Everyone has their own experiences, good, bad or different. I’ve had my own and I’m sure one day I’ll share more on those. But I guess the reason why I want to write about the ‘dreaded’ mothers group is that there really are some positive aspects to take away from them. For me I was realitively new to the town and figured even if I clicked with one person then it’d be time well spent.
The group here starts off as a meeting coordinated by a baby nurse, there time to sit around sharing that weeks experiences and discussion followed by a guest speaker. Being able to ask questions from a qualified and experienced professional was invaluable – I don’t know if any other profession would get asked as many poop questions as that woman got asked. And the were guest speakers were great speaking about relevant things to new parents – PND, Speech development and first aid.
I guess the most important advice I want to impart is that it’s not a competition as much as other parent may try to initiate one. Arrive with an open mind and a gentle heart. You may have your own views on how to raise a child, but this isn’t your forum to lecture. The idea behind a mothers group is putting a group of women together who are at the same stage in parenthood, who can lean on each other because on the most part their facing she same challenges.
A friend of mine went to one group explained she’d had a traumatic birth with complications then has breastfeeding challenges which mean that she struggled and eventually started her baby on formula. They were then all much happier. She approached the group in an open way, but wasn’t received the same way. Bearing this in mind I knew that for sure there would be some mums in my group who (for what ever reason) were using formula and I made it my mission to encourage the mums struggling with the guilt of no longer breastfeeding. I didn’t want these mums to leave the group because they felt like an outsider or frowned upon – like my friend did.
Single or yet to have children friends may not have the same capacity to support you in this stage in your life plus your friends are likely to be working full time and these other mums of tiny babies do have time in their schedule for daytime catch ups. I loved being home with my tiny baby but boy did I miss conversation – coffee dates with other mums filled this gap.
The point I’m getting to is mothers groups aren’t all bad, but decide what it is out of the group your looking for. Give it a chance. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Your baby isn’t a doll and putting him/her in their Sunday bests for mothers group where the babies lie on the floor kicking about and looking at the ceiling isn’t necessary, mothers group isn’t a fashion parade. Be you, be real and hopefully you’ll get some value out of the experience 😉