There is a reason new mothers are drawn to other mothers

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This Kenco coffee shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All my opinions are my own, as always. #cbias #SocialFabric

I got a text this evening from my friend Abbie checking that my cats were OK. She’d seen me outside the vet’s and, having been at my house earlier, knew that one of them was having a rough day. Fellow feline lovers, he’s absolutely fine. I’ve paid the vet dearly for that news.

Anyway, the text was yet another sweet reminder of this friendship that’s grown up between Abbie and I, largely around our children. We started hanging out when I was pregnant and her son was two. I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine parenting a child that age and now I am!

I’ve been struck again today by the connective power of motherhood. There’s something about becoming a mother that makes you instinctively reach out to other mothers. There’s a deep need inside us to do that. Consequently, we find ourselves getting intimate more quickly than we would at any other time in our lives, discussing the state of our bodies, our babies and this new world into which we’ve been hurled. There’s nothing wrong with that. Our natural instinct prompts us to balance ourselves and balance each other.

Here are the flowers she bought me as a housewarming present

This is certainly the way I feel after a cup of coffee with Abbie. I always leave our chats energised and grateful for her positive and sensible outlook on her life, her wisdom as a more experienced mother and the non-judgemental friendship she always offers me.

When Abbie came over this morning we had a bit of brunch, a decent chat and a cup of Kenco Millicano, a “wholebean” instant coffee which is meant to be closer to “proper” coffee. I think that claim is quite accurate actually. I’m a filter girl all the way but I’ll now be happy to use this as my quick fix – and who doesn’t need a quick fix when you’re running around after a busy toddler?

As an aside for coffee snobs, here’s the “real coffee” devotee guide to instant: put the coffee granules in first, then the milk, mix well and add the hot water last. The effect might be purely psychological but I really think it’s the way to drink instant coffee.

We talked about education choices (hers looming, mine have time yet), remembered the difficulties of early motherhood and enjoyed our children playing together in the garden and with Talitha’s toy kitchen. It was her first visit to our new digs too.

What is it about becoming a mother that makes us seek others out, that allows us to form these strange and wonderful relationships? I find myself wanting to tell every new mother I meet just how valuable surrounding themselves is. The journey can be painfully isolating, plagued with guilt and worry. A friendly cuppa with another mother who’s either been there or understands that no one can fully understand can so transform that.

Check out my shopping experience buying Kenco Millicano at Sainsbury’s over on Google+

This is the way the toddler shops

I have lots of fond memories of shopping with my mother (a lot of boring ones too, mind). In fact, I think my father was a bit scandalised to hear that we do most of our food shopping – wait for it – online. Oh no, Talitha will grow up without knowing her food comes from…a supermarket?

Still, I like popping into Boots. It tends to be a short enough shopping trip for neither of us to lose it in the process. There’s also something a bit weird about buying mascara without handling it. Surely the shape of the bottle is a reliable indicator of how much it’s going to lengthen my lashes?

Our local Boots knows me well as the babywearing mum. In fact, they’re really surprised whenever I drop by with a buggy and tell me so. Even more so if the buggy’s empty and I’m wearing the tamtruming toddler who won’t get back in it. Not that this ever happens, so proactive am I in my parenting. Of course, if we were to hypothetically say this happened, oh, four months ago, they were very sympathetic about it.

Because any shopping trip with a toddler has the potential for a few thousand things to go wrong, I’ve found it really helps to go in with a plan. So, our pharmacy shop generally entails a “One for Mummy, One for Baby” approach. Beauty for me, Baby for her. If we’re not in a rush, I’ll even let her “help” me carry the basket and she can put her items in it.

Sometimes waiting is not an option, though.

Sometimes she gets what’s for mummy and what’s for baby mixed up.

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