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…a bit like AA for flashers


Dear Mrs MacPickle,

I am looking for some motherly motherhood advice. Not about child-rearing per se, but having recently had my first baby, the problem I am having is: How do I make mum friends?

My old friends are very supportive, but, either they have bigger children and are back at work/drinking or getting on with their lives.

And friends without kids don’t have mashed banana all over their clothes, and/or seem to assume that I am irredeemably boring in all ways. I love being a mum, but I would also like to engage with people whose primary pastime is not being sick on my shoulder.

Yours sincerely,

Oh my dear woman,

Well done for asking that question!

I can’t imagine how hard it has been for lockdown mums. I used to hate all the groups I went to, where you sat on a mat talking about Baby Led Weaning and blackout blinds while crying inside, but at least they got me out of the house.

I made most of my friends at breast-feeding support group, which was a bit like AA for flashers: “My name is Celia and I have flat nipples”. But I don’t know if these things happen anymore.

My advice would be thus: Go to where other mums are, a coffee shop, a play park, community hubs, even a buggy walk along the Water of Leith. And prepare to start asking inane questions.

The most important factor in making mummy friends is, that however interesting and articulate you were before you had babies, its totally fine to be permanently knackered and only talk about dull baby stuff for the first while.

Try openers like, “is that pram good for lifting onto the bus”, “how have you managed to keep his socks on?” “Does she sleep better if you carry her about in the sling?”

If you start with a bit of boring chat like this, you’ll soon find sparks of your old pre-baby selves will stark to break through and you will start to make each other laugh, or imagine that you might enjoy each others company.

At that stage, you go for a simple but effective surgical strike: Suggest a baby friendly pub.

Got a prickly problem?
E-mail Mrs MacPickle at



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