Feeling: thankful for all the friends I’ve made, both the lost ones and the ones that will last a lifetime
Yesterday we had a big celebration for a friend of mine. It was a big farewell party for a mummy who had her baby in January (same as my bub), by all the mummies who had 2015 SG50 January babies.
It was a rainbow theme-ed party, for the lovely lady who has brought a lot of colour into our lives through lots of different ways – opening her house for us to watch fireworks at over the National Day weekend, quipping over our group chats in her jovial and open personality and making us laugh.
I personally have had swimming lessons with her and her baby and I’ve also had a wrap shipped to her because she graciously offered her address to help people save money on shipping costs while she was on holiday in the States. So I’m definitely going to miss her now that she and her husband have to move back there now.
But back to the celebration we had, the mummies had agreed to have our babies dressed up in solid, single coloured onesies and put together to make a lovely rainbow at our simple themed party.
The team who set up the whole party really did a good job. The location was wonderful, if there wasn’t haze, I’m pretty sure some mummies would’ve opted to bring their babies to the pool to splash around.
Inside our function room, there were 2 “photo op” locations, a play mat area for our fast-crawling bubs and of course, plenty of photos followed suit.
I was very happy we brought our DSLR and after coming away with a good 300 over photos, I picked the cream of the crop and over 100 pictures went up on Facebook last night.
edited by Vryn Ang
But more than the photos that will digitally log memories of this day, is the memories of the friendships that have been made with some of the mummies in the group since before our bubs were born and then the grueling first months of adjusting to having a baby in our lives.
While sad that one of the mummies has to leave Singapore for good, we’ve had plenty of good times with her.
When I was pregnant, I was apprehensive about what would happen when I joined this group of mummies and honestly, I didn’t know if I would fit in. I remember that at our very first meet up for crab, I was sorely tempted to stay in the car instead of getting out to socialise with them.
It’s scary to make new friends. What if they don’t like me, what if they think I look funny or we have nothing in common, or worse, what if I’m totally different from them… Maybe I should just stay by myself. Then I won’t have to worry about what other think about me.
I’m glad I didn’t though.
I can’t even begin to express how much comfort it has been to speak with mummies who are going through the same thing as me; during pregnancy, the delivery, and now all through the while that our babies are all growing up.
Through the months, we’ve been comparing notes, asking questions and generally leaning on each other for support and being able to have a steady supply of potential play date buddies while we’re at it!
Not to mention all the celebration events that we’ve coordinated and attended together as well as the lunches that we’ve shared when eating for 2 and even after the delivery with bubs in tow!
But I’m not only grateful for just the mummies from the January babies group, but other friends that I’ve made with parents of kids that are of various other ages too.
Parenthood just is such a really special experience that somehow parents from everywhere are brought together in unity across innumerable platforms – Facebook groups for breastfeeding and parenthood, family events held by some big conglomerate, nationwide situations which affect parents too – like haze cancelling school out..
I’ve made friends with baby-wearing mummies, breastfeeding mummies, mummies who send their breast milk in to a special jeweler to make into jewellery, parents who have SG50 babies, and all so easily because we have our children’s well-being in mind!
It reminds me a lot about this particular commercial about how no matter what you might be “into”, and what you think might be the best for your child, it all boils down to the fact that what we all want is just the best for our children.
But moving on, there’s really something to be said about finding a group of friends that you can gel with, at all different times of your life. And to be honest, if I weren’t a mummy, I don’t know whether I would have had the opportunity to mix with some of these other ladies!
So many of us come from different walks of life and it’s funny and amazing how we’ve all managed to find each other and become friends who confide in each other about our problems and triumphs and even bitching about things that we know no one else will understand about our lives.
I mean, that’s what we all want isn’t it?
An understanding community that supports and protects one of their own.
And in a way, that’s something that I really hope that the bub finds for himself as he grows older.
Friendships in life come and go. There are good friends who will be with you through thick and thin and there are bad friends who will teach you bad things and give you headaches (and heartaches).
I, myself have had some friendships that I thought would stand the test of time crumble and fail for various reasons through the years. But while I’ve lost some friends, I’ve definitely made many more and each and every relationship has made me into the person that I am today.
I don’t know how to describe how I’ve changed over the years. I know that I used to be an elitist because of the fact that I was from a well-known girls school.
It’s unfortunate that in Singapore, the whole idea of elitism is so deeply ingrained in its people, even from their school days. Kids are taught to recognize a segregation based on an income band.
It’s subtle, but there.
The rich make friends with the rich and the poor (or less rich) mingle with people of their own standing too.
While the rich can afford more things and have access to a world of opportunities, the less well-off make do with what they have. And everybody stays within their own circle.
I might not have been very well-to-do, but I’ve had rich friends and mostly because they were my classmates. Because the established schools were where the rich tended to send their children too. You get sent to a well-known school, you get a better education. You get better grades, you get a better job and you make more money and you earn the privilege of maintaining your status in life.
And I probably would have remained in my haze of entitlement because I happened to be presented with the opportunity to study in a well-known school, if it weren’t for the fact that I squandered my opportunity and landed myself in a brand new Junior College that had no reputation to bank on.
Unlike the more established schools, there were no stereo-types to be brainwashed into and over time, I was exposed to people who I would not have otherwise have met if I had ended up in the JC of my choice.
People who I am happy to count amongst friends I still talk with regularly and see once in a while as opposed to friends from my secondary school years who I barely keep in contact with aside from reading updates and like-ing pictures on Facebook.
While I of course, still have friends from my secondary school and primary school days, since then, I’ve come away with the knowledge that I needed to keep my mind open about who I might meet because they might just surprise me with how much we actually have in common – there are many more friends that I can be made when you choose not to judge a person before you get the chance to know them…
But all the history aside, when it comes down to the crunch, it’s really quite difficult to know whether friendships will still be as strong as they were when they were first forged. Other friendships grow stronger as different things happen and people are brought closer together.
The most important bit about relationships, is taking the steps to put yourself out there and make friends to begin with. And that’s all that I can hope for my bubby. That he will one day be able to make friends easily and have all sorts of interactions with people from all over the place.
Coming from my own experience, I know that I might have been a bit of a snob and that prevented me from getting to know people that didn’t deserve to be snubbed.
After 30 odd years of life, I know I can’t say that I’m going to give perfect advice to my son though. But I know that I will try.
And I hope that I can somehow teach my bubby not to make the same mistakes that mummy made in the past and to learn that it’s important to put whatever presumed differences there might be aside and let the relationship speak for itself – not judging a book by its cover and all that.
While a long way more to go before he starts to meet people on his own, it’s my job as his mummy to make sure that I expose him to all sorts of people now.
The more people that he sees, the better he can understand for himself what sorts are the REAL good and bad types of people. That he doesn’t base his judgement based on how much money they have or how many toys they own.
And I pray that I have the good judgement to explain to him about the different types of people that there are out there and give him the understanding about how people work. Most importantly that he learns for himself the hard lessons that come from making the wrong friends and figures out who he would like to keep as his closest and best friends on his own.
It’s all I can do to hope that when the time comes for him to make choices for himself, that he’ll make good ones.
Good decisions that will lead him to awesome relationships and memories of his own that he will cherish for all time.
Treasuring my Relationships,