Author Amy Ransom felt overwhelmingly lonely following the birth of her third baby. With three kids under the age of five, she was desperate for mum friends in a similar position – so she signed up to an app that would introduce her to local parents…
No one prepares you for the loneliness of motherhood.
I’ve done it three times and, contrary to what you might expect, my third time was actually the loneliest. I didn’t have the security of NCT, which so many of us do the first time around. And I didn’t have anyone local to me going through the baby stage again.
Apparently 22% of mums have only ONE local mum friend. I didn’t even have that. My friends were all out and about with older kids and I was stuck at home with three children under five, wondering what the hell I’d done. It was lonelier than I can say, not having other mums around with babies the same age, that I could chat to and share my worries with. Because it doesn’t matter how many times you do this baby lark, somehow it always feels like the first time.
So I’m a big fan of MUSH, the app that connects local mums socially, created by the lovely Sarah and Katie. In those early days, when it felt like the walls were folding in and I was desperate for some company – to have had someone to reach out to, in a similar position to me, would have been a real saviour. And I wouldn’t have been the only one, clearly. Because when Sarah and Katie surveyed 4000 mums, they discovered 60% had NO adult interaction ALL day.
You wonder how that’s even possible, but on those days when it’s a small feat to even eat a bit of toast, let alone actually get dressed and leave the house, it totally is. And it’s desperately sad that so many mums are feeling that way. Because that’s a lot of mums sitting at home alone who could be hanging out together, isn’t it?
And here’s the thing that I think it takes a while to get your head around. The need for ‘mum friends.’ You think you’ve already got enough friends and you don’t need any more. But at this stage in our lives, we need our mum friends. I mean, who else gets it like another mum? Who else gets the craziness? The desire to sometimes put your head in the oven whilst loving your kids so much you think you might die anyway, if the fish fingers don’t kill you first, that is.
And yes, maybe it is a bit nerve wracking, messaging someone you like the look of but don’t know to, erm, hang out in a park. Or go to a playgroup together. But a whooping 80% of mums said they preferred to go to a playgroup with a friend, rather than alone. So, really, what have we got to lose? We live in the age of social media. Where we chat online all the time. And if it means I don’t have to spend another horrendous Wednesday at sodding soft play ON MY OWN, well I’m in.
So. If you’re feeling a bit lonely. Or just want some fun, like-minded mum company, MUSH is well worth checking out. 15,000 mums have signed up since their launch three months ago. I truly believe that we need people that live locally to us. So we can build parenting communities and feel connected. So it’s easy to meet up. So we feel part of something. 82% of mums surveyed agreed that having mum friends makes you a happier, more positive mum. And I couldn’t agree more.
Mum friends really do make ALL the difference.
How have you found motherhood so far, have you managed on your own or do you find yourself craving mum friends? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below…
Main image credit: illustration by Cosmosnail, Shadow and Light by missingwords.tumblr.com