You all know the feeling. You’re a single figure in the world, free to choose when you eat, sleep, toilet, shop, socialise. You get to choose if you do these things alone or with someone. You think you’re busy and that time goes too fast. You think you know what tiredness is.

Then you become a mum.

Suddenly, your body, your schedule, when (or if) you get to eat, toilet and socialise becomes less about you and more about what your children’s needs are. You become the master of multi-tasking – the nurse, coach, referee, cook, social planner and counsellor all in one. You crave but rarely get alone time and you look back at your life before children and think wow, I really did not appreciate that enough!

Still, you love your little cherubs and you wouldn’t have it any other way. But suddenly you notice something. Suddenly, you have friends without children and the friends with children. You can’t help but notice. It’s like suddenly you’re living on different planets. The friends without kids still live in your former world; the friends with kids, live in your current reality. 

Other mum friends get it when mid-way through a phone conversation, you pause to yell ‘take that out of your mouth’, or worse still, ‘stop licking my shoe!’. They get it when you have to bail on a coffee date because your toddler won’t stop emptying the sugar bowl and climbing on the furniture. They see you and don’t judge when you rock up to school pick-up with unidentified substances glued to your shirt and two odd shoes on. They tell you that you’re looking great when you’re rocking week-old filthy hair and a ‘mum bun’. They know it all. They’ve been there too.

My fellow mum friends are my absolute lifesavers. They keep me sane when I would otherwise be flying off the handle. They make me feel normal when I complain about the antics in my household. They help me to feel heard, understood and acknowledged. They are there with a cup of hot coffee, chocolate or cheese and wine. They get it. We all need these beautiful women in our lives. We all need our mum friends, the emotional connection, the sharing and the laughter is what helps us to get up each day and do it all again. So where do we find these other mummas? 

Here are five places to catch yourself a new friend, a mum just like you: 

1. Mother’s group/Playgroup

  • In WA, when our first child is born, we are automatically placed in a group of other new mums in our local area. We have the opportunity to meet up with them through facilitated sessions with a child health nurse for a number of weeks, before the option is put on us to continue to meet independently. I have a number of close mum friends that I met when my baby was only 6 weeks old. Some have moved away, but I still cherish the bond we made in those early days when we were all sleep deprived and trying to fumble our way through. 
  • After your first child, you are not automatically placed in a mother’s group, but you can seek out a local playgroup. These groups are often run through the local school or parish and offer a great chance for the children to socialise whilst the mums can connect and share a cuppa tea together. 

2. Interest groups

  • There are a number of interest groups you can join, sometimes with a small membership fee. Some examples of these groups include breastfeeding mother’s group, baby led weaning groups, baby wearing communities, post natal depression (PND) support groups.
  • As a new mum, I joined my local breastfeeding support group, which was very similar to a mother’s group, with a focus on specific support around breastfeeding. I also attended a group called ‘Mother Nurture’, through the Community Midwifery program, who offered specific support to women with PND or general anxiety around being a new mum. I found both of these groups to be extremely nurturing and supportive, especially as my baby had reflux and I was struggling to find my rhythm. 
  • Other options include exercise groups such as post-natal pilates, hydro or mums and bubs yoga. These are a great way to feel good about moving your body, connecting with your baby and meeting new people.

3. Online groups

  • In this modern world of technology, we are so blessed to be able to connect with other mums locally, nationally and globally through the comfort of our own homes or mobile devices. 
  • These groups can be a place to vent, share your experiences or seek advice. A great example of this is the Melville Mums Facebook group, bringing together local mums.
  • Other than location-based groups, you can join general mum support groups or seek groups that have a particular interest in common with you (such as the examples above).

4. Local community activities

  • Most local governments run a number of child and parent activities that you can attend for free, within close proximity to your home. Some of these activities include; baby rhyme time, story time, toddler tunes in the park. I have made some great connections with other mums in my local area through attending these programs.
  • There are also a number of private groups who offer local activities too, you can find some of these in the Melville Mums directory.

5. Daycare and School

  • As your children grow, you may choose to send them to daycare, for work or other family reasons. As your children start to develop friendships, this is a great way to meet other parents with children of a similar age (and often living in a similar area).
  • School is a big part of connecting with other mums. Some of the closest friends I have now, are mums with children attending the same school as mine. It can be an absolute lifesaver to have a mum you can call on for those days when you’re running late from work, the baby is still asleep or you just need someone to grab the kids after school. It also helps with keeping on top of the many school activities – excursions, library day, fundraisers, assemblies. The list goes on! Some schools have parent reps, a couple of parents dedicated to each year group who organise events for the children to come together outside of school and for the parents communit to get to know one another. It might be worth checking if your school does this.

Hopefully this list has given you some ideas on where your newest mum friend might be waiting! We all need these women in our life, the one who will cheer us up, cheer us on and say ‘cheers’ to our wins. To all my fellow mummas out there – I salute you!

If you enjoyed reading this blog, please check out my other blogs about motherhood, life and everything in between at Tash Diaries.

Tash Hanham
Author: Tash Hanham

Tash Hanham is a local mum of three young children. Tash is a blogger at Tash Diaries, small business owner, home cook, juggler of life admin, lover of food, adventure and travel. Tash has a vision of empowering other women to live their best life through shared stories and experiences.