A lot of ‘mummy blog’ style posts lament parenthood, moaning because of the loss of your previous life, the long hours, the lack of understanding of others and so much more. And it’s easy to be grumpy when you’ve had less than four hours sleep (or two hours if you’re a competitive ‘non-sleeping’ parent), you look like Satan did your hair and your clothes are permanently covered in sticky substances.
When you become a mother, I found, in the early days you feel as though whilst you’ve gained this beautiful little person, you’ve lost a lot in the process. For the vain amongst us (yes, that’ll be me), the loss of a figure shape – think potato sack – was pretty dire, followed quickly by the loss of my independence and a sudden disappearance of friends and a social life.
*I’d just like to add, for the sake of my children who may one day read this, that whilst I lost these many things, it was totally worth it*
There’s no way you can, or in fact, want to get out with a tiny person attached to you – usually suckered on to your boob – in the early days. Those days are spent in a lot of solitude, mainly trying to work out how to do the right thing for your new child. But at the back of your mind, you want a chat with a friend about other stuff in the world which is not revolving around poo, or expressing milk.
For me, this lifeline came in the form of my best friend Pam, I’m naming her even if it embarrasses the hell out of her. Pam and I have known each other for over 15 years and have stuck to each other through thick and thin. We met through a boy, ditched him, and stuck it out together. We bonded over a love of Take That, sickly alcopops, photography and fashion and we’ve never looked back.
Even though we have chosen two entirely different paths (I’ve chosen children, she’s chosen not) that, if anything, has brought us closer together. Pam was the first person (after husband) to know I was pregnant, and she was excited for me and supported our longed for pregnancy. She waited just about as long as she could when I got back from my emergency c-section to visit us at home and she marvelled at the life I’d brought into the world. Pam’s ‘almost tears’ face has become legendary from photos of our wedding, through to holding our babies in the early days.
But more than the support from her (she constantly champions my decisions as a parent, something I can never hear enough of), Pam has provided a way for me to retain some semblance of the previous ‘me’ something I think many mums value from their true friends. True, I’ll never be drinking vodka at 5am in a field somewhere outside of Birmingham again (probably), but we’ve got out to a couple of Take That concerts (one where I’d just found out I was pregnant for the second time, so she spent the whole day finding me toilets).
We always ensure we’re free for each other’s birthdays and make sure we enjoy them doing something indulgent, silly or fun (Breakfast at Tiffanys themed evening anyone?).
Pam brings out the fun side to me, the one that sometimes gets lost in the midst of school uniform, meal plans and organising a family. Pam has shown me that I can be a mum, a wife and also a fun friend. I hope that everyone has a ‘Pam’, because every mum needs a lifeline.
My beautiful, fun and amazing friend leaves to continue her life adventure by going to Malaysia next week with her incredibly lovely boyfriend. And as much as I’ll miss her so very, very much, I’m so pleased I’ve had the last 15 years to get to know her. I know our friendship will continue across the miles, I know she’ll return home sometimes, but I will miss her reality checks. And the fizzy pink champers.
Cheers Pammy darling – missing you already xxx