LONDON, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Becoming a mum changes a woman's life irrevocably, and a new research report out today highlights a massive change which is often overlooked - how friendships alter to fit the new mum status.
The Friendship Report, commissioned by the leading Child Trust Fund provider, The Children's Mutual (http://www.thechildrensmutual.co.uk), found that women with children make eight more lifetime friends as a direct result of becoming a parent.
The report, conducted by the Consumer Analysis Group, found that if mums attended every parental group, from fertility clinic to primary school, they would make an average of 21 new friends along the way.
Taking a child to primary school was the most likely route to friendship, with mums making on average five new friends at the school gates. A third of mums (31 per cent) say that meeting people through primary school produces the best friends, who are also the most supportive and helpful.
Partners don't tend to fare as well in the friendship stakes - if they were to attend all the possible parental groups with mum, they would only make six new friends.
Most mums (70 per cent) say that the friendships they make through children tend to be more supportive and more likely to offer help and advice than their other friendships. A third (31 per cent) cherish the friends they've made as a result of being a mum above all others, saying friends made through children become stronger friendships than any others they make in their lifetime.
Celebrity mum, Anna Ryder Richardson said: "I made more than half a dozen new friends through being a mother and it has proved to be one of the most pleasurable and unexpected parts of having children. I have made some great friends as a mum and I genuinely don't know what I would do without the support network that I have built up. The chats on the school run, the essential advice they offer, the last minute baby sitting request they grant! Having people you can rely on and who can rely on you, is a fantastic part of being mum."
Perhaps unsurprisingly most mums (72 per cent) say friends made through children are easier to socialise with because both sets of parents can bring their children along.
Making friends through children had lead to other activities for many mums, including going shopping together (54 per cent); shared babysitting (36 per cent); and exercising (30 percent).
David White, Chief Executive of The Children's Mutual said: "Becoming a parent can be daunting, but having the support of friends who are going through similar experiences can really help.
"Our research tells us that friendships made through becoming a parent are very valuable, and the advice that parents bestow on each other has a long term impact - whether they're discussing their children's health, education or how to prepare financially for the future."
About The Children's Mutual
The Children's Mutual is the choice of 1 in 5 parents for their child's Child Trust Fund (CTF) account and named the UK's Best CTF Provider 2006 and 2007.
David White, Chief Executive of The Children's Mutual, is available for comment. Please call Elspeth Rothwell on +44(0)20-7781-2366. The Children's Mutual, PO Box 2067, Gloucester, GL4 3YU, Elspeth Rothwell, +44(0)20-7781-2366, Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.thechildrensmutual.co.uk
David White, Chief Executive of The Children's Mutual, is available for comment. Please call Elspeth Rothwell on +44(0)20-7781-2366. The Children's Mutual, PO Box 2067, Gloucester, GL4 3YU, Elspeth Rothwell, +44(0)20-7781-2366, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org