As the babies in my parents group start turning 2 I thought it was a good time to share my thoughts and feelings about mothers groups (which in our case) is a parents group.
Before Miss A was born I was unsure about the whole mothers group thing. You see I have a small circle of friends, I always have, it was even mentioned by a teacher on one of my school reports in primary school. Anyway, I am also quite bad at keeping touch with the friends I have (although I believe a sign of a good friend is one you can easily converse with no matter how long between contact). With that and my slight social anxiety I wasn’t sure how I would go. But after talking to a couple of friends who have mothers groups I thought I would give it a go.
In Queensland, there are ‘classes’ (in the very loose sense of the word) that are held at Community Health Centres which have the aim of bringing new mothers with similar aged babies together. I decided to throw caution to the wind and join up. I figured it was only 3 sessions and if I didn’t like it I could give the whole thing a miss.
Well, I am so grateful now that I went along. I met a lovely group of women and we mostly all hit it off. We did have a couple of drop outs after the 3 sessions, and then we also had a couple of ring-ins. When one of the mums had to go back to work early and the dad became the primary carer, he started coming along to, along with another dad. So our mothers group became a parents group.
The kids are great as well. They all get on well, despite Miss A making the boys cry when they were younger. Watching them all grow from babies to toddlers has been a joy.
It has been a wonderful to know that I have a group of friends (and yes they are now my friends) who I can talk to about feeding, and development and toilet training and all of those things that may easily bore other people. It was a great comfort at our first meeting to know that I was not the only one not (fully) breastfeeding my baby and that was okay. The guilt I felt didn’t feel quite as bad after that.
As time has passed I have gotten to know these people as more than just mums and dads. Even new parents need other things to talk about. I found out that I share a former workplace with Lisa and a love of trashy tv and Facebook games with Jess and Ines.
Although we may not we meet up as regularly as before, as work and other commitments eat into our time, I look forward to continuing my parents group friendships and getting to know everyone more as people and not just parents.
Lastly, I would like to thank them all for their kindness and support to Miss A and I. I don’t think I would have survived the 2 years without you.