I live in Byron Bay.
You know, that place where everyone is beautiful and they just live at the beach and name their baby things like Agave or Quartz? That place. Well since I've had a baby, I don't feel like I really 'fit in' anymore. I'm bored as shit.
My old friends are nursing hangovers or come downs, checking in via Instagram comments making very loose plans to catch up. But it will never happen- getting out of the house with my baby is a stressful mission. She screams in the car from point A to Point B and while I try to breathe through it, it eats at me and I vow to never drive anywhere again. My friends don't really understand. I get mad about it sometimes, maybe I even resent them. I'm 100% jealous of them-Their freedom and their bodies.
Flash back 18 months ago though and I WAS them. I was totally oblivious to the struggles of my mum friends, who I saw occasionally, but never truly offered the help they deserved. I didn't realise. And I feel awful about it. I didn't check in with them, I didn't know how tired they were, maybe how sad or lonely they were. I didn't even ask if they were hungry! I get it now. I totally get it. And I'm sorry.
In saying that, it's a two-way street and there's definitely a few who understand, I've also made some amazing new friends from my antenatal class, mums groups and the hospital and my Facebook group page! What started as a really casual idea has blossomed into a fantastic group of mums who have even helped out a fellow Mumma who needed donated breast milk for her sick baby.
Some of us meet up weekly, go for a walk, grab a coffee, or hit up happy hour baby free (woohoo).
Anyway- you probably won't be reading this if you're not a mum, but I'm going to write a list of things I wish I had done for my mum friends if I could go back in time:
1- Check in on their wellbeing!
A simple, how are YOU going? Do you need anything? Tell them you love them. Birth is fucking full on! I thought I was going to die at one stage. It takes a toll on you both physically and mentally.
2- Bring them food!
Cook up an extra serving of two of your dinner and bring the leftovers for them to heat up. Cooking can be impossible with a baby and it’s so easy to neglect your own wellbeing. Hospital food isn't fantastic either (although my first sandwich post birth tasted pretty damn amazing after not eating for 3 days..)
3- Consider a voucher for a house cleaner as their baby shower present!
It's so amazing so have a nice clean house with a clean floor, it's so hard to actually clean properly in fear of the baby waking up whilst you're covered in Jif trying to clean the shower.
4- Come to them!
If they have a baby like mine who screams their head off in the car, they probably don't want to drive to meet you. It's awful. I have cried my eyes out multiple times and had to ask my husband to take the baby whilst I continue to cry at the steering wheel when I get home. Consider meeting half way or coming to their house to catch up.
Shout out to my friends who’ve supported me through this all. It's been a rough ride but we all love our Clementine.