I told Dave the other day that school drop off and pick up was the highlight of my day.
I didn’t mean on that particular day. I meant every day. And I wasn’t being sarcastic or having a whine about the mundanity of life. I was being serious.
I seriously love school drop off and pick up.
Of course it’s nice to see your kids off to school and give them a warm hug at the end of the school day, but the real reason I love school drop off and pick up so much is my school mum friends.
When our eldest started school last year, I was focused on her (obviously) finding her place and settling in. She was a shy wee thing and I desperately wanted her to start school with as little anxiety as possible and make friends. And she has, she’s made some beautiful friendships that I watch grow stronger day by day.
What I didn’t expect was for me to make friends too.
It started off slowly. There was a ‘hi’ here and a ‘hello’ there. And then there was a ‘How’s little Jimmy settling in?’ and then a ‘Yes, pretty well thanks, how about Susie?’
These daily 5 – 10 minute conversations grew and we began chatting and catching up out of school. One of the first play dates we were invited to I shared a bottle of prosecco with the mum. I remember walking home half-drunk thinking that I’ve finally found my people.
Side note: Don’t worry, not all play dates are like that – although it wouldn’t be bad if they were 😉
I love that I have formed a bond with many of the mums in my daughter’s class and mums outside her class too. I know that they’ve got my back if I need them and I’ve got theirs if they need me. Whether it’s minding my kid if I’m running late or giving them a hug if they’re upset and I’m not around. I know I can rely on these women to help me out and I trust they think the same of me.
We talk openly and honestly to each other about everything from stubborn children, head lice and homework to the work / life balance, career aspirations and going grey. Some of these things may or may not be related. We raise each other up, not tear each other down.
Early last year I wrote a post for Champagne Cartel on how to make friends in your 30s and 40s.
I was going through a weird patch – a lonely patch, I guess. My friend network had dwindled for various reasons and it was getting me down. It’s not easy to make friends in your 30s and 40s, especially if you’re introverted like me.
It’s true what I said in that article though, sometimes you have to push out of your comfort zone. You have to make an effort and say hello. Ask people how they are going and be friendly and open up. You’re seriously missing out if you don’t.
In little more than a year after writing that post, things have completely turned around for me. I’ve been blessed to connect with an amazing group of clever, funny and relatable women in the same phase of life as me. Our daily interactions make me smile and put a spring in my step.
If that doesn’t call for prosecco on a play date, I don’t know what does!
Do you find it easy or hard to make friends? Do you think it gets harder with age? What are the parents like at your kid’s school?
Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.