Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria highlights the importance of having a mamma squad, as loneliness and motherhood often go hand-in-hand

From the second your child is put into your arms, whether at birth or adoption, you are a Mamma.  You are no longer JUST you.

From now on, you’re a team, or a pack. With every child added to your family, your “Mam-me time” lessens and your time for friendships and socialising can become non-existent.

Even as a Mammy of one, it’s easy to feel like you haven’t had 30 seconds alone in weeks. And even though we sometimes crave “alone time”, we can also feel insufferably lonely.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned since becoming a Mammy, is that friendship and having a Mamma Squad is VITAL.

They say that once you have kids, you’ll never be lonely again.

They should say, that once you have kids, you’ll never be alone again, because even in a busy home, you WILL feel lonely.

Isn’t it ironic that the very moment that you receive a lifelong companion, who will be with you 24/7, can also become the very moment that you step into the most isolated and lonely time of your life?

Friendships change.  If your friends have kids, it’s easier for the friendship to remain the same. If you’re lucky, the friends who don’t have kids, will love you enough to stick it out. (And of course, these friends need you to sometimes ring them and ask how THEY are.  It’s a two way street.  One way friendships are on a one-way street to nowhere.)

Your Mamma Squad can be anyone: a group or it can be one or two friends; Your family; mums, sisters, your colleagues, the new friends you make at groups or classes, Mums you talk to online.

Your Mama Squad are the people you don’t have to pretend to have it all together for.

They deal with conversations that are interrupted 29 times a minute.  They’ll hang up immediately with a “Call me back” when they hear the baby monitor.  They’ll give you lots of notice if there’s a night out coming up. They’ll listen.  They’ll ask how the kids are. Then they’ll ask how YOU are.  They’ll land at your door and not complain if you’re covered in poo and the house is a mess.  They’ll do the dishes while you put the kids to bed and they’ll tell you to take a shower cos you stink, before making you tea or pouring you a drink and talking about ANYTHING other than Peppa Fecking Pig. They’ll send a text every-so-often. These are your Mamma Squad.

And while I still have days where I realise at 8pm that, apart from the kids, the only conversation I have had that day was with the RTE Jnr presenter, I know that I have a few people who give a shit.

Other Mammas are great friends.  They do all of the above AND completely empathise and understand that some days you are so exhausted that you don’t even have the energy to cry.  (And friends who have been Mammas for ages are FABLIS.  They can answer your questions.  They don’t laugh when you tell them you’re afraid her poo is a funny colour. They know the deal with the school bus and they’ll answer questions about uniforms at 11pm.)

So if you’re lonely, it’s OK. It’s part of being a Mammy, but always remember that you have options.  As scary as it might be to go to a Mammy meet or join a class, the other Mums are probably just as nervous as you.  Watch local Baby pages and groups for meet ups and play dates and go.  Take a Baby massage or yoga class.  Do a “Dance with me Baby Class”.  Join a buggy walk.

Thoroughly Modern Mammies here in Donegal are strong.  And the one thing that makes us strong is being able to admit, more and more, that we’re weak and that being a parent is hard.

There are lots of groups and classes locally. If you want info on them, message me or check Letterkenny Babies on Facebook.

Find your Mama Squad. Every mamma should get to be alone sometimes, but no Mamma should be lonely.

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