The idea of a mum’s group can strike fear in even the most confident of women. We’ve all heard the horror stories about bitchiness and judgy mums. And the idea of sitting in a room with a bunch of strangers and a screaming baby on your boob sounds like your idea of hell.
Or, you might have plenty of friends who’ve had kids and so you think you don’t need more.
But being a new mum can be scary and often isolating no matter how prepared you feel so having an extra support network can be lifechanging.
These days more than ever before the options for mums support groups are extensive. You can choose to attend the mum’s group run by your local early childhood health centre, or you can seek out a local group via word-of-mouth or online.
So before you think about giving your mum’s group a miss, here are 6 reasons why you might want to rethink it.
1. Friendships (and extra support )
You may go along to the local mum’s group near you and not click with anyone and decide it’s not for you. Nothing lost, nothing gained, and that’s fine. But, you also might go along and meet some fellow mamas who become your kindred spirits. They may even turn into lifelong friends. Or you also might find something in-between, which is great too.
Having other mums near you who are going through exactly what you are going through, as you are going through it can be so helpful. This motherhood gig is tough and the more support and help you have around you – the better!
2. It doesn’t have to be in person if you don’t want it to be
Meeting up in person isn’t everyone’s thing or perhaps you might not feel ready to leave the house with your little one yet. (Or Covid-19 restrictions in your area mean you don’t have a choice). But there are still plenty of options available. You can connect with mum’s groups online and via social media. You can still build your support network with the click of a button.
3. An excuse to get you out of the house
In those early weeks and months just getting out of the house is a mission – and can be seriously daunting. So having an excuse to get you up, showered (maybe – no judgement!) and out of the house is great.
It can be very easy to stay in the house and find yourself in a rut. Getting out, getting fresh air and maybe even a coffee if you’re lucky is so important for your mental health.
4. Everyone is in the same boat
You might think everyone else has their sh*t together and they all know what they’re doing. But trust us, they don’t. They’re all in the exact same boat as you. They’re all tired, sleep-deprived, nervous and figuring this out as they go.
Even if you have friends who have had kids, they often won’t be able to remember all those little things you’re going through.
Having someone to message and say “my boobs are leaking like crazy” or “why is my baby suddenly wanting to feed around the clock” can help you feel less alone. It can also help reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you your baby.
But even just having someone to send funny memes to during the 3 am feed is priceless.
6. Your baby’s first friendship group
Mum’s groups are not only great for you but they’re also great for your little one. As they grow they will have social interaction with other babies their age which is great for their development.
Living in the same area means your children might end up going to daycare or school together. Nurturing those friendships can help give them a helping hand socially.
Remember, there’s no obligation to stay…
Sure, we’ve all heard the mother’s group horror stories. You may be worried about the judgy mums or competitiveness and comparisons. Not to mention those high-achievers whose babies have been sleeping through the night and listening to Mozart from day one. *eyeroll*
But it’s not school or work. There’s no obligation to be there or talk to anyone who doesn’t make you and your baby feel special.
And don’t forget not to worry if your baby is unsettled or crying while you’re there. If it’s your baby this week it’s bound to be someone else’s next week. Try sitting up the back until you feel comfortable (or near the snack table!) and you’re sure to find some like-minded mamas to gravitate towards in no time.
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