All that talk of bragging in my last post got me thinking about Mothers Groups. I know many women do not enjoy a positive experience when it comes to Mothers Groups. Throw a group of women together who are complete strangers, with little in common except for the fact that they have given birth in the last few weeks and it is little wonder really. Let’s face it, women can be bitchy… and judgmental… and cliquey; once you throw in a little new mother hyper-sensitivity and a good dose of post-baby hormones it is hardly surprising that the experience can occasionally be soul destroying!
I was very fortunate when it came to my Mothers Group (hi ladies, *waves,* I know that at least one or two of you are reading this). I was lucky to fall into a group of women of similar ages, many of whom were (coincidently) teachers and nurses, and we had a good mix of baby boys and girls, breastfed and bottle fed, routine junkies and ‘go with the flow’ types. I found everyone to be open, helpful and supportive and I never felt like I was being criticised, judged or ostracised for my choices as a mother. Of course, within the larger group there were sub-groups of Mums who were closer and met more regularly but that was okay too. And whenever your baby achieved a milestone, it was celebrated with wonderment – I mean, we were all new at this and to think that one day our baby might be doing that too, amazing! So bragging, it never really felt like bragging, it felt like the joy of being a new Mum.
I miss those days – we would meet once a week by the beach for coffee and our babies would kick around on blanket on the ground dribbling all over each other and pulling the hair of the lucky ones who actually had hair. I miss those Mums. I know that I am not the only one who has moved away, many returned to work and even more are now pregnant or have had their second baby, so the group is not really the same anymore. I am thankful for the support of those women who helped me make it through the early days and I send them love and best wishes today, wherever they may be. I miss you all.
Did you participate in a mothers group? What was your experience like?