Making Mum friends in a new area when you’re a stay at home mum.
We recently located to Yorkshire from the South. I’m currently a Stay At Home Mum to my two kids, Isla, who is at school most of the time, and Teddy, who will turn 2 next month. I had a huge network of mum friends when I lived down South; but as I’ve had plenty time on my own to reflect lately, I’ve been asking myself, were these mum friends really my true friends?
A bit of a back story
I fell pregnant with Isla unexpectedly when i was 28. At the time, I was living in Canary Wharf with my partner (Isla’s Dad) and we were both working full time in London. Our lives were care free and fun. Neither my work friends or London friends had children and just weren’t in that place. So when I fell pregnant, it came as a real shock to the system. After a huge emotional rollercoaster, and an even bigger one when I was pregnant, I had Isla in November 2014. Things weren’t great for around 6 months afterwards, but that’s another story! And I did make some mum friends in the city, but then we moved to the suburbs in Epping, Essex and I was back to square one! I was really lonely for a while because I was off work, at home with a 1 year old while my other half was working in the city long hours five days a week. I had no family around and I didn’t know anyone. I felt incredibly low and went to the doctors who prescribed me antidepressants again because I wasn’t coping well. I started going to groups, but I was desperate to make mum friends, so much so, that I was unconsciously people pleasing to get friends, and losing myself in the process. So, if I wasn’t being myself, how did I expect to make authentic connections? Don’t get me wrong, they were really lovely people, but on reflection, as I’m trying to heal and work on loving myself, I’ve realised I have attracted the same type of person in my life every time. Back then I was quite a naive person; low self esteem, no idea how to control my emotions, and a chronic people pleaser who didn’t know how to set boundaries. So I guess I attracted a similar type of person in the friends I made, and I found I would also attract a controlling type of person too.
“The people who you attract into your life are a mirror of who you are and what you value.” Steven Bartlett
Mum friends during Lockdown
So we had been in Epping for just over five years when Lockdown started. And like most people during Lockdown, it gave me plenty of time to reflect. To sit with my thoughts and work out a few things. We are always so busy in normal day to day life, so to sit and just think and reflect was life changing in itself. I had a huge reality check; all this time, I wasn’t being authentic. I was too afraid to be my true self because I was scared others wouldn’t like the real me. It was eye opening. So in between parenting and working from home, my other half and I used that time to really work on ourselves and our well-being.
For many, Covid and the Lockdown changed some people and caused many divides in friendships and relationships (including my own). When the Lockdown lifted, I found I had changed as a person and it was really difficult to continue the friendship with some of my mum friends; I felt like I couldn’t really have a conversation with some of them without them getting easily offended by what’s going on in the world; reeling off stats and quotes from the media. I felt I lost any existing connection with these particular people, which was quite sad. Also, many used the Lockdown as an opportunity to stay further away from people most of the time, so I guess some of my mum friends weren’t as sociable as they were before too. To be honest, my new found self love, and new found assertiveness, meant I cut out friendships that no longer served me. However, I was surprised by some of the other friendships I thought would stick around.
“Surround yourself with souls who wouldn’t change if your situation was 10 times better or 10 times worse” Chervin
Making New Mum Friends in Yorkshire
Even though it can be quite lonely in the new area with 2 children. I’m in no rush to make new mum friends. I am just being myself, no longer people pleasing, working on my assertiveness and setting boundaries, and I believe the right people will come to me at the right time; I know the type of people now I don’t want to attract and know exactly what signs to look for too. I’m slowly getting there. Consistently asking the Universe for guidance and to give me strength. Journaling daily and doing my gratitude list. I’m noticing things slowly starting to change, and I have been invited to certain groups and classes without forcing any conversations, these people have just crossed my path naturally, which is what I hoped would happen.
I have only heard from one or 2 mum friends from the South since being here, and a few have suprised me by not making contact at all or not responding to my messages. But in a way it isn’t surprising because I feel like my outlook and attitude has changed where as they have remained the same, or got worse and don’t seem to like me being happy and doing well for some reason. But I guess that’s just life, and I’ve just learnt not to expect much from anyone these days. The way people act is their issue and it has nothing to do with me; I’m slowly starting to realise this and it helps me to stay positive.
Have you ever moved to a new area and had to make friends? Did you find it took a long time? Do you struggle to set boundaries or found yourself people pleasing? Was it easier to make friends when you had children? Let me know in the comments.