Yummy Mummy Group Therapy
How my new mummy friends became friends for life
After the birth of my first baby, the midwife handed me a list of postnatal groups in the area. This was 1 week postnatal! I wasn’t ready. Post caesarean, post birth haze, new mum chaos I just wasn’t ready to entertain the idea of getting out the house at the crack of dawn. After all I was still trying to get used to being a mum and having a baby to look after.
When she discharged me to to health visitor, she again urged me to go. Still not ready. Along came the health visitor, again came the question “have you joined any groups yet?”, “it’s really worthwhile” she said. Enough already, I’ll go when I’m ready.
I just wasn’t ready to attempt to be somewhere on time. I was nervous. I wouldn’t know anybody. They would all know what they’re doing. What if my baby cried the whole time? What if everybody could tell I was struggling with breastfeeding? What if I was late? I got flustered thinking about the whole ordeal. Nope, I wasn’t ready.
4 weeks postnatal and again I was asked if I’d joined any groups. Being a midwife myself I knew deep down that it would be a good idea to attend group. I decided to go to Baby Matters. It ran for 4 weeks and included, first aid for babies and toddlers, feeding information, development information and a baby massage session. At least it was only 4 weeks. I could say I’d done something then.
Well, I have to say that this was the best thing I ever did. After the second or third week we all opened up a bit. Everyone had the same reservations as I did. Everyone was nervous and extremely self conscious in their parenting ability. We laughed, how on earth would we be expert parents with 6 weeks experience? A small group of us decided to go to a Yummy Mummy group at a local pub. Coffee and cake. A good chat. No judgement. Reassurance and a chance to have a good moan. Sharing many parenting fails and joys. We met another couple of friends there too. Without these friends, that early postnatal period would have been extremely lonely. I guess I was lucky. I met a great bunch who I felt comfortable with. It didn’t matter if the baby was still in a sleep suit, or the mums had greasy hair. This was neutral ground. We were all new mums just trying to do our best and figure out this parenting business.
So my advice, to any new mums would be to get out the house and join a couple of groups. Everyone is in the same position. Of course, some groups will have those mums who like to show off, their baby is perfect, they are managing just fine. Let me tell you, they are probably the ones who are struggling the most. There’s always groups who seem to be rather exclusive and outsiders not welcome. If any group or individual makes you feel bad about yourself, leave them alone. A postnatal group needs to be non-judgemental, welcoming and reassuring. But please, go on, get out and meet people. It could be the best thing you did for yourself.
Here we are from 2012 – 2016