Becoming a Mummy is indescribably life changing, and the world as you know is turned upside down the minute that tiny human is earth side. Your tribe of fellow mummy warriors will become a lifeline that you never thought or knew you needed…
You’ve spent 9 months carrying around the most precious cargo, and now that beautiful little bundle is in your arms, you’re home from the hospital, the steady stream of visitors has dried up, your partner has gone back to work…and now what?
Now you have endless hours of ‘alone-time’ with your baby that you longed for in the early days when the doorbell would ring too many times a day – and now you have to find your new groove, just you and your new addition.
Motherhood as incredible as it is, can at times be isolating and lonely. You have this gorgeous little human by your side all day long, but despite the earth shattering love that you feel for him/her, some new Mums find themselves feeling more empty and lost than ever before. Which is why it is so important to have a solid network of like-minded Mums who you can lean on at all hours of the day and night…even if its to ask if it’s ok that your baby has just had a rather unnerving green poo at 3am, that’s projectile range has just added a new design to your freshly painted nursery walls.
There are so many ways to meet new Mums local to you, most of which will be feeling the exact same level of dread at the prospect of trying to make small talk with total strangers, whilst praying their baby doesn’t puke up their last feed all over the floor.
Many local Children’s Centres will hold planned activity sessions, such as messy play, soft play and singing. Most of this will be completely free (added bonus when you’re on sucky maternity leave pay) and if you attend one local to where you live, you’ll more than likely find that there are a ton of lovely Mums just like you right on your doorstep who would love nothing more than to meet for a coffee and a natter. Visiting a Children’s Centre also gives you a great opportunity to see a health visitor and ask them questions or advise.
Specific social apps for Mums
Social Apps like Mummy Social and Mush are fantastic outlets to put yourself out there, without the bum-twitching panic that comes with forcing yourself to speak to someone face-to-face for the first time after only having 2.5 hours sleep the night before. Introducing yourself online is a great icebreaker and the apps allow you to filter on radius so you can find a community of local Mums with children the same age as yours.
NCT is a charity that supports new parents and parents-to-be, but most people’s experience of NCT will be through an antenatal course. If you’re reading this with your little bun still cooking away, then it’s not too late to book yourself a place on one of their courses. I somewhat reluctantly booked myself and my husband onto a local NCT course, mainly because my friends had recommended it and had banged on endlessly about how it was great way to build up your network of ‘parent friends’. I went to the first class confident that I already had more than enough friends, with and without children, and I was sure I wouldn’t meet anyone on my wave length anyway. How wrong I was! But more on that later…
Baby groups in those early newborn days really are wonderful – if you’re able and brave enough to try and get yourself and your baby out of the house, and be somewhere at a specific time (me…I was always the one walking in 5 minutes after the class started – and that’s ok too!). If you’re keen to try a baby group to meet other new Mums, take advantage of those blissful early days where the classes will mostly consist of sitting on the floor of a low lit room with your baby lying in front of you, listening to gentle lullabies and looking at twinkly sensory lights dancing on the ceiling above you. Enjoy being able to have an adult conversation with the person next to you…who might be desperate to team up with a couple of new Mums too. Fast forward to babytoddler classes with an 18 month old – cue a savage toddler who gives zero sh*ts, tearing around a room, sticking his fingers in plug sockets, throwing pretend plastic sausages at the child next to you and spinning as fast as he can in the middle of the room before falling around like a drunk 19 year old rolling out of Weatherspoons at 4am after too many WKD’s. Or maybe that’s just my son?
I had no idea so many local Facebook groups existed before becoming a Mum, but they’re great for getting all the local goss and for finding out what’s going on in your area, especially around the holiday times, like Easter and Christmas. There are so many planned activities and events that take place seasonally by local Church and toddler groups, that without the power of Facebook would go unnoticed by many.
When putting yourself out there as a new Mum, or even Mum-to-be, it’s so important to remember that everyone is so unique in their approach to motherhood. You won’t necessarily meet people that compare to the lifelong friends you’ve had for the last 20 years, but what you might find, is a group or even just one or two special Mums, who will be there to answer your poo-related Whatsapps at 3am, to comfort you when you’re at breaking point from not having a decent night’s sleep in months, and to drink wine with you at 11am in the morning when you finally manage to do something together that doesn’t involve nappies, milk feeds or naps.
The girls I met through attending my local NCT course have been my lifeline from day one. From spending just 15 hours together in a classroom, we went from being total strangers, to sharing the most precious moments when our babies were born. The months following the births of our babies were spent meeting for coffee dates, going to baby classes together, sharing and OVER-sharing on our Whatsapp group, and planning days out…and 18 months on, work schedules and busy weekends get in the way of us all getting together as often as we’d like, but I have no doubt that those girls will be my friends for life. Your Mummy friends are your tribe. Find your tribe and love them hard.