How school mums became my best friends

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock Photo: Shutterstock

When you're a kid you make friends wherever you go – at school, on holidays, playing sport and at the playground – but when you reach adulthood it's difficult to meet new people you actually like.

It's even harder if you're a parent and you work from home.

The friends of your past, while still fabulous, are not always the right match for the person you've morphed into. And if they're not a parent, it becomes increasingly evident just how different your lives have become and what your priorities are. The inability to drop everything and be spontaneous is also a hindrance.

There were times when my children were babies that I felt so lonely. Mother's Groups can be a lifeline, when you have newborns. Playgroups can get you out of the house, but finding true friends, who you want to spend time with, can be hard.

Then my kids started school and something happened. I started to meet new people - people who challenged me, made me laugh, cared about my state-of-mind and understood what life was like as a mum.

While our kids are friends, they're not the sole reason we've connected. We've become fiends because we like each other, not just because are kids like each other.

We've shared some of life's biggest moments together in a supportive and kind way.

And at my kids' school there are a heap of friendships that have formed, with really strong bonds.

The deaths of a school mum and a school dad. Bidding farewell to elderly parents. Cancer. The loss of a child. The parents at my school and their friendship groups have bonded together under the most trying times.

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People have stepped-up in some of the most caring ways. They've cooked food, looked after kids, attended funerals, raised money for charity and stood in the playground and embraced others while tears flowed.

The different friendship circles at my school have also shared some of the most fun times together – parties, night's out on the town, dinners and summer evenings at the bowls club. We've drunk too much, danced, shared stories from our checkered pasts and laughed so much our cheeks hurt.

We've swapped parenting advice and stepped-in to check on each other's kids. We've watched them proudly as they've thrived and achieved great things. We've watched them grow into amazing young people.

There was a time I wasn't sure I'd make new friends who truly got me. Having kids changes you and meeting people who recognise that and like you for the person you've become and not the person you were can be hard to find. Connecting with other school parents changed all that.

The women and men I've met over the past eight years have helped carry me through some of my darkest moments and stood by me when I've needed their support most and I like to think I've done the same for them.

They totally get the boundless love I have for my children, yet completely understand the importance of spending time away from them to recharge.

We know that while we'll talk about school and parenting – they aren't the only things we care about. We still want to go out, see bands and have fun. We're not boring - it just takes more organisation for us to get out the door.

We know that our kids are our first priority, without judgment. We also know that while being a parent is our most important role in life, it doesn't define us.

The friends I've made from my kids' school I'd count as some of my closest and I feel lucky to have met them.