When pregnancy ends a friendship

One day my best friend and I saw a small tile in a shop that read “we’ll be best friends forever, we know where the bodies are buried” and we laughed together because that’s what our friendship was. We knew everything about each other; and I mean everything! The good, the bad and the utterly ugly – no judgment. We were there for each other through every break up, every hideous job, every parental fall out. Would you believe it if I told you the last day I ever saw her was the day I told her I was pregnant approximately five years (and nine months) ago.

I had recently moved away and had gone back home for a wedding. I wanted to tell her face to face because I knew this was a painful subject for her. She desperately wanted a child. I had become pregnant accidentally at the worst possible time. She knew as soon as I refused a drink – a dead give away.

I saw pain in her eyes as I told her but I believed our friendship could survive anything. Months later I found myself in this new town with zero friends. She was kind on social media and caring for a while. The end came when I made the effort to go back home twice to see my friends – and both times she didn’t turn up. The second time – without an explanation or a text. I was devastated.

It was easy for me to be angry and hurt for a very very long time. I couldn’t speak about her to a single person without breaking down in tears. Then in emotional moments I would message her saying I missed her, I was sorry, please can we be friends again. No answer has ever come.

It has taken me five years to understand. I will never fully understand but I’m not angry anymore. I get it.

I imagine her pain at not being able to have a child when mine came so easily. I imagine her fury and anger at my Facebook updates constantly moaning about sickness and SPD and indigestion. I imagine it all being a constant slap in her face. I get it.

Unfortunately for me – and for everyone else – my first pregnancy was the first ever pregnancy since records began – I was obsessed with it. I wrote a blog about it. I posted endless statuses about it, but more importantly I moaned about it. I moaned about the jabs and the aches and pains and the vomiting and the SPD and the heartburn and anxiety without much thought for anyone else. I didn’t consider the pain she was feeling.

I am so unbelievably happy that she got her child eventually.

I can’t down play how painful losing this special friendship has been. I have wept to my husband at night, I have cried the night before my wedding because she was’t there, it has taken me a long five years to get to the place where I can even write this. Getting over men has been relatively easy in comparison – a new hair cut and a few shots were all I needed. But losing my best friend hurt like Hell.

I still dream about her from time to time. In my dream we see each other in the street – there are no fireworks; there is no movie style reunion. We just say “Hey” like nothing has happened and then we toddle off to the pub like we always did a lifetime ago.

Life isn’t as black and white as people would like to believe.

There are rarely purely goodies and baddies.

There is complicated pain and there are complex emotions.

There are also friendships that can’t survive our entire lives – some people are meant to be there for your youth, your drinking-heart-ache-traveling-discovering-yourself days – and as painful as it might be – they might be meant to be kept in the past.

We are lifetimes apart now. We have experienced a million different emotions and moments without each other at our sides.  But we are both mothers, we have that in common. In some ways we will always be the same best mates we always were. We will always be part of each other’s tapestry.

I still love her. We still know where the bodies are buried.


Artwork by Nice Things By Helena

Gather round children, let me tell you about my youth… 

We would go out

on a Friday and Saturday night

and on a Thursday because the local club had an 80s night.

And on a Wednesday because they put on a karaoke night.

And on a Monday to celebrate getting through the first day back at work.

And Kate would always invite us out on a Tuesday because she knew I wanted Nachos.

We would drink


cheap, nasty wine. Bottles of the stuff. Because we thought we looked sophisticated.

Or we’d get jugs of cocktails from Wetherspoons that were 5:1:3 parts ‘ice water slop: alcohol: shit cola.’

We’d guzzle Smirnoff alco-pop from glass bottles that left a thick cement of sugar on our teeth.


We would have bright blue tongues from the WKD, or green tongues from the apple sourz – and sugar highs from the ‘fruit’ in the Breezers.

We would down shots of Aftershock that burnt our retinas,

and sambuca that some idiot suggested lighting,

or just sip Baileys in a whisky glass with ice like we were some Russian Bond beauties in a Skii lodge –

not a posse of pillocks in Birmingham.

And we’d dance.

We’d “ooh! push it (push it real good)” on podiums and wear barely there skirts.

We’d discover the bruises the next day from falling off the podiums.

We would sing,

badly on Kareoke. Eurythmics or Shania Twain or Robert Palmer.

and we’d would flirt.

we would wear corsets with jeans or mini skirts with playgirl bunny t-shirts.

We’d wear concealer on our lips, Vaseline on our eyelids and white eye-liner.

We were thinner than any of us appreciated.

525867_112104832261059_831007570_nAnd we’d snog.

We’d snog for days.

And the next day we’d laugh about who we pulled and text them on our Nokias.

We had no idea what they looked like because we had no cameras.

No smart phones.

We hovered in the dark with no flash, no selfies, no tagging, no permanent reminders.

We traveled

to cheap holidays on the Tenerife strip, and Magaluf and across the world.


and we loved 

boys who were never that important.

We stuck together.

We fought

We had tiny tiffs – fixed with a text and a bottle of wine.

We dreamed

about what we’d be when we grew up, when we were successful, when we had big money,

when we could bring anyone home

we could do whatever we wanted because we were out of mum and dad’s.

When we found ‘The One’ who would make our lives complete.

We would be free.




we go out

one or two nights a year

or we go on little self labeled dates (day release) with the other half while the grandparents watch our son.

But we don’t tend to.

We would rather stay in.

Going out is exhausting; expensive.

Getting dressed up. Wearing heels. We can’t take it.

And we drink.

Shots of Gaviscon.

G&Ts trying to lose the self labeled ‘baby weight’.

posh wine from Waitrose to try and tell ourselves we’re middle class – not people who should drink a lot less.

Or we are growing a baby so we drink milk or orange squash (like the children we’ve sprung).

And we dance.

like pillocks at ‘Mini movers’ to out dated nursery ryhmes

to the ‘Makka Pakka’ and ‘Tombliboo’ dance on ‘In The Night Garden‘ half way through a conversation about life insurance like it’s perfectly routine.

And we sing 

the wheels on the bus, or wind the bobbin up (what the fuck is a bobbin?) or the alphabet song, over and over and over and over.

And we flirt

with the bin men so they’ll take our extra bags of nappies and milk cartons and empty wine bottles.

with people in the queue so they’ll let you pay for his chocolate buttons real quick – so you can shut him up.

we don’t snog

and we travel

to child friendly caravan parks and detached cottages and mum meet-ups.

We love

our children.


We love our children.


We love our children

1078622_283945295077011_1397594399_oWe love our children


We love the partner we chose – if we are having a good day.

We love our parents more.

We love our families.

We love kind strangers.

We fight

with our partners, daily It’s your turn you bastard”

with our children “Go to bed, for the love of Christ”

and with our old friends:

we grow apart, we drift away, we make mistakes, we can’t fix our differences with a text and a bottle of wine.

We aren’t the same.

We wear clothes with more stretch and functionality.

And we dream

of a full night’s sleep

of a night off

of a holiday

of being slimmer


So we go to bed at 7pm on a Saturday night because sleep is sleep and we don’t care what the clock says.

And the neighbours are having a party again.

Probably swigging alcopops and doing shots and singing Kareoke and snogging.

And you pop another Rennie in your gob and roll over and hate them.

And the baby kicks.

And you smile.

And you think about making pancakes for breakfast tomorrow and pushing your child on the swings in the park.


Maybe the sun will come out.




Romance After Children

Oh I don’t begrudge you, couples. When I see you all loved up, holding hands, making moon eyes at each other, holding me up in the Krispy Kreme queue. You can have your romance. You can have your pre children moments – just as I did. But just heed me this – if you choose to have children:

  • there will come a time when the only reason you will passionately kiss each other is because either of you has had a near death experience – or you’re so off your tits you have mistaken each other for someone else.
  • There will come a time when him being home at the weekend means one more person to hoover around.
  • there will come a time when the sexiest thing your other half can do for you is change a dirty nappy, scrape the mould off a baking dish you left in the oven so you don’t have to throw another one away, find your toddler’s ‘other’ shoe that has been missing since last year, fill the dishwasher correctly, or offer you a hot cup of tea.
  • there will come a time when the only time you look at him with pure adoration and a tear in your eye is when he is putting out the bins or giving the toddler a bath.
  • your bed will be used for sleep and the only ‘position’ that makes you excited is him facing the other way, as far away from you as possible and not hogging the duvet.
  • the kinkiest thing about your sex life will be the extremes you go to to not get pregnant again.
  • your fights will solely be about how much or how little each other do in regard to housework, the children, work and finances.
  • time together in a fancy hotel will consist of you having a two hour hot bath with a cocktail and him sleeping.
  • If he is ever late home from work your first thought is not “who is he sleeping with?” it’s “ooh! maybe I can watch ‘Dinner Date’ in peace!

Romance to me used to mean:

public displays of affection

all the right words

doing everything together

being as one.

Romance to me after children means:

‘don’t touch me!’,

your words are useless – your sonnets aint gonna get that dishwasher emptied,

separate rooms and

being left alone to enjoy the silence.

I don’t have time for jealousy anymore. The other night I watched a man on ‘The Only Way is Essex’ practically dancing in fury because his girlfriend had ‘followed someone back on Twitter’. Do you know who my other half follows on twitter? No, neither do I. As far as my problems go it’s probably at number 890987877 at the moment after “what if he only wins second prize at crufts.”

We had some fun after baby number one – don’t get me wrong. We eventually settled into parenthood, compromised within our roles, learned not to be so passive aggressive and I almost got my body back. We had a few outings without our son and rekindled the romance. I thought we were on the right track. Then somewhere along the line we decided to have another child.

Before I knew it I was massively pregnant and a parent to a toddler practising his role as Speedy Gonzales on crack. Now I am a drained and exhausted new mum surviving on micro sleep and malted milks.

If couples can survive one child they’re really heroic … two children and the odds are against you! Everything that brought you together goes out of the window and now all that’s left is sleep deprivation, frustration and fury in a confined space filled with noisy Fisher Price toys and the stench of shit.

To think I used to worry about what my other half would look like! His height. His shoes. To think his favourite film was a deal breaker! Now the only thing that is important to me is that I respect him (in my case because he is infinitely more intelligent than I am). R.E.S.P.E.C.T ladies – is the only reason you will have one day not to call him a cock womble and shuffle off. Think about whose hand you’d want to be holding during a spinal block. That’s your man!

I enjoyed watching the couples trying to find “love” on Love Island. The only thing I was jealous about was that they got to go on a relaxing, sunny holiday – we think we will be in our fifties before a holiday can earn the title of ‘relaxing’ again. I don’t begrudge them. All I wanted to shout at the screen was:

“If you can’t make it work after three weeks, on holiday, in the sun, in paradise, with no bills to pay, no responsibilities, no ‘reality’ of any kind – really don’t bother!”

A real compatibility test would be to send in a new born in with Colic, and a toddler with constipation and a fruit shoot and get them to watch Baby Jake on repeat and tell them they can’t drink till 7pm.

Because – it only gets harder. If you choose to have children – you have no idea how hard it will get.

If you can survive one, two or more children together you really have my respect – it’s no walk in the park.

I am astounded that my other half is still here – putting up with everything I throw at him – and I am amazed I’m still here too! Which is why I’m marrying him at the end of this year. And the proposal wasn’t important and the ring isn’t important. What’s important? Who can look after the kids at the reception so mummy can have a drink?

If we can make it through two pregnancies and two babies – I know we can make it through anything!

Love after kids

Mum Lonely Hearts Ad

Seeking fellow mum to have strong coffee with and keep each other company during these terrifically isolating mummy years so I can stop talking aloud to Steve the Stegosaurus about how the toddler never listens.


You will have a child a similar age to mine so they can entertain and amuse each other – so we don’t have to.

It would be nice if you were a big drinker. I’m not talking Bacardi on your sugar puffs or anything – but “shall we just have the bottle?” should be one of your most commonly used phrases.

If you don’t drink, we can get along – as long as you don’t tend to judge those who consider half a bottle of Rioja a ‘palate cleanser’.

You will be blind to my increasing belly – which we both know is just cake at this stage – and will not mention it until I am eight months gone (at least) or in full labour.

I don’t care what you eat as long as you mainly feed your toddler normal human food stuffs – the things I grew up on! Dairy-lee Triangles, spaghetti hoops, smash and fish fingers.

You will not judge me if you see me eating / drinking anything that is not on the ‘pregnancy approved’ list.

If you come over to my house you will always come bearing some sort of refined sugar and white flour combo and you will regularly say things like “sod the diet girl! Life is for living! What do you need to diet for anyway?”

You will like cats. More than children.

All suggested days out are planned carefully around my child’s and my own nap times. ‘Activities’ will involve sitting down with a cup of tea while children take care of themselves, glued to Cbeebies.

Talking of, you will not look down on any TV choices made by myself or my toddler (these can include ‘In The Night Garden’ and ‘Say Yes To The Dress’)

Full agreement that Mike The Knight is a cretin and Judge Judy rules.

If my child bites or head-butts your child during soft play – you will forgive and forget. And not assume it is because of their spaghetti hoop diet.


A naughty sense of humour.
An understanding of sarcasm.
A willingness to be brutally honest about the toll of motherhood and pregnancy.
An ability to have a right old moan.
An empathy for all of parent kind.
Absolute honesty regarding your child’s talents, vocabulary and learning history/ potential. Along with an ability to provide video evidence of said child ‘talking about Fauvism whilst making Sushi’ before I am forced to entertain it.
Absolute honesty about your child’s pitfalls and willingness to see when they are being an arse.
Ability to see how wonderful my child is.
Non-judgemental about my parenting style (I don’t have one).
Non-judgemental on my choice of husband. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison).

I still want to hear from you if…
you breastfeed or use formula.
you co-sleep or put your baby in a cot.
you are a single parent, parent with a partner or husband / or wife.
you moan about your children all day long. I understand that it doesn’t mean you don’t love them – and it doesn’t mean you’re not a wonderful parent. As am I? Right?

What you will get from being my friend:
A laugh
An end to loneliness
A drinking / moaning / walking / coffee / doughnut buddy
A supporter
I will defend you to the death.

I Need You.
Be My Friend.
I’m so lonely…
Apply within.
Bring Baked goods.

Mummy's Writing Darling
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