First time mum/referee to a wild toddler. Self confessed rum enthusiast. Aspiring writer but hell of a procrastinator. Blogging about Mental Health and this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest perspective.

Biting the Bullet - My Mum and Baby Group experience

Today, we attended our first mum and baby group and it was (to my utter surprise and delight) a  heartening success!

I received a phone call yesterday afternoon from my HV who coaxed me into attending a fourteen week group, it would be good for me and A, there were limited slots and she had managed to get me in. I conceded as I'm trying to do this thing where I actually participate with the outside world.

I was dubious and had already completely written of mum and baby groups before I had even arrived. They were just something I never found particularly enticing. I wasn't eager to sit in a circle full of mum's with the distorted grins plastered on their faces, and a chorus of screaming babies as we bunched together to sing another nursery rhyme; a unison of discordant noise.

I had the preconception of pretentious snobby women parading around with their knockers out promoting the boobie juice and shunning us bottle givers; gloating on how their child was the literal baby Jesus (when really you could just tell by the smug expression smeared over their face, that their kid was the epitome of a right little sh*t). They had a strict schedule, fed their baby only freshly cooked meals and had no idea what a chicken nugget looked like.
To be fair, I was a little dramatic with the stereotype I had pictured but it made me dread the thought of even going in the first place.

I could not have been more wrong.
As soon as I went in, I was greeted by the nicest three women who run the group. I was informed that in the mornings, the babies would stay with the girls in the crèche for playtime and the mum's would go next door. We would then be offered lunch and in the afternoon, we would do a baby workshop which would be several different activities from baby massage to book bug, tummy time to jumperoos.
We were taken to the other room and the group was explained more in detail. Due to Scotland's never ending Winter, it was only me and one other mum who had managed to attend, however, it made it feel a lot less daunting. 

The main focus for the first two to three hours is just about us. How we are. How we feel and not just in terms of motherhood.
We were told over the following weeks, we would discuss, our pasts, self esteem... (at one point I really did wonder if this was some sort of secret therapy intervention), our fears, our anxieties... Basically sh*t would get real over the coming weeks (real intense that is.) I guess that was why there were endless boxes of tissues spread over every possible patch on the table but hey who was I to turn down three months of some good old friendly therapy, a limitless coffee supply and free cake?

But that is what I LOVED so much about this group.
It wasn't rushed. It wasn't pompous. It wasn't people bragging they were parent of the year or cooing over babies all day. It was just normal people in search of a little safe haven to meet friends and find support. 
I got the chance to share my birth experience, my disappointment of the atrociously *poor aftercare I received, my breastfeeding struggles and my overwhelming anxiety following the birth of A. They let me gush and vent and  share.
I met a new mum who I got along with instantly, who seemed to relate to almost everything I shared. Juggling caring for a little person, taking care of yourself and the general hiccups of your average every day, can leave life beginning to feel morose, repetitive and a little lonely. Too mundane for my liking so it was just amazing to have a little sanctuary where we can have an outlet with other like minded mama's.

(*zero)

It felt so great to see how happy Arthur was too. I loved watching him explore his new surroundings and seeing him interact with the other babies and mentors. He has always needed a lot of stimulation, so much so, that I find myself running out of activities to do and feel a little stumped so I feel this will just be the perfect fit for him, and I am excited to watch him develop his social skills over the next months.

I left feeling so positive, pumped and happier than I've felt in weeks and I am so stoked for next time.
(free cake, remember the free cake.)



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