In the Pre-kid Work World
All you do to make friends is go out for drinks on a Friday night with a few girls from work. Before long, inhibitions are cast aside, you've got a common love of hating your boss and by the end of the night you're at the night club, dancing around your handbags, besties forever.
Then you trade in your dancing shoes for house slippers and a burp cloth over the shoulder, and suddenly the friend-making dynamic changes.
|I think she put my nappy on backwards.|
Once your child grows older, you start to determine your friendship with another mum by how many children she has (too many or too few in comparison to you and you're on different wavelengths completely), what age her children are, whether she has the same values as you as a parent and whether your children get along (it just won't work out if her little Sally is always beating your little Jimmy about the head with a toy hammer). And of course, once all those factors are favourable, you still have to get over the fact that you're both putting on your best mum face. So you have to spend a fair amount of time with the mum before figuring out if she's your sort of friend.
In the first year of your oldest child's schooling, everyone is scrambling to find friends. It's like musical chairs. If you don't act quickly, you'll be left standing. After the first year, everyone has their little groups and they're not looking for new friends. Oh, you'll have new mums that come to the school, but the parents from that first year will be comfortable in their circles. Then, whether your children get along becomes really important, because your child becomes more choosy about his friends, and will outright refuse to play with Sally anymore because she's a girl or because she's always hitting him about the head with a toy hammer. So your circle of potential friends has been reduced to the mums of your child's friends.
If you do start to get to know the mum of your child's friend, and she's your sort of mum (you can tell this from the first time she says, "My children are driving me up the wall with all their bickering" or "I had to borrow from my son's piggy bank when the tooth fairy visited last night"), keep this friend...
...because when you're a parent, making friends is nigh on impossible.