For someone who works in PR, I am not – out of office hours – the most sociable of people. I am quite happy in my own company, occasionally catching up with the goss over a post-work pinot grigio with the girls.
The arrival of Master A turned this lone wolf vibe on its head.
Not just for obvious reasons (there was, after all, a whole other person to deal with) but because of the social baggage that comes with plugging a boy into the real world.
New friendships arose at the school gates and, like the rest of life, some stuck and have become dear and others grate beyond telling, but are required for play dates.
Along the way, I confess, some of my old stalwarts have fallen by the wayside.
I still love the girly goss but it’s tough to converse with my no-baby chums about the strange proclivities of a seven-year-old boy who can’t see a stick without making a gun or a puddle without making a mess.
Turns out that I have more in common with a woman totally outside my comfort zone simply because she, too, has a son.
I hate myself but sharing mutual mum worries is often a bigger buzz than remembering that nightclub exploit back in the day.
I’m not alone in this. According to new research these convenience friendships are really important. A Lancaster University study has found that having children is the single most significant factor in altering women’s friendships.
Sociologist Dr Anne Cronin, said: “Women make connections with other women through antenatal groups, playgroups and school and these friendships are very different from other relationships women have because they’re very much based on shared experiences and difficulties.”
Apparently these friendships are dependent on the links between the children – whether they go to the same school etc. – so the message to my chums is keep the wine in the cooler. I’ll be back at some point.
Working Mum, a shoulder to cry on – and a corkscrew in reserve.