When you don’t have children, to some extent you think you’re bulletproof. The world is your oyster, you don’t have many responsibilities and there’s nothing really tying you down. You can go wherever, and do whatever. You need people, yes, but you can also be very independent.
Before I had babies, I landed a great job and moved 1000km north for it. I didn’t know anyone, bar a few work friends. I was based there for a couple of years and pretty ok with not really knowing anyone.
My now husband joined me just months after I moved, and we decided to have a baby. When our first bub was born, I found myself in a pretty difficult situation. All of a sudden, the fact that I knew hardly anyone (and the people that I did know didn’t have children, and would be moving back down south) REALLY mattered.
A glitch in the public health system up there meant I didn’t get set up with a mother’s group. And it reaches a point, as an adult, where it gets hard to meet new people. So, I had noone to turn to to ask the all important questions like “how are you swaddling your newborn?”, “when are you starting solids?” or “what are you doing about teething?”.
Hell, I had no one to even grab a coffee with or vent with about being completely sleep deprived and doubting myself every step of the way. Going out for a drink with a mummy friend wasn’t an option because I had none.
But this isn’t a pity party. It was tough, yes. But I managed to get through it by, eventually, finding some support.
Finding a group of fellow mums to chat with, vent to and socialise with – your ‘tribe’ as such – is super important. It can be the difference between having a great experience as a new mum or feeling completely lost, isolated and (in some cases) post natally depressed.
So, here are some ideas for where to look:
Mother’s groups – most hospitals and local area health services should set you up with a mothers group after you give birth, and itll be full of mums who have babies of a similar age. However, sometimes they don’t, or you’ve just moved to the area. By the time I gave birth we’d moved out of that particular hospital’s catchment area, and they didn’t refer me on to my new local area health service. But, there are other places you can turn. Read on…