The Ordinary Moments: NCT friends like these…

Opinion

The friends you make during pregnancy and early parenthood are like no other. You see each other at antenatal classes, where you discuss intimate body parts in a way you never have before. Then you go through those awful few months of late pregnancy, waiting, wishing, hoping and dreading what is to come. After the babies have been born, you see each other in the early days, when you’re full of hormones and struggling to breastfeed.

Then it all settles down. You help each other find your rhythm. Your babies get to know each other. You might meet up weekly, and then less frequently as maternity leave ends. If you’re lucky – usually – the husbands and partners will meet up and support each other through early fatherhood.

We had a brilliant NCT group. The original group of four couples, which then expanded to become a group of six, was a significant part of my first maternity leave. We shared the highs and lows and sleep deprivation of early parenthood. There were tea dates, coffee dates and lunch dates.  We went out and drank too much wine on a very snowy night when our babies were just old enough to be left. It felt like these friends were a lifeline, as well as a bit of a rite of passage.

That was four years ago. Since then, our babies have grown up. Most of them now have younger siblings. Some of us have changed jobs, and some have moved away.

But last weekend, we all met up at a 40th birthday party. And you know those irritating memes that you see on Facebook which celebrate friends who don’t see each other for years and it doesn’t matter? Well, that happened.

Even though we hadn’t seen many of our friends for around a year, it was as if we’d only seen each other last week. It might have been the cocktails, or the glamorous location, or the fancy dress, or even just the fact that we were all out without children after 8pm at night. But it was just so lovely to see them all.

I think when you’ve been through those early months of parenthood, when you’ve spoken so honestly about your fears and your experiences, when you’ve seen each other in the lows and the highs, you create friendship that lasts.

And it’s hard to meet up sometimes. I honestly can’t remember when all the adults were last all together. It takes effort, arranging a babysitter and getting in the car. And it sometimes requires 70s flares and afro wigs.

I know I’m very lucky. My Manchester friends make the effort to meet up with me. They’ve come over to visit us. I try, as much as I can, to visit them when I’m in Manchester. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.

Seeing our friends last weekend has made me more determined to meet up with them again. It’s easy to say how lovely it would be to meet up, but then not actually make plans, but this winter, I’m going to make concrete plans.

So, to those friends, who have been my friends for the last four and a half years, from sitting in that strange, pink, church hall, to drinking tea in our living rooms, to drinking cocktails at a 40th birthday party, thank you for being my friends.

NCT friends like these

By Naomi

Comments

  1. Reply

    This is lovely. Looks like such a fab night. I too had a night out with some nct ladies this week whom I hadn’t seen for a while and its so true, you share so much it feels like you’ll always know each other. x

    1. Reply

      I think there are lots of NCT mums who meet up for nights out! Glad you have a lovely group too x

  2. Reply

    Ah so lovely that you are all still friends. I have a few friends from when each of my kids were babies that I am still friends with now. x

    1. Reply

      Yes it is! I hope we’re friends for many years to come xx

  3. Reply

    Oh that does look like fun, what a wonderful group of friends; there is something about those early first baby days that gives you a bond unlike any other isn’t there – our nct teacher said it was because these were the people who we would flash most often while we figured out nursing!

    1. Reply

      Ha ha! I know I’ve definitely done that! Yes, and people you rely on when you’re really quite vulnerable and recovering from birth. xx

  4. Reply

    What a fabulous photo, so important to make the effort to keep in touch with great friends. Mich x

    1. Reply

      I definitely agree! So important xx

  5. Reply

    It’s so lovely to have friends in life with which you can just pick up where you left off. Such a lovely post – and a great party too! x

  6. Reply

    Oh I love this – what a wonderful group of friends you have. I never made any friends through pregnancy but I have recently made some lovely school mum friends and it’s nice having people who are going through the same stage at life as you xxx

    1. Reply

      It really makes such a difference, or it can be quite a lonely time. Glad you have some lovely school mum friends xx

  7. Reply

    Such a lovely post and I too did NCT classes and am still friends with all of mine 5 years on. It is so special to have people in your life that have been with you since those precious first days of motherhood isn’t it? x

    1. Reply

      Yes, I think those relationships are really intense and then (hopefully) really long-lasting xx

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