The Friends that Made Me Me – Merida

It’s been a few months since our last Friend that Made Me Me post, so I was so pleased when this one came up in our inbox (also because it’s brilliant!).

This is a story that I hear so often, and one that makes me just a tiny bit envious of all of you who have babies in the UK. So many of my friends from the UK have had the same brilliant experience as Merida did (despite any misgivings they may have had), and are still friends with their ante-natel buddies years later. There’s something about the shared experience of ante-natal classes, and then childbirth and new babies, that seems to bond people together, whether or not they have anything in common, or would otherwise have been friends…

I don’t have any friends from school, I didn’t really get the best insight to friendship from those years. In fact, based on those back stabbing cow bags I should have retreated into loner town and stayed there. However, life changed dramatically at college, I met my amazingly wonderful besties, Emily and Jo who were my bridesmaids as well as Carole who I met through work and my long suffering Cousin, Lucy. I have a lifelong friend Katie, who I’m so thankful came back into my life in my mid 20′s and we are now closer than ever. These 5 are my dream team, so thoughtful and funny I am blessed (as our my children) to have these women in my life.

But, this post isn’t about them. I know, what a buildup! This is about 4 ladies who came together on a wet and windy night back in October 2006. Once a week for 6 weeks we bonded over the most random, hideous, joyful nuggets of information. These are my antenatal girls. My antenatal girls who never knew me as Becci the career girl, or party girl or single, no ties Bex. Nope, they met me at my most swollen, my most emotional, my most scared, most excited self. Not a bad chapter to come into I suppose!

After the birth of the children (I was first…..so bloody typical!) Patsy-Rose to me, Shanelle to Marie-Louise, Marcus to Jo, Lucy to Becky GP (guess what she does for a living?!) and finally Max to Michelle we got together every Tuesday without fail. These woman have been there every step of the way, sleepless nights, sleepless days, teething, sickness, diarrhoea, smiles, bites, rolls, pull ups, steps, nappy rash, gloppy eyes, engagements, anniversaries, nightmares with hairwashing, teeth cleaning, toilet training, wardrobe malfunctions, and just the normal proper nightmares, pushchair wars, weaning, milk spots, highchair wars, naughty step, timeout corners, cribs to cots to infant beds to 2nd pregnancies, losing a beloved Mum, losing my wonderful Mother in Law, meeting Father Christmas for the first time, cancer, weddings, being told a child of ours has a disability, speech development problems, frail Grandparents, redundancy, miscarriage, burgary, weeping as we. just. dont. know. what. to. do. any. more, too many parking tickets as you’re too busy dealing with a vomiting newborn whilst trying to toilet train a toddler to get back to the car on time, house moves, holidays, builders, promotions, joys of first words, new jobs, running to A&E with sick/hurt child, easter egg hunts, paint samples  returning to careers, birthdays….so many birthdays, days out in the sun, in the rain, so so so much happiness, memories and sweet dreams.

Michelle and I are the only two that didn’t return to work so we still have our Tuesday tradition. We meet after school with Patsy-Rose, Max, Tiny and Leo and let them run wild in our gardens, the local park or soft play followed by pizza and dough balls. The school holidays are always brilliant as the whole gang get together, it’s mayhem! Its brilliant! 5 of us, and 8 of them. They win before you ask. When those 8 get together they just pick up where they left off, whopping and hollering, running, whinging, laughing, high fiving.

When they were little we told each other we must meet up as its so good for the children, and it is (was) but at that time we needed each other more than we realised. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t slept, or we were literally on the floor crying with hormones Tuesday was Tuesday. You got dressed, you put the nappy bag together and you got your arse, and that baby out the house.

These woman have been my lifeline, my go to in times of panic and happiness. There wasn’t bigger scream than the one in Cafe Rouge when they clocked my engagement ring and there wasn’t a bigger gasp when Michelle announced her 2nd pregnancy (Max was an IVF joy, and Leo, well….Leo was a shock to everyone!)

