Lost and found: a tale of friendships

Recently I went into London on a Saturday afternoon to meet some lovely people for afternoon tea. I got off the tube at Tottenham Court Road and walked along Charing Cross Road to the National Portrait Gallery. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised about how busy it was just a month before Christmas. The combination of people doing their Christmas shopping and those heading out to socialise meant lots of crowds. In amongst the crowds I saw people I recognised, not the overly made up super stylish women, but some normal looking women with smooth skin, groups of friends and no signs of motherhood. I recognised me of 10 years ago, and it made me think.

Afternoon tea with blogging mum friends at the National Portrait Gallery, London

There are so many ways I have changed since having children. If I look back at the photos of me from even my first pregnancy I look so young, so fresh, so free. I remember pre-children I used to spend days in London with groups of friends, in and out of pubs, eating wherever we wanted and not worrying about time or responsibilities. I’ve never really been one for clubbing or partying all night, but I’ve always loved to spend time with friends, hearing what they are up to and laughing. 

I can’t remember when I last saw these friends. My first daughter didn’t sleep without me for her first few years, neither did my second come to think of it. It was hard to find the motivation to go out in the evenings when I knew I would never catch up on the sleep. A hangover with a baby? Why would anyone do that to themselves? My friends didn’t have children, our lives went different directions. The invites dried up.

With children came new friends, “mum friends”, people I met through NCT and baby groups. People I was thrown together with due to us having children at a similar time. Then I went back to work and either they didn’t so we lost touch or they did and we lost touch. Other than my NCT group who I managed to see regularly.

Then another baby came and I headed to the baby groups again. This time I didn’t go back to work, but most of the first time mums I met did. The mums I met with more than one child all seemed to have their friendship groups sorted all ready.

It’s hard to meet new people, but there are now lovely people I know through blogging. People that I have lots in common with with, who are at similar life stages and who are lonely too. It was some of these people I went to afternoon tea with. 

Dairy free and Vegan Afternoon tea at the National Portrait Gallery London

I still need to meet more local friends and make an effort with old ones.  It means putting yourself out there and organisations like Mother Hen Club, which I am part of, aim to help provide support and form friendships. It was lovely to have a few hours chatting to people at the Afternoon Tea, people with whom there was no pressure to make small talk with, but who were so easy to talk to. 

We all need friends and sometimes we find them in the most unexpected of places.

Thanks for a lovely afternoon: Becky, Sian, Lucy, Katy, Lisa and Sabrina x

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