To be completely honest when i had my 5 year old, i couldn’t of thought of anything worse than a baby group. Basically I can be socially awkward… I don’t show it (thankfully!) on the inside I dread small talk and literally draw a blank when having to strike a convo with anyone.
However as we lived in the Midlands at the time, I have to admit, I was lonely. At 10 weeks post birth I made the jump and joined a baby group and a mum and baby exercise group. (It was a nice easy exercise one!)
Thank god I did, as I met a lovely bunch of girls.
All our babies were born literally weeks apart, we were so lucky to meet each other with babies so close in age!! We met up most weeks not just at the baby groups, we made our own small baby group between us and went to each others houses or out to a farm or enjoyed afternoon sunny picnics.
We got to talk down to earth with each other… without those who look down their nose at you for using a food pouch or wiping snot with a bib!
The boys were friends from birth…it was amazing!! However, I am speaking past tense as we then moved to Gloucester.
The girls are still good friends and meet up but as i now live an hour away and have a different schedule to them it was sadly no longer feasible to join them.
Now 7 months into Mat leave with our second, I realise how good it was for me to go to baby groups.
This time round for the first few months i was so busy trying to keep my routine with my 4/5 year old as he started school within the first few months. The school had a phased start for FOUR WHOLE WEEKS!!! So it wasn’t easy establishing a routine with my newborn at first. This time I didn’t jump into baby groups that early.
I did join a mum and baby exercise group around 3 months post birth and kept it up for about 3 months…. Go Me!!
But I then decided around that time that the exercise group although good to get me back into exercising was not fulfilling the social skills the baby needed and the social convo’s i was craving!! I decided to swap to home exercising and joining baby groups.
I now attend 3 a week and a month in I love it!
Sadly this time i have not been so lucky to meet a group of mum’s like before….YET!! Although i totally feel better already.
I don’t care this time round if someone tries to judge me for how i feed, what i feed or what i use to wipe his nose!! Instead i just enjoy chatting about the colours of shitty nappies, sleepless nights, saggy bellies, microwaving your coffee a thousand times and the weird and wonderful birth stories that naturally draws us mummy’s together.
Because what we have in common is just that…
The smelling of filled nappies, the leaky breasts, agonising bottle research, eating cake random times of the day and sitting together in a baby group probably in a local church and quickly sipping at your cuppa before your baby/toddler needs your attention again.
Sanity….. That is the reason they are so important, not being lonely and feeling like an adult (or as much as an adult as we can be!)
Because when you have a baby you…yes you MUMMY, Your life changes dramatically, your partner’s life does change but compared to yours its only a small change.
Your body changed, your hormones changed, you are not on the rat race now as your at home with baby. You don’t have a lunch break anymore and your topic of conversation is mostly “Goo Goo Ga Ga”
Or what ever is thrown at you via the media that day – yes Daytime TV is definitely the most conversational points i can bring to my husband when he gets home if i don’t go out to a baby group.
Don’t be the me I was and be sacred to join a baby group or worried of someone judging you.
Get out there, meet new people…let your little one play in a new place and soak up the mummy madness.
Don’t feel forced to go and if you go to one that you don’t like or seems too expensive (commercial/business ones can be sometimes) then find another one, most council websites have information on your local ones or Facebook groups/pages usually have them advertised somewhere.
and if your in Gloucester…. I might see you at one!!
I can’t speak for dad’s as my husband has not used any of my Mat Leave … Purely because i enjoy being off too much to share it!! But i have seen dad’s at quite a few groups before and it is lush to see how equal things are becoming today!
Take care of you and baby and enjoy every moment…. with a blink of an eye work is looming and our littlie will grow so fast they will be too big for baby/toddler groups *sob*