In normal circumstances I would of never met these amazing normal women. Michelle is straight down the line, no messing but with proper mum qualities, she bakes the best cakes, she has the nicest garden and has wonderful hair. Her house is always noisy, the door always open, even when she is in the cocoon of her beloved dressing gown and is always first in line to the bar. Marie-Lousie has the mini Mary Poppins rucksack….oooooh you need a wet wipe / umbrella / chocolate /banana / spare pair of knickers / kettle….she is your lady. And always in heels. Always. Even when she took part in my charity walk….wedged trainers….I salute her! Ozzie Jo does not suffer fools gladly, a Nanny by trade so nose bleed, art activities or general kiddie entertainment, you need Ozzie Jo. Always in black….maybe with a splash of navy to throw you off and always cool, calm and knows how to give a good cuddle. Lastly by no means least, Becky GP. Our hilarious Becky who obviously gets a list of our aches and pains, and random phone calls about rashes and constipation. She is also by far the funniest GP I’ve ever encountered. She owns the worst shoes in the history of shoes ever however she has a heart of gold so I can overlook the GP shoes and she has the best stories EVER, even when she is snorting so hard she can’t get her words out. I have brilliant side splitting stories about us 5, I’ve also got stories that would make you cry but isn’t that like all friends. You just click. You don’t know why, but you just do. And it’s lovely. Just when you think you don’t need any more friends, or that your life is too full for anyone else, this wonderful world throws you a lottery win. And my God, I won the jackpot with these 4.

Reading through this you’d think we live in each others pockets. We don’t. We can go weeks without speaking to one another (bar Michelle and I….the Tuesday gang needs us!) or we nip round for a half hour cup of tea between school runs, work and bloody Tesco’s. I don’t know if we’ll be in touch 10 or 20 years from now but I do know that this chapter of my life wouldn’t of been half as fun if they hadn’t been in it. I really don’t know what any of us would have done without our Tuesday get togethers, we were each other saviours in the new world we had woken up in. I thank them for being my friends.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Friend That Made Me Me
10 interesting thoughts on this

10 Comments

  1. rachel JHD
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Oh wonderful & perfect timing as Wednesday is our meeting up day. Our group only met at the end of April so we’re still finding our friendship feet, but here’s hoping… Ps Lovely quote.

  2. Liz
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    It’s been almost a year since I met my antenatal group and I absolutely love them! Tuesday is also our day, and exactly the same as you we drag ourselves there whatever. In our year together we’ve already seen engagements, been to one of the girls weddings and been out partying until 3am. I think more importantly, we’ve been able to support each other through each rough patch which feels like it will never pass, but always does!
    When the royal baby was born our common thought was what a shame Kate Wouldn’t have a group of ladies with exactly same age babies to share it all with, I couldn’t have done without mine!
    X

  3. Posted August 28, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    This is a lovely post. And also encouraging – we’re starting antenatal classes in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to meeting my group and hopefully making new friends – I think the ‘meeting up no matter what’ idea is a really good one.

    K x

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I agree, it’s a lovely post. It’s really nice to hear you have met a group who have become such close friends. I’m also starting my antenatal classes in a couple of weeks, and as I’m also moving to a new area at the same time, am hopeful that it’s a good way to make friends and others there will also want to keep in touch.
      Thanks for sharing.

  4. Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh this is lovely and so encouraging- I start my ante-natal classes on Wednesday! Here’s hoping I find aome people to share the experience with then too!

  5. Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    My Mum has always told me that the best friends she has she made when one or other of her babies was little. This is so lovely to read, it feels like making new friends, and fills me with optimism that there are wonderful people out there who will one day come into my life, when I’m at the next stage.

    KL xx

  6. Lottie
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Lovely post! Makes me look forward to this time in my own life :)

  7. Merida
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you ladies!

    I know I have been so lucky as other friends tell tales of unsupportive groups, who have all round mean girl tendencies BUT lovely, supportive, friendly groups are out there and if you do not strike lucky the first time, please don’t give up….there will be dozens of groups and I promise, you will find someone who is going through exactly the same thing as you and tadaaaaaaah, the friendship fairy will strike!

    Good luck to all of you expecting!!!!!! Am very excited for all of you……(wishes for a newborn baby to sniff!) x

  8. Merida
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    …..and I’ll get the pictures over to Claire next week so you can actually see who these wonderful women are!! (I didn’t get my bum in gear quick enough!)

  9. Posted August 29, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    These ladies sound awesome! What a wonderful post! And that mammoth list of trials and tribulations of motherhood/life made me laugh out loud, and hope that I have such wonderful friends to help me through those tough times if and when we have children of our own. I really do hope that when we start a family I meet such great women to bond over these things as only one of my existing friends has a family (and none of my other friends are anywhere close to starting a family!).

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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