Mums And Their Friends

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Mums And Their Friends
Mums can't stand at least SIX of the friends they have made since giving birth, according to TheBabyWebsite's most recent survey.

The average mum makes 11 new friends outside her original circle of friends at antenatal classes, baby and toddler groups and at the school gates - but apparently can't stand more than 50 per cent of them. Six in 10 mums claim they have nothing in common with most of the people they socialise with - and as such are forced to talk about children 100 per cent of the time. And 43% would never have considered socialising with half of their 'mum friends' if they hadn't started a family.

In our poll of 3,000 mums, we found that 41 per cent can't stand hanging out with other mums because they are obsessed with competing over their child's development and achievements. A third of mums get fed up with others thinking they know everything about raising children, and 32 per cent are frustrated they don't share any hobbies or interests with their 'mum friends'.

'Mum' Friends Aren't Real Friends

In fact, 33 per cent don't consider their 'mum friends' to be 'real friends' at all - and 16 per cent know their original friends, made at school, university and work, wouldn't get on with them either. Only two of the 11 friends made since giving birth are considered long term, true friends.

Chavvy Mum, Bossy Mum, Boring Mum ....

However, 91 per cent of mums say they are always nice to the faces of those they socialise with, despite 45 per cent slagging them off to their partners or 'real friends'. And 30 per cent of red faced mums admitting to bitching about others on the school run or at toddler groups. More than a third of mums even admit to having secret names for some of the mums they are 'friends' with - such as the chavvy mum, bossy mum and boring mum.

Speaking for TheBabyWebsite, Kathryn Crawford, said: 'Becoming a mum is a funny one because on the one hand you want to socialise with like-minded people, while on the other you want to have things in common. Often the mums we meet via our children aren't the people we would choose to make friends with normally - they might not have the same backgrounds, same work ethic, or even the values in life. But what we do have in common with our mum friends are the children - and while it might be boring to talk about the kids all of the time, it helps to have people nearby who are in the same boat and going through the same experiences. And the truth of the matter is that while our long term real friends are our closest and dearest, they might not be so interested in hearing about dirty nappies, potty training and teeth falling out.'

Competition Between Mums

Ongoing competition between new mums means 26 per cent strive to lose weight the quickest after giving birth, while 23 per cent pretend to cope brilliantly with the sleepless nights. Over a quarter boast to other mums about the wonderful husband they have, while 22 per cent bang on about how clever their baby or child is.

And worst of all, 34 per cent of patronising mums can't help but offer help to another 'mum friend' who looks to be struggling - knowing it will touch a nerve.

Kathryn Crawford continued: 'The mums who have answered this poll have been honest and open, and sometimes a little harsh. You're not always going to get on with everyone, and there will be certain mums who you see out and about at the same toddler groups and lessons who you don't necessarily want to be friends with. But we'll bet the majority of mums are glad to have made new friends, however close, since having children.'

59% of Mums Have Met Their Best Friends since Becoming a Mum

But despite the animosity, 59 per cent of mums admit they have met some of their very best friends since becoming a parent. And 58 per cent say becoming a mum has done wonders for their social life, as they are forced to get out and about with the children.

Being a mum has also helped 73 per cent of women make more of an effort with others and less shy with people they don't know. And more importantly, 85 per cent of those polled say their child has given them the confidence to be proud of what they do and who they are.

May 2010

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