But joining a mothers’ group can be like going on a blind date. Get it right and you’ll have the time of your life. Get it wrong, and all you’ve got is a bunch of tired, hormonal women making awkward conversation about sippy cups.
So what’s the secret to success? Thou shalt not break the Seven Deadly Sins of Mothers’ Group…
Sin #1: Judging.
Just because you share a postcode and a vaguely similar ovulation cycle with these women, doesn’t mean you’re going to share all your values.
Everyone thinks their version of parenting is right, however, there’s a fine line between being passionate about your beliefs and getting into troll territory. Going all Judgy McJudgeface probably isn’t going to change their mind about sleep training/disposable nappies /teaching their baby circus tricks, or whatever it is you’re at odds over.
When people get defensive, things can escalate, and I’ve witnessed some all-out brawls about the most ridiculous subjects (I mean, who cares that much about nappy brands?). You don’t have to avoid the tricky topics, but keep it polite and know to simply agree to disagree.
Sin #2: Being scared to overshare.
Oversharing isn’t just allowed, it’s expected. In fact, you haven’t had the true mothers' group experience until someone shows you a photo of their child’s poo (I really, really wish I was joking).
From baby bodily fluids to detailed labour stories, relationship woes to emotional ups and downs, the full rollercoaster of parental experience will be laid out – whether you’re into it or not.
Seriously, though, this is probably the one place you can say whatever’s on your mind, knowing that at least one other person will be going through the same thing.
You may feel embarrassed or uncomfortably exposed, but think of it as free therapy with good advice and a coffee on the side.