Mothers’ Group, it’s got a bad wrap; cat fights, competitiveness, bitchy comments and judgements – but is that really all it is?
Early motherhood is probably THE most vulnerable time we will ever have in our lives; hormones are going nuts, we’re switching personalities like Jekyll & Hyde, we’re super sensitive and we are only ever an inch away from feeling like we should give our children over to the department due to poor parenting —remember that time they cried for two (whole) minutes and I didn’t even pick them up?
Remember when I didn’t have enough breast milk, I couldn’t breastfeed, I co-slept, I didn’t co-sleep, I dropped croissant crumbs on their head, I didn’t spend enough time with my other child, my husband, my dog, on myself (you do not want to see these toenails right now – can anyone say Hulk and Hobbits combined?)
You throw a bunch of women together, who are…… let’s make a list:
– Zombie tired
– Sore in parts we never knew we had
– Feeling isolated
– More challenged than we have possibly felt in our entire lives
– Not wanting to leave the house, yet at the same time, desperately needing to escape the house, like it’s Alcatraz
– Needing to socialise with people who don’t throw food on the floor or try to fondle your boobs.
What are mothers’ groups good for?
I know I desperately needed other people who ‘understood’ what I was doing though, at the same time that I was going through it. When I was going through something, so were they- it was perfection! I remember telling multiple people ‘you don’t understand’. Not to downplay their importance in my life or their attempts to help or be supportive, or be condescending in any way – but I felt they just didn’t get it.
Sara Saunders. Image via Facebook.
Who else could understand the discomfort, the pain, the emotional confusion of the 'Twister' within, that Bill Paxton & Helen Hunt couldn't even understand?
Who else could comprehend the utmost appreciation and respect for what our body has been able to achieve and deliver (without completely breaking) as well as a sadness and longing for the body we had before?
Our bodies were aligned in representing a story, a story of the birth of a child; through such beauty as, stretch marks, saggy bellies, added weight, giant jugs with veins the size of your little finger and those eyes that look like you've just come back from an audition for the next 'The Ring' movie.
There is an awkwardness like the first day of class when you begin mothers group, there are parts of you, that when it's finally time to leave the house and socialise with people, people that actually know who Beyonce and Serena Van der Woodsen are, you get a mix of stage fright and agoraphobia.
Listen: According to a perinatal psychologist, mothers' groups aren't suited to everyone. (Post continues after audio.)
After fighting with yourself for half an hour, you finally drag yourself out of your exquisite combo of Uggs and PJs to enter the world. You find yourself sizing each other up as you enter, as if you may have just accidentally wandered into Fight Club instead of Mothers' Club.
You find a spot for your 500 billion baby items (most of which you will soon find out you don't need), as well as your baby (very important NOT to forget the baby). The babies are placed onto their soft baby blankets as to create some sort of flower shaped modelling shoot. The facilitator begins to do that old round the room intro, where everyone tries to seem like they're not completely freaking out about parenting and having to make 'friends'.