I remember reading an article about how motherhood will change the dynamics of your closest relationships, in particular your friendships. It categorised your friends into different types but there were three that stood out to me, because I could put names to those types.
The friend that has already got children, been through it all before you and knows the score! This would be my friend Debbie, we have been friends since we were 15 and she has a beautiful 10 year old daughter Michelle. Debbie has experienced the highs and lows of motherhood and is more than willing to share her experiences and advice. She is the type of friend that provides the re-assurance that you need, the assurance that you are doing a great job and she has the understanding that only comes from personal experience. She delights in spending time with my daughter knowing that she can hand her back and go home! That she no longer has to struggle through those endless sleepless nights that seem to fill the first few years of your child's life. But remember Debs, Michelle is on the verge of adolescence, her teenage years are looming and new challenges await you. And I will want to know, in great detail, how you dealt with it all in 'ohhh' about 13 years time!
The friend that is experiencing what you are experiencing, sleepless night for sleepless night, nappy for nappy, dirty bib for dirty bib. The new mum. That would be my new friend, Theresa. We met at Ante-natal classes, brought together by our impending motherhood and our visibly huge bumps. Although there were many mums at that group she stood out as one that I would like to be-friend. And so when I bumped into her a few weeks after her son was born I took the opportunity to arrange a 'new mothers' meeting. We have since formed (what I would like to think is) a strong friendship based on our mutual inexperience. We share all the latest new mum gossip and never bore each other with the minute details of what each others child has discovered or learnt. I am so grateful for her friendship, as I don't know how I would have survived the last 9 months without it. I know that she will always understand when I yawn, that she will never roll her eyes when Emily cries and that she will completely and without hesitation sympathise with every single insecurity I have no matter how small or insignificant it might seem to others.
The friend that has not yet had children herself but falls as instantly in love with your child as you. Last but by no means least is my lovely friend Sarah. Sarah and I met 5 years ago in my child free days when we both worked at Nottingham University. We were united in our mutual love of shoes, shopping and Frankie and Bennys. Our friendship grew into something special and has remained through her leaving the University, me leaving Nottingham and now the birth of my first child. We have shared many secrets and tears, wine fueled nights of fun and the invariable hangovers that follow, various relationship break ups (mine and hers) and whenever possible the odd shopping trip, well okay quite a few shopping trips! Sarah will openly admit that she has never been the biggest admirer of either animals or children but a change has come over her lately, not only does she now have a cat!!! She has also fallen head over heels in love with my beautiful daughter and has even broached the subject of children of her own! And if you knew Sarah like I do, you would realise just how monumental this is, especially the pet cat!