My Heart, Your Home: When a group of Mothers become a group of friends   

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

When a group of Mothers become a group of friends

Photo's taken by one amazing Mother - Kate

Mothers Group has all the intentions of being a group of women whom support each other, love and accept each other (warts and all), nurture each other. It has all the intentions on creating an environment in which new Mothers can form a bond and can form there own new source of support. It has all the intentions on being something really great. Really great. 

However, before I had even fallen pregnant with my Daughter I was privy to stories of Mothers Group experiences. Experiences full of judgement and criticism, comparison and competition. You know, those awful feelings that a new Mother should never have to experience, all those awful things that a new Mother should never place on another. I had heard stories of people leaving in tears, they were judged for using a dummy, bottle feeding, a crying unhappy baby. Anything and everything. In a time of such need I could not believe that women could still be so cruel to each other. In a time when sisterhood should shine, I could not believe that we still resort to petty school yard behaviour.

When I feel pregnant with my Daughter I had a brief thought, "this means Mothers Group!". And I shut it down as quickly as it entered my mind. Never to be thought of again. I wasn't doing any such thing! I was not going to set myself up to be so cruelly treated when I just knew I would be in a place that I would not be emotionally strong enough to be able to hand such behaviour. The idea of being placed in a forced environment, having to introduce myself in a room full of women, talk about my pregnancy, my labour, my birth, my child. Talk about how I am coping and feeling. Talk... in general... in front of people, people I knew nothing about and no doubt had absolutely nothing in common with. Well that was just overwhelmingly frightening! And I just wasn't going to do it!

Then Evelyn was born. The thought had entered my mind again, and again I threw out. Until the midwives came to visit and didn't give me a choice. I was going! I needed it! It would be great for me. Apparently. They signed me up and called me multiple times to ensure I had all of the information. But, I exercised my right to freedom of choice and I just didn't go. I didn't have the strength to walk into something that just was not in my persona. I didn't have it in me.

Until three or four months passed. And my Daughter had grown, she was teething, she wouldn't breast feed, she was unhappy and then happy, things were happening and I had no one to talk it through with. Then, I realised... how nice it would be to have a group of women who had babies the same age, who I could ask, who I could talk to.

So I did something so totally out of character for me. And I contacted that group of women that I was too afraid to meet. Then I turned up one Thursday morning. After they had been meeting for months, knew each other, knew each others babies, knew their place. I walked in there and I sat down and I introduced myself and my Daughter and I talked about my pregnancy, my labour, my birth. I did all the things I was too afraid to do. Then I learnt, that I can do this. I was just so completely proud of myself. I walked into a ladies house whom I had never met, and I met a group of 7 other women. And I talked and I felt ok. Nervous, so utterly nervous, but ok!

Then this strange thing happened. I started going back. Every single thursday. I started craving that time. Those women. Their babies. Their stories and advice. I cherished thursday mornings, I waiting for them and when I left on thursday afternoon I felt empowered... ready to start a brand new week. They gave me strength and courage. They gave me a confidence that I had not had before.

Then something even more strange happened.

We became friends. Me and those 7 other women. Me and those 7 other babies. Evelyn and those 7 other babies. Friends. The day I walked into that cafe for the first time I never could have prepared myself for what the next 14 months would bring. I never would have imagined that all of those women and their babies would help me celebrate my babies first birthday. I never would have imagined that those women would wipe away my tears and give me a hug when I had no where else to go. I never could have prepared myself for the love those women would show my Daughter, or the love I would feel for those 7 other babies. I never ever would have imagined, that in that very moment that i sat down and said hello I was creating for myself an unbreakable community full of support and encouragement and love and kindness. 

The love I have for these women is beyond describable. When I watch them play with Evelyn, cuddle and kiss her, talk with her, my heart swells. On that very first day, I did not think I would survive and yet here I am, with a 16 month old baby who has 7 16 month old friends. Here I am, a woman who never had many women in my life, with 7 new friends who I cherish and adore and just cannot imagine my life without them.

The decision to attend Mothers Group was one made with complete apprehension, total fear and anxiety but today... If I had not made that decision my life would be one a little less bright, a little less happy. I would be a different woman and a different Mother. These girls help me to be a better, greater version of myself and help me to be a Mother I never could have known existed without them.

For that, I will be forever grateful, forever in their debt.

No comments:

Post a Comment