We've heard all about how to make friends if you don't take NCT classes, but are you guaranteed to make them if you do? Here's Chloe, on how motherhood became an instant bond for her group:
Confession. After our first NCT class I was a bit disappointed. We'd only really gone along to meet other parents-to-be, yet after that first session I didn't hold out much hope for developing friendships with any of my fellow pregnants. Not because they weren't a lovely bunch - they really were - but just because, apart from the obvious, I didn't seem to have a thing in common with them.
This can't be an uncommon situation if you think about it. You spend all of your twenties forging friendships through the shared experiences of big nights out, outrageous stories about iffy dates, and a few too many Jaeger bombs. But making friends can be more difficult as you get older. All of a sudden, you're in your thirties and you waddle up a staircase to a stuffy room above a pub, uncomfortably pregnant, hormonal and stone cold sober, and just expect to become instant bossom buddies with a bunch of strangers. It's not going to happen, is it?
But, as it turned out it was a slow burn. Once the babies all arrived, the friendships flourished because the obvious was all that was required. During the first year of becoming a mother, that NCT group became my saviour. We may all have been very different people with very different interests, but motherhood is a shared experience to trump all shared experiences. Whether it was feeding problems, sleep issues or tantrums, having friends nearby who were going through - and obsessing about - exactly the same things as me at exactly the same time was a real lifeline. It made me realise I wasn't alone and I wasn't doing anything wrong. Having friends nearby who were actually happy to enter into hour-long, sleep-deprived conversations about the colour of baby poo over a cold coffee was nothing short of delightful. Truly.
And what's more, in those dark, early months, having friends around to suggest outings and adventures and to give you a reason to get out of the house was a godsend. Left to my own devices I'm not sure I'd have ever summoned up the energy to get myself and the baby out of the front door. I'm sure I'd have found motherhood a hell of a lot more lonely. I owe my NCT friends a lot. And, incredibly, these days we sometimes talk about subjects other that babies. You never know, we might even manage a night out for Jaeger bombs one day.
Chloe is a copywriter who lives in South London with her son Samuel, her husband, and their long-suffering cat. She blogs about life as a London mum and never having enough time to knit at Knittenden.