‘Just because you entered motherhood, you didn’t stop being you.’
Very soon after becoming a Mother, it was clear to me that my life was going to change in many ways. From bottle of wine fuelled nights out, to bottles of milk filled days in; from dancing the night away, to rocking my baby to sleep. I had to adapt to the new life I found myself in. I was no longer carefree or self-consumed, someone much more important had now entered my life who needed my devotion and utmost attention at all times.
I had spent the last few years before my (unplanned) pregnancy flying across Europe for arena shows with high-profile bands, hanging out backstage at festivals, and drinking the night away at launch parties and events. My career was my life and my friends came along for the ride. Needless to say, the ‘glamour’ of a life lived in the music industry soon slammed its breaks on the second I wasn’t able to party like I used to.
In the weeks following the birth of my son I was overwhelmed by the sheer responsibility that I had just popped out (I wish it had been that easy). It was daunting, exhausting and was, at times, incredibly lonely. When my other half had gone back to work and I was suddenly left ‘holding the baby’. The world seemed a whole lot bigger and our flat felt as though it was getting smaller by the day. Getting out the door alone suddenly became more intimidating. They don’t warn you during your NCT classes that Motherhood can become a very isolated job, or advise you on how to combat it if your family aren’t close by to help out or provide some respite during those long first few months.
It was at this point that I turned to my phone, it was the easiest way to reconnect with the outside world, live vicariously through friends and strangers, catching up with what felt like an old way of living while I was trying to figure out a new, child-friendly one. Motherhood made me feel excluded from a life I once knew and alone in one that I didn’t. When my baby slept, I found escape in the endless scrolling through other people’s beautifully curated lives, captured and put on display on Instagram. It began to make me feel lonely rather than connected, I daydreamed of a life outside the four walls of our flat where I could visit museums, sit in the park and chat, go out for lunch and have adult conversations.
Then, after a recommendation from a friend, Peanut suddenly replaced my obsession with Instagram. The app promised me a new world where us ladies could ‘meet as Mama’s’ and ‘connect as women.’ It was exactly what I was searching for, like-minded women who understood this new, crazy world we’d found ourselves in. Motherhood suddenly began to reveal itself to be something more than just wandering to the shops on my own and with every ‘wave’ and message I sent, I began to build new friendships with women who soon became more like the sisters I’d never had.
Peanut has been called ‘Tinder for Mums’, only it’s a lot less about being ‘DTF’ (which is how we all ended up with babies to start with) but more about finding like-minded women, ones who share your love for a cheeky glass of early afternoon wine, while your babas nap; who with geek out about your favourite TV shows with you; or share your new found obsession for buying those oh-so-comfy Nike Air Max kicks in every pastel colour going.
You can avoid ‘Mark the Banker Wanker’ with his photos of him drunk off his arse at a foam party in Ibiza and, instead, find ‘Kirsty with the blue hair’ who will join you in setting your toddlers free to run wild in the park, while you double-fist Climpson & Son’s coffee; or ‘Amy with the frog-loving baba’ who’ll sit for as long as your napping babes will allow—eating cake and sharing parenting tips and giving you the inside scoop on all the coolest sample sales before everyone else finds out about them.
When it comes to meeting new potential friends, it can be daunting and your anxiety may creep out, whispering “what if they don’t like you?” But what do you have to lose? That one coffee date may just bring a wonderful, funny, and smart new Mama into your life who laughs at your jokes and shares the same worries about the consistency of baby poo that you also have; who’ll be as excited to go on adventures with your babes in tow; who will hold your hand when parenting gets tough and you can do the same for her. You may be the woman to improve her experience of Motherhood, just like she may improve yours. You may find that it doesn’t have to feel lonely and all you have to do is take a chance.
Whilst I was a little intimidated at first, via the app I found there were women who were feeling exactly like me. Ones who were nervous about meeting a stranger for a ‘baby date’, ones who, just like me, thought everyone else was way too cool-looking to want to hang out. But those exact same women became my best friends, confidants and inspirations.
There is a world, city, town and village full of women feeling exactly the same as you are. I promise you that much. You’re not alone and it’s funny how one little app can open the door to friendship, support and community if you just jump in.
Ready to give it a try? You can get the app via the following links: