Making mum friends when you have foot-in-mouth syndrome

I am going to blame the zodiac for one of my biggest shortcomings. I’m a Sagittarius, and we tell it like it is. In the words of ‘Sagittarius is honest to a fault, to the point of bluntness’. Or in the immortal words of Lady Gaga:


This quality has done me a massive disservice in my quest to make “mum friends”. Before I had kids, I was working all week and didn’t make a lot of friends in my local area. Most of my friends were people I’d meet up with in London. The local friends I did have were drinking buddies I met down the local pub. When I had my first baby, I found that I needed to find a whole new circle of friends. The London friends were too far away and we just couldn’t spend so much time down the pub, sadly enough.

But I found it incredibly difficult, and still do, to successfully talk to other mums and make friends with them. I have a few like-minded friends now, but I’ve found it very hard to know how to relate to other mums and how to say the right thing. All these baby groups and what-not are well intimidating.

So if you are a new mum, or even a slightly less new mum, like me, who desperately wants a few people to like you, here are some of my tips to make it easier on yourself. These are learned from my experiences – and mistakes.

cherylholt / Pixabay

These tips might sound like I’m judging other mums for being sensitive, but far from it. I was sensitive, they were sensitive – we’re all sensitive. We were all dealing with a huge life change and a serious lack of sleep. My tips are to help other people feel at ease and make them like you (hopefully).

Just don’t even talk about feeding, because everyone is feeling insecure.

Seriously. No matter what your feeding choice is, it seems like it’s so easy to put your foot in it when talking about feeding. Even if you’re both formula feeding or both breastfeeding, you’re bound to be doing it differently. I found that people don’t like to hear if you’re doing it differently. Just listen to them talk about what they’re doing, and agree that it sounds fantastic.

Don’t tell anyone how fantastic your child is, because everyone is feeling insecure.

If they ask how he’s sleeping, tell them you have ups and downs. If they ask whether he’s crawling yet, and he is but theirs isn’t, make sure you mention that every child does it at their own pace and it doesn’t really matter. If you can’t avoid honestly telling someone a positive thing about your child’s behaviour and development, then temper it by mentioning something they suck at.

“Sure he’s crawling, but he keeps me awake all sodding night.”

“Yeah, he sleeps pretty well, but he keeps biting me on the nipple.”

Don’t talk about yourself too much.

It’s tempting to tell everyone your birth story at great length. Just don’t do it unless someone very specifically asks. As a general strategy, just try to listen more than you talk. People will love you for it. When you get through to someone and become their proper friend, then you can tell it like it is. In the meantime, if you need to talk honestly and at great length, talk at your health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor or somebody else who gets paid to listen to you. Or your family – they have to listen too. Or call up an old friend who already knows about all your shit.

NEVER ask someone if they are going to have another child.

You don’t know what they had to go through to have the first child. They may have had many miscarriages, hyperemesis gravidarum and/or courses of IVF, or maybe they just don’t want more than one child. It seems a popular question to ask, but nobody wants to answer it. Don’t be the one who’s asking it.

If someone invites you round, bring cake or biscuits.

It makes me sad when I’ve invited someone round and they don’t bring some biscuits. I’m not the sort of person to stop being friends because of it, but just know that everyone will love you more if you bring food.

Hans / Pixabay

Don’t be a judge-y poophead.

This is obvious, really, but in the words of the great JC, judge not lest ye be judged. My house is a tip – like, all the time. I’m sure that’s put off some potential friends. Don’t judge people on superficial crap like that. Judge on whether they are nice and fun to talk to.

Try not to take it personally when friendships don’t happen.

This has been a hard thing for me. There are any number of local mums who I know from baby groups. They are nice to me when we run into each other, but they’ve never been enthusiastic about spending time together. I don’t know why they don’t want to hang with me. It’s probably just that they already have enough friends. It’s best to just let it go.

Be the friendly one. Be brave.

If you see another mum at a baby group, sitting alone and looking a bit sad, bring that woman a cup of tea and talk to her. It will mean so much. The worst that can happen is that she’s a cow who would rather sit on her own and she won’t be friendly, but you can rest happy in the knowledge that you’ve done the right thing. If you are a mum at the school gates, be friendly to other mums you see standing on their own. It doesn’t matter if they don’t reciprocate – doing the right thing is its own reward.

Blog yourself confident.

I’ve only been blogging for a month and a half, but it has done wonders for my confidence. Talking to lots of other bloggers online has helped me practise talking to people, and I’m now finding it easier to talk to people in real life.

Seek help if you’re feeling down.

I suffered from anxiety with my first son, and a mild case of PND with my second. The difficulties of trying to make new friends can make these conditions worse. I was lucky that I had a supportive husband and some old (pre-baby) friends I could talk to. If you are feeling down and depressed or anxious, please talk to someone, and go see your GP for help.

Did you find it tough making mum friends? What are your tips for getting on with other mums?

Introducing The Mum Reviews

My name is Nicole and I blog at I live in Surrey with my husband, 2 little boys (4 and 1), and a black & white cat. I started blogging to get the words out. But I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. Wine helps. Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram

41 thoughts on “Making mum friends when you have foot-in-mouth syndrome”

  • Oh it’s so tough isn’t it? I remember it well and I remember perhaps putting too much of a focus on it and was much happier in myself when I realised that I only really needed one or two really good mummy friends as opposed to a whole crowd. I’m so with you on the not judging and on the bringing cake – cake heals so so much! If lived near you I’d be your mummy friend for sure xx

  • Love this, absolutely spot on! The sleep deprivation makes everything so hard – best to try not to be a judgey pants and/or ramble on about how perfect your child is 😉 It’s so hard to make mummy friends I found – this is brilliant reassurance for all new mums out there x #triballove

  • This is such a lovely post i have found it really helpful. I am a new mum and my baby is three months old and I am finding it very hard to make mum friends I will take your advice on making mum friends.

    • Thank you! I really feel for you. That first 3 months is a really intense time and it’s hard to get to know new people when your baby is your focus (which is quite right, of course). I’m also learning that friends are a lot like when you’re dating – you either “click” or you don’t. I hope you find a few lovely people to hang out with.

  • I completely get this and have found it even harder as I adopted my children when they were 3 and 5 so I couldn’t even talk about feeding/birthing etc stories. I had to try and make friends with people who had been friends for many years and had already had playdates and friendship groups already formed – I find it hard at the best of times and this was just hell! Thankfully I did manage to find some wonderful friends! #EatSleepBlogRT

    • I have a friend who adopted and she has also told me how it can present some different challenges because people don’t always understand. And it is hard to break into already formed groups. I think I encountered this problem because a lot of people did NCT classes and already got together because of that. I’m so glad that you’ve found some good friends in the end. Thanks for commenting.

  • I think your tips are absolutely spot on. I haven’t really made mum friends – I have tended to just gravitate towards existing friends who have children. The one group I went to was awful and I thought the only thing we have in common is that a person has come out of us. I’m much more cool now and deffo never brag about child! #EatSleepBlogRt

    • Thank you! My best friends are also still existing friends who have children, but unfortunately they live far away from me. I’m glad you had yours nearby as it’s wonderful to have someone who already knows you. I agree that you sometimes just don’t have anything in common with people at groups. I always joke that our only thing in common is having sex in the same year!

  • I can to relate to all of it. Especially about feeding! My baby is bottle feed and really when someone was asking me if I’m breastfeeding and I was saying no the look at me like I was some kind of weirdo

    • It’s so difficult because people ask these questions to make conversation, but they are so loaded! And we end up feeling defensive even if people didn’t mean to judge us. It’s a total minefield. I’m sorry you had someone act like you’re a weirdo – you must certainly are not.

  • I’m really terrible at making mom friends. My kids are 5 and 8 and now I make my mom friend through my kids – I get to know the parents and sometimes those parents are cool and want to be friends. Truthfully it doesn’t happen often. Your tips do make a lot of sense. It’s quite a learning curve. These tips may have helped me out when my kids were younger, but I muddled through and I try really hard to be the mom who says hello to the other mom sitting (or waiting) by herself. Keep trying, you’ll find some great friends!

    • Thank you. Others have told me that it gets easier as your kids start school and make friends of their own. My son has started recently and I’m finding the parents of his new friends very nice.

  • I love your ‘blog yourself confident’ point Nicole. And also the suggestion to be brave – you do have to put yourself out there. I still find it so awkward swapping nos. with another mum!!! Good advice here and you’re doing so well having only been blogging for a few weeks. xx #EatsleepblogRT Lovely to showcase the newbie bloggers Zoe. xx

    • Thank you, very kind comments. It’s hard to be brave but I’m trying! Swapping numbers is so awkward, it’s like worse than dating. It is so lovely of Zoe to give me the opportunity to guest post. x

    • There aren’t so many situations in our adult lives where we have to face a roomful of new people like in a baby group – it’s like your first day of school. I’m so glad you found your tribe!

  • This is an awesome post and great tips 😊 Navigating the mummy friend arena can be very tricky! PS. I too had PND & anxiety and that is an added complication (although forcing myself to make friends did really help my illness in the longer term). Thanks for sharing xx #EatSleepBlogRT

    • It’s a catch-22 when you are facing some mental health challenges. Friends help, but the issues make it harder to make them or even just to reach out to existing friends. Do you have some posts on your blog about your PND & anxiety that you can link me to? I’m working on raising awareness of mum’s mental health and will read, comment & retweet … or if you were interested you could write a guest post on my blog. Get in touch at themumreviews (at) xx

  • What a great post. My littles are in elementary now and so making friends is different. It really is nice when you like the parents of your kids friends, and to get that started, all of your rules do apply! Thanks so much! #EatSLeepBlogRT <3 xoxo

    • Thank you! I’m glad you agree with my thoughts on this. I’m obviously not sure if I’ve got it right because I’m always second-guessing my social skills! My son has just started school and I’m finding it’s lovely to meet new parents as he makes his own friends.

  • This is hilarious 😂 If only we were local I’m sure we would get on lol!

    I’m going to a mummy friend tomorrow for a baking afternoon – note to self take biscuits!! #EatSleepBlogRT x

    • Aw that’s lovely, thank you! We can be blog mates for sure at least. If you’re baking you might not need any biscuits…but then maybe you’ll get hungry before the baked goods are ready 😉

    • Cliques are a way we hide our own insecurities, I think. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of being clique-y as well, especially among my work friends! Being honest is a good thing though, really. Us down-to-earth people need to stick together. 🙂

  • I was always told to listen rather than talk if you want to make friends. With life in general I would never bring up politics or religion but in motherhood there are more subjects that are ticking time bombs for a fall out. Feeding is certainly one of them. First words I have found to be another.
    # EatSleepBlogRT

  • What a great guest post. I can’t believe you are so new to blogging! I’ve not been brave enough to guest post anywhere yet, so have great respect for you in doing that, and in writing such a brilliant post! #EatSleepBlogRT

    • That is very kind of you to say! It is a little intimidating to guest post as you want to fit in to the other person’s blog. But I’ve found it a really nice experience to connect in this way with another blogger. Plus, it introduces your work to new readers and gets you a backlink to your blog which increases your domain authority. Zoe is lovely – I encourage you to get in touch with her if you want to be considered for her newbie series. And I’m always interested in guest bloggers as well! x

  • Wow, I think this list is spot on! It should be posted on the walls of every toddler group ever! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a month! Really ace. I am really lucky because i had a few mum friends already when my first was new thanks to awful NCT classes (that we all bonded over!). But i still hated toddler groups on my own. They were excrutiating. It can be such a lonely time. Really, every new mum needs to read this list! 😀 #EatSleepBlogRT

  • Thank you! That is really sweet of you to say! I’m so glad you had NCT friends. I never joined because I didn’t understand why I should pay so much money when there were books and free NHS classes. In hindsight, I know that what you’re really paying for is a group of friends with babies the same age!

  • I am naturally introverted and can be shy and anxious around new people, so I had to really put myself out of my comfort zone to meet new mummy friends, but it was the greatest thing I did. I have made some lifelong friends (well so far 12 years) from mothers group and amazing friends now through their schooling who we even holiday with. It’s been great for our whole family. Great tips #eatsleepblogRT

  • My father was a huge social butterfly/party has arrived when he walked in a door. My mother is the complete opposite. I’ve become both of them and it drives me crazy at time 🙂 I’m weirdly like a shark that waits until I know I won’t be rejected and make my move. Hoping for good results! But like you wrote, sometimes they don’t want to be friends and you have to be okay with that. (Just cry at home eating a box of cookies asking yourself whyyyyyyy. )

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