Before my son was born I was use to lots of people and interaction at work, I was use to keeping busy and never had a dull moment and I was use to getting up, getting dressed, getting my make up on and going where I needed to go, then I had a baby. I was the first person out of my friends with a child and after the first few weeks of getting use to feeding, no sleeping and changing diapers I was desperately looking for more human interaction. I think back about my poor husband who must have wondered why I started to call him more than five times a day to update him on what colour of stool was in the latest diaper. When he came home at work I must have talked his ear off with my events (of lack their of) of the day. I knew I needed something to get me out of the house and into my new life with a baby.
My first experience at a drop in mommy group wasn’t great. It was intimidating which is funny because I am an outgoing person and feel quite comfortable talking to anyone, but I was not use to my new role as a mom. I always laugh because it made me feel like I was at a nightclub and was being checked out by other mommies. They would look at my baby – to see if it was the same age as theirs, they would check me out (could we be friends) and then they would make their move or not. In some groups the cliques of moms had already formed, the new mommies, the veteran mommies, the stylish mommies and the mommies who could handle it all and the mommies who could not handle any of it. I was unsure where I fit in and how to approach anyone. My son was 8 weeks at the time so I was still in the momma bear mode too and was nervous with these other larger babies moving and walking while my son only slept or ate.
Then I had the opportunity to visit a smaller sized mommy group, it was perfect for me at the time. I met 6-7 mommies who came every week. The facilitator led us through some songs and crafts once in a while but the best part was the chance to connect with these other moms. It was great to ask questions, tell wonderful and horrible birth stories and complain about the lack of sleep. It always surprised me the instant bond you have with another mommy and even if you do not know them you feel more than comfortable to explain any birth complications or struggles you had and they care and support you.
It was a chance every week to connect with people who were going through the same things I was. It was a chance to feel my confidence as a mom grow and a chance to realize everyone can be just as unsure at times as I was.
Once I started getting out on my own and seeing what the role of mommy looked like, I loved it. In fact I ended being busier staying at home than I was at work, my schedule was full of baby groups, play dates, stroller walks and more.
Some years have past and now I have the opportunity to connect with moms and help them make connections, I did not write this article to sell our programs but to remind mommies (new moms in particular) that a mommy group can save you when you need it most. Do not feel bad if the first group you go to is not for you please look again and try to find that right match, because at the end of the day it will be more than worth. You will be a better mommy, a better wife/partner and a better you. I truly believe that first mommy group saved me and I still have the chance to see and catch up with those mommies who if we had met under other circumstances probably wouldn’t have connected so deeply but now will always have this incredible bond. They saw me at my worst and they help me become the mom I am today.