It’s a curious thing having two young children burst into your life. This is what happened six years ago, when Wonder Boy and Super Girl, our adopted children arrived. Overnight, I was a mummy. A mummy, who needed to go out and make friends, with other mums. I was in need of my mummy tribe.
Making friends with other mums can seem hard. With birth mums, groups form at ante-natal classes, and then friends are made for life. The mummy cliques, seem daunting and impenetrable, especially when you have become a mummy overnight.
This isn’t a how-to guide, but it’s what I did to go out there and find mums and make new friends.
Finding my adoption mummy tribe. How to make friends with mums (you like!)
No one tells you that being a mum is lonely
Being a new adoptive mum to two older siblings was isolating.
Other than my husband and social worker, there wasn’t anyone close by who I could share my experience with.
- Who could I talk to find out if five tantrums a day was normal?
- What should I do when my daughter screamed till her face was purple and her voice hoarse?
- Why was I struggling to bond with my adopted children?
- Who could I confide in when my kid had been ‘naughty’ at school again?
Before the kids arrived
At the adoption preparation groups, I got names, numbers and emails addresses from other adoptive-mums-to-be and started meeting them for coffees. Two of my adoptive-mummy BFFs are from my preparation groups and we still meet today.
I joined Adoption UK
Adoption UK is the national adoption support charity. They have local groups and networks. I found mine and went to their coffee mornings and mums’ dinners.
After the kids arrived
I sought out mother and toddler(ish) activities
But I felt like a right prat the toddler music class. I hated that plinky-plonky music. And everyone was already in groups, they all knew each other. The most I got was just a cursory smile. I didn’t go back.
Playgroups and other kiddy activities
I didn’t take to my local playgroup, again, everyone has grouped off. It’s hard to break into these mummy groups.
No one tells you that!
Breaking into the playground
I remember that day so clearly walking into the school playground as a brand new mummy holding my adopted child’s hand.
We were both terrified.
I really thought I had fake branded on my head, and everyone could see that I wasn’t a real mum.
Once we dropped off our kids at school, everyone just vanished. No one seemed to stop, chat, say hello. Places to go, things to do: the weekly shop, a play in the park, playgroup, race off to nursery to drop off child number two.
And likewise at after school pick up, grab your child and go.
I joined the school PTA
I bit the bullet and joined the PTA. Threw myself into summer fairs, Christmas fairs, reception tea parties. This is where I honed my face painting skills.
Our school’s PTA was fab, a bunch of welcoming, enthusiastic mums, no-one cared that I felt I wasn’t a ‘real mummy’.
Friends, they need to be nurtured and cared for, and this takes time
Like all good relationships, making good friends takes time and good friends need to be cared for and nurtured.
Then we moved to France
And I had to start again.
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