“I’m a total loner, and my baby has no buddies!”
This was the sentence which I found I had on repeat when we moved out of the city and into the sticks. Our daughter was 18 months old and we had made the decision to move to an area where we could afford those mummy luxuries. No, I’m not talking about a Granite kitchen Island with built in wine fridge- sadly. I’m talking about a garden and a drive way: Proper mummy luxuries. If you have ever tried to unpack a weeks load of Lidl with a 9 month old baby in tow, from a parking space 100 yards from your house, then you too will understand the importance of a driveway.
The sparkle had slightly tarnished on the café culture we were enjoying in Hove before Darcie was born. We no longer needed to have a host of restaurants and bars on our doorstep, and longed for the ability to park outside our house without a permit, or actually park outside our house at all. It was with a heavy heart that we left our beautiful little house in the bustling hub and switched over to a very different pace. Hello Suburbia.
But what’s a driveway without friends?!
Once the initial excitement of unpacking had passed, and the endless decorating had finally petered out (for now!) my attention firmly landed on the pint sized 20 month old girl, with the big brown eyes who had a lovely new toy room, and no little pals who lived nearby to share it with.
So I began the hunt. The hunt for playmates for both of us. Surely there must be some mamas who don’t produce the contents of Holland & Barrent from the kids lunch pack and believe a little Prosecco in the afternoon is good for the soul. Basics.
It turns out we are quite lucky in our little town; everyday there seemed to be some sort of baby/toddler group where we could go along and share germs, snatch toys and if we were lucky sip on a weak cup of coffee, while I hunted out like minded Mumas. September had arrived, and I slapped on my best ‘please come and talk to me I’m not a complete nutter’ face (yes, this was my first hurdle!) and put Darcie in her least stained clothes, attempted to brush her unruly mane of dark hair and repeated the mantra ‘be gentle and kind, be gentle and kind’. For these things did not always come naturally to our little treasure, but are fairly imperative attributes when seeking out a new tribe.
It was all a bit of an anti climax if I’m being honest. It took about 2 months of going back to the same group before someone actually spoke more than 2 words to me and didn’t just look at us like we were trespassers! You see the thing with a small town is the Click factor. I hadn’t anticipated that. How naïve!
That someone who branched out and spoke to me changed everything. We quickly became buddies, and our children didn’t seem to hate each other. Bonus. I could feel it: play dates were on the cards. Perhaps the rest of the group could see I was one of them after all and began to accept me too. I wasn’t going away, I would be back week after week…
I was on a role and beginning to settle into this small quirky seaside town. Being a small town now-familiar faces were beginning to pop up. I was actually being greeted in the street: hurrah!
But it was the very wonderful Nursery school and dancing classes Darcie went too where the friendships really started.
Here I found a group of girls, My Muma girls. Like minded Mamas that I can call my Friends. Girls I adore, who I can laugh with, and at times cry with. Each of these girls came neatly equipped with a little girlfriend for Darcie, and better still, a sibling for our newest addition. Our daughters have been through Nursery school together and last September began their big school adventure, all in the same class.
Life would be very different as a Muma without these girls. They turn a would-be mundane, sometimes freezing school drop off into a bit of a social, I look forward to seeing them. Comparing our morning struggles to get out of the door. It sounds simple, but as a Muma sometimes just getting your 4 year old out of the door requires the skillset of a Hostage negotiator. I like that I’m not alone in this. I’m not the only one suffering this and I have the Muma friends to back me up.
I’m fairly abysmal with administration, little did I know starting Big School would require me to set up a home office! I’m constantly checking school details with the girls – nativity costume comparisons, non-school uniform day reminders, homework panic (a 4 year olds homework is trickier than you think. I’m going to need to take night classes to have any hope of assisting Darcie past year 1!) You name it, I ask it.
At last, I found my own Muma click, and frankly I’d be lost without them.