During my pregnancy, like most first-time mums, I spent a significant amount of time trying to picture my life with a baby. What will it mean? Is it really the best thing I will ever do? (Absolutely). Is sleep deprivation REALLY that bad? (Yes.)
I went to approximately 104,503 weddings between the years of 2014 to 2016, which meant that the babies started popping up in close succession, and suddenly I was one of the only people I knew that didn’t have kids.
So when I got pregnant, I would pepper my friends with never-ending questions. To my surprise, hardly any of them went to mothers' group.
I’d assumed everyone went. I’d seen those pictures of babies making a circle with their heads on my Facebook feed for years. When I enquired, I got responses ranging from “I have enough friends” to “having to make small talk with strangers is my idea of hell”.
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The general consensus was that mothers' groups were bitchy, competitive, boring, and full of ‘yummy mummies’ trying to outdo each other (because a bunch of women meeting in an organised setting can’t be anything but, right?).
That it was hard enough to catch up with the friends you already had, let alone adding a group of strangers to that list.
After my son was born, I had a check up with a maternal child health nurse at my local community clinic. Because he was born on the 29th of November, by the time I got to my visit, they were closing down for the summer. I was absolutely devastated, convinced I’d missed the boat and that the six long weeks it would be closed would have ruined any chance I had at joining a group.
Thankfully, I was wrong. When Hudson was seven weeks old, we turned up for our first session and in no time, we were making friends (well, I was making friends, he slept through the whole thing.) What no one tells you before you have a baby, is it’s very easy to talk to other mums without any awkwardness - you’ve basically seen each other's nipples before you even know each other's names.
So, every Wednesday, while I was in the newborn blur, I had something to look forward to. A day planned that meant I got out of the house, where I could change his nappy comfortably, feed him when I needed to, and most importantly - there was air conditioning (it was a particularly brutal summer!).