My main problem with making friends in primary school and high school was that I wanted to be everyone's friend, I don't really get exclusive cliques or groups, and I never could understand why we couldn't all just get along really.
In fact I was so much all about the 'lets all just be mates" that my friends would get shitty and either make fun of the fact that I was so and so's friend and they would kick me out of their groups one by one until I just became "Michelle, no mates".
I learned then that one has to retain a certain amount of exclusivity... I was a friend slut that needed to learn how to be monogamous!
I have a bunch of friend groups now (its OK to be a friend slut when you are older), that are all as crazy as I am lol.
I have "old friends" I have "best mates", I have "new friends", "daycare mum friends" some are "mum business friends", some are "family friends", some are "online friends", some might not even know that they are my friends actually lol.
Some people have a great network of friends, but what happens if you relocate, or those old friends drop off... or...
...you have a baby...
After I had my first it wasn't so bad, I went back to work so I had work mates and I had a supportive network of friends who hadn't had a baby yet so life was ok, I wasn't "Michelle no mates" again... just yet.
But when I had the second child that's when things changed, and I'm not so much meaning I lost friends, I just didn't get to see them... EVER.
It became particularly bad after my friends had babies and the sickness's kept us from each other. Kids are sick ALL THE TIME!
Then I relocated to a different suburb and I felt like I may as well have been on another planet.
The problem with making new friends after babies...
Time - ain't no body got time for anything after babies!.... literally, it is all nappies and burping and feeding and cleaning.
You are tired - After you have been up all night feeding a baby, you don't have the energy to hold down an adult conversation sometimes, even though it might be the one thing you actually need and crave.
But honestly the second you get on the phone and start talking the baby or toddler will start crying or the preschooler will start asking for the contents of the pantry.
You feel boring - As above your entire life is now feeding and nappies and poop and vomit, you feel like you have nothing to offer a friendship anymore.
You used to have a life and a job... things to talk about, and now... lets be honest you just talk about the colour of your babies poop and how many times you had to get up in the night.
Friendships go online - You start to communicate with your existing fiends online so why cant you make new friends online?
Because it doesn't feel "real"?
But it can happen, I have made some great friendships online :)
Effort - Making new friends takes effort.
Like building a relationship with a partner, it can be tiring.
The friend quota is filled up - Some people just cant take on more people in their lives and its not because they don't like you, its because they already feel like they aren't putting enough effort into the friends they already have.
People have been burned before - If people have been hurt by a friend they will be guarded and they wont want to invest in another friendship.
So to those people who have been burned... I'm sorry people have been shitty to you, but there are still nice people out there so keep your heart open... just a crack, to let them in X
The older you are the less time you have for bullshit - Honestly you just wanna get to the point.
Recently I was telling one of my "mummy business friends" that sometimes I test people by saying something completely random or semi inappropriate to see what kind of personality they might have... its weird but it works... especially when you like people that are slightly weird like me.
Sometimes just like any relationship the older you get the less time you have to muck around with all that bullshit of getting to know someone, so if someone offers up some random topic of conversation, roll with it they probably really want to talk to you and be your friend... without the bullshit.
Small talk, after babies is all about the baby - Don't be afraid to talk about yourself or be honest if your day has been shitty. Sometimes small talk can turn into a giant deep and meaningful and before you know it, you have a new friend.
I can do small talk, but I honestly I am an over sharer and if someone asks me how I am doing sometimes I am just honest about it, I have been known to answer with... "I'm great although I found some raisins down my crotch and the kids haven't even had raisins today",
I have even been known to burst into tears... Because the question "how are you doing today?" can sometimes be a little loaded lol.
Fear of rejection - Making friends as adults is just like when you were kids and the fear of rejection is real! There is a mum at school drop off, her daughter started the same day as mine and she is totally cool and I don't know how to "friend" her. What if her friend quota is filled up? what if I cant offer her anything as a friend? Will we have any time to even get to know each other? Fear of rejection is real!
You feel like you HAVE to make new friends - For whatever reason you think that your old friends without babies don't "get" you and your new life anymore, but that isn't necessarily true, let them in and tell them how you feel.
You are still both friends and friendships can still continue to grow if you continue to nurture them.
Friends after babies can happen but yep its hard sometimes.
But it is possible, I have made some great post baby friends now, plus now that the kids are older I can catch up with all my best mates more regularly. I also really treasure my friends that were my friends before babies, I'm very thankful that they stuck around :)
Don't forget that you ARE interesting and you have value as a friend.
Making friends after babies is possible, you just gotta deal with that vomit and poop first lol.