When my maternal child health nurse called and said that I was booked into a Mother’s Group I was a little bit scared. I’m normally a pretty confident person in group situations, but for some reason the idea of spending two hours with other mums that I’d never met before, terrified me. I guess it was a fear that these women would have no choice but to see this terrible mother in all her glory. Will (at that time) was drinking from a bottle not breast; Will wasn’t self-settling, I had to rock him to sleep every time; he had the worst nappy rash that would never go away; I hadn’t had a shower; Will was tiny; every little worry I had, compounded into a giant ball of insecurity, all because I was expecting to walk into a room full of judgement and as a new mum, that was definitely not the place I wanted to be.
I walked into the room and I was the second or third one there. Then, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mum that I knew from my pre-natal yoga class turn up! GREAT! I knew someone! As more mummies arrived and we began to discuss our babies, a wave of relief washed over me. All of these mummies were having exactly the same problems as I was. That ‘room of judgement’ didn’t exist – there was certainly no judgement here. It was like I’d walked into my own private diary that I could confess all my naughty mothering secrets too. I could lament at my lack of knowledge about all things baby. I could ask the questions that I was too scared to ask anyone else. This was fantastic.
I began to look forward to catching up with the girls and babies every week. It was like a drug habit that I couldn’t shake. These women made me feel fantastically normal and I had all-of-a-sudden made some life-long friends as I’m sure many of our group have. We started meeting in parks, at mummies’ houses, at cafes/bistros for lunch; actually making time to get out of the house for our weekly therapy. Looking back I don’t know what I would’ve done without the support of my Mother’s Group and I still don’t know what I’d do if they dropped off the face of the earth (lucky the chances of that happening are pretty slim).
And it’s not only the mummies that benefit. At only eight months old, Will now has his own little entourage of friends. It’s so wonderful to see him interacting with other kidlets, not to mention all the immunities he builds by trying to abduct stolen toys in his mouth. I wonder when he’ll begin to realise that a toy truck won’t fit in his little gob, especially now there are teeth in there.
So, here’s to Mother’s Group! I’m sure it’s the saviour to many-a mummy’s sanity.
And a big, ridiculous hug to all my yummy mummy buddies. I would be a floundering mess without you. xxx