Guest blog post by Jenni at Nurturing Mums
Pre kids you might hear the word date and think best dress,smallest bag andred lipstick. Post kids it means wipingoff that stain from lunch,grabbing the buggy full for every eventuality and heading to a fellow mums house for a date of a play variety. A playdate, where you will swap stories of sleepless nights while your babies coo, or while your toddlers get an experience in ‘sharing’. Even though these might be different from meet ups of your pre kid days,there is something amazingly restorative about sitting down with another mum who is going through the same stages as you and being reminded once again that you aren’t the only one.
Motherhood can be a lonely place. Maybe you worked full time and everyone you know also works full time. Maybe you are the first person in your friend group to have a baby. Maybe you have just moved to a new area. Maybe you have just found the transition into motherhood difficultand have struggled to lift your head up. Whatever the reasons if you are up for it there are so many benefits to stepping outside with your little one and meeting others who you could share this stage with.
Benefits not just for you but for your child;
- Your child will get to engage with a new situation,gain a future friend and hopefully have fun! (Everyone knows that other people’s toys are the best.)
- You will get a chance to look up from your circumstances and maybe make a friend for life, nothing bonds you like parenting.
- You get to enjoy the place you live, make the most of your maternity leaveand at the end of the day you will feel amazing and proud of yourself.
Up for it? Well why not…
- Check out what’s going on in your local area, children’s centres, playgroups, music classes, baby classes, fitness classes etc.
- Be intentional. It’s all too easy sometimes to pop into a playgroup follow your child around and then leave, instead go with the intention of chatting with another mum.
- Did you or your child click with some one? Be bold enough to swap numbers and plan another meet up.
- Stick to the same group for a couple of weeks, both you and your child will feel more relaxed each time you go and its gives you an opportunity to chat to different people each time.
Now I’m not saying that all playdates or classes will always be perfect. I’ve spent many a play date with my cup of tea getting cold because I’m politely refereeing between two toddlers over the same toy. It can be easy to walk away from those situations or groups thinking what was the point, but I would still say that community has value and is worth the time and effort. Even those seemingly negative situations give your child so many opportunities for them to learn from others, showing them there is value in working together and compromising (which I think every parent of toddler needs them to learn). And even if your baby sleeps through the whole sensory class, you got out, you chatted to adults, you discovered something in your area and hopefully you looked up from your circumstances and realised that there are others out there happy to help and happy to laugh, cry and drink tea with you through it all.
At Nurturing Mums we aim to create meet ups and postnatal courses that foster non judgemental, supportive, local mum communities. Find your local Nurturing Mums events through our website (www.nurturingmumuk.com) or through our social media @nurturingmums.