Building a network of friends and support groups is incredibly important for all mums. When we have kids we all need someone that we can rely on to help us through motherhood. We all need that someone who has also been up for hours during the night, that someone who worries as much as you do, and that someone who loves to have a gossip and giggle. Having someone to lean on and share your experiences with is essential to guide you through the good and bad that parenthood brings. Also, seeking professional support if you are feeling low or if you feel like you cannot cope is vitally important. We have compiled a list of the best ways to reach out to your mummy community.
Community Health Service
There is no better way to meet other mums in the early days than through your community health service. Their parenting groups are a great resource for sharing information and seeking support. As a new mum you can share your experiences with other mums of newborns. If you find a friendship then you are likely to continue to bond as your children grow up together and go through the same developmental stages. The health service itself provides valuable information to parents on feeding, sleeping, and