her during that time. We really weren’t expecting the backlash that came from some about this decision or that we would need to explain ourselves. We found it even more interesting when the exact same thing occurred after her first birthday party, after yet again, only inviting those who had made an effort to come and meet her during her whole first year of life! People annoyed about missing out on the cake, food and alcohol…. What’s that saying about weeding out the weeds…?
The thing that stands out to me most about becoming a parent, is that I seriously barely have time for the amazing, caring, genuine people who actually want to be a part of ours and our child’s life, let alone those who just pretend when it suits, when they want something, or they simply just don’t even bother. So we made some big decisions, however they were not uncalled for.
In fairness, many of those who are no longer a big part of our lives weren’t parents themselves and honestly probably just don’t really care for babies. Which is fine, not everyone is up to that point in their lives, but just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you don’t still enjoy going out when you can, or hearing about their fun, milk spew free, lives. I actually find it really refreshing hearing about the carefree, exciting, last minute planned lives that others lead. What’s funny is when some of these people do become parents and start to get it, which did happen with a few of ours and the 'ahh haa' moments began: “So that’s why you could never go anywhere with ten minutes notice”, or “Wow I can’t believe Jimmy hasn’t even bothered to come visit the baby!”
Then there are the ones who are already parents and feel threatened when a new baby comes on the scene (these are my personal favourites). What’s that, your baby isn’t the only cute baby in the world anymore…oh no! Seriously though what’s wrong with these people? Other babies are allowed to be cute (that’s the thing about babies…they are cute!) and other people are allowed to say said baby is cute! You don’t need to say nasty things about other people’s children to make yourself feel better about your own. I think this may be the one that gets me the most. I just really don’t want someone like that anywhere near my kid!
We started to seriously question the people we were surrounding our child with. You can’t choose your family (I guess you can try with in-laws…but let’s face it that doesn’t always work out) but you can absolutely choose your friends. The vanity and bragging, competition, drama, cruelty, jealousy and manipulation… it all becomes so un-appealing, not to mention unnecessary. I don’t want my kid around bullshit or people who really couldn’t care less about her. I’m in no way saying I expect her to be everything to everyone, but if you don’t even bother to meet her, visit her, ask how she’s doing just every now and then, or contact her parents about how they are (not just when you want something or want to know something), then why am I going to create extra time in my day, that I really just don’t have, to contact you?
There were some friendship losses that still upset me, but all in all I feel the ones I’ve gained far outnumber the ones I lost. Motherhood is an incredibly uniting hood to be a part of, well mostly anyways! I have met so many beautiful Mummies that I would now consider to be some of my absolute best friends. I work in a wonderful, supportive community full of amazing colleagues and I don’t think I could love the kids I teach more if I tried. On the days I feel the dreaded 'mummy guilt’ for leaving her; they restore my faith in why I do it. Then there’s the value of my family, whom of course I’ve always loved, but now they really are my rocks. Particularly my Mum (there could not be a more doting Nannie) and my beautiful sisters in law, who have always been like sisters to me, but now we’re all Mummies and I love how special they, and their beautiful girls, are to mine.
I will never regret my pre-mummy life, and the people who were a part of it. At the time those people meant everything to me, but people change, lifestyles change, priorities and values change. Our beautiful girl is surrounded by wonderful people and we really just won’t have it any other way.
Neon Lulu Love