In the past two weeks I have caught up with 3 different girlfriends from my pre-baby days (all of whom are still baby free FYI). I think I might have seen one or two of them shortly after the birth of my first baby but definitely not since having two. I was so excited to catch up with them all and 2 out of the 3 events I was to be sans children, so even better!
On the first occasion I rushed into the bar (late, of course) and proceeded to excitedly drill my friends about every aspect of their life from the last year and a bit. Then it came to my turn. One question. One question was all I got. “How is it having two kids?”. An obvious enough question and one I happily answered with my usual exhale, half grimace and hurried gush of “good but….”. And then that was it, no, “How’s your blog?” “How has the year been otherwise?” “Do you have any travel planned? ” Do you want to go back to work?” “How are you?” Nothing.
I kind of brushed it off and put it down to the fact that it had been so long between catch ups and they probably felt so disconnected from my life that they didn’t even know where to begin. But then it happened at the second catch up and then the third. And that’s when I realised I had been put into the ‘just a mum’ box by my professional, childless friends. After trying for 2 years to make sure I never use the ‘J’ word in relation to being a Stay At Home Mum, it was amazing how quickly someone else could do it for me.
Now I know that its probably a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. I can remember after my first child feeling pressured and defensive when asked if I was going back to work and having to say no, so I get it but I wasn’t expecting such a swift kick into social exile when I felt like I ‘still had it’. Although I think by writing that sentence just now it probably means I might not still have it, haha.
So if you don’t have any kids, or even if you do, here are some questions you can ask those new mums or stay at home mums in your life.
- What was the best thing that happened to you today?
- What are you looking forward to in the next 3 months?
- What do you love doing during the day?
- Have you been on any great date nights lately?
- What are three things you can’t live without at the moment?
- What would be your perfect day?
The key is to ask open ended questions which allow us to either wax on about our kids or share other things we are excited about but that you might not know about yet. So give it a go and just remember, mum’s can be cool too ;). xx