5 reasons you should give mothers’ group a go.

 Go on. You know you want to.

Whether or not to attend a mothers’ group after your baby is born can be quite a polarising issue.

Some mothers can’t wait and others just aren’t interested at all.

I do wonder if this is due in part to the sort of urban myth that mothers’ groups are hot-beds of mummy judgment and full of babies who sleep through the night. And while I know of some women whose experience of mothers’ group have been negative, most can’t speak of them highly enough – myself included. So, if you’re not sure if going along to a group is really your “thing” here are 5 reasons why you should consider giving one a try:

1. Tips and tricks.

Seriously, who has the time or energy to read baby books, especially given many of them only contradict one another. And that’s where the encyclopaedic knowledge bank that is a group full of slightly clueless new mothers, is so useful. There’s something pretty special about navigating new motherhood alongside other women, sharing what’s worked and what hasn’t. Passing on collective wisdom from midwives, early childhood nurses, grandmothers, friends of friends and 2am “how do I get my baby to sleep?” Google searches.

I was constantly amazed at the compassion and support that came from within my group as we tossed around ideas and suggestions when another mum was struggling. And we were all that mum at some point.

You can pick up some serious tricks of the trade at mothers' groups.

2. Friendship.

An accusation often directed at new parents is that they become “boring" after having kids. While I don’t think this is particularly fair, mothers’ group does provide a forum to go for gold on topics that might cause other friends in your life to glaze over or swear off parenthood forever.

Poo/vomit disasters, cracked nipples and birth stories are all very welcome and often serve as completely acceptable icebreakers in the early days of getting to know fellow mums. For some women, mothers’ groups result in brief bonds formed with similarly sleep-deprived women with nothing in common but a postcode and when their babies were born. For others, life-long friendships are forged. My own mother still has friends from when she attended mothers’ group when I was a baby three decades ago. And there are a number of lovely women from my own group, who I hope will be part of my life for just as long.

Nothing makes friendship like bonding over baby vomit disasters.

 3. Babysitting.

I heard about a genius mothers’ group pro from a friend who had a baby around the same time as I did. She and the other mothers worked out a system where they'd take it in turns to babysit one another’s children so that a couple could have a date night. For mums who may be on a tight budget while on maternity leave or have little family support, it's a really brilliant idea and one worth remembering.

4.  Networking.

Contrary to what some may think, mothers’ groups aren't solely about the babies. With many mums having children later in life after establishing their careers, a group of mothers can comprise quite a unique combination of skills and talents.

Only last week, a friend of mine mentioned that she was able to get her small business up and running, drawing on the copy-writing abilities of one mum in her mothers’ group and the marketing expertise of another. For many women, having children can provide the impetus for career change or redirection, and contacts from mothers’ groups or even collaboration between mums can help make this happen.

Your new pals will give you something else to do besides mundane chores of motherhood.

5. Something to do.

Okay, so I know there's always something to do when you have a baby. But I’m not talking about the endless washing.

Having a regular meeting time and mixing it up to include mums and bubs cinema sessions, swimming, beach trips and café visits can be such a sanity saver and help combat that sense of isolation and monotony that can creep into life with a little one. In my group we’d often joke about the fact that our catch-up was the highlight of our week. And the funny/maybe slightly embarrassing/lovely thing is: we weren’t actually joking.

Did you/do you go to mothers’ group? What was the best thing about it?

Like this? Try:

We are the most messed up Mother's Group ever created.

What NOT to say at mothers’ group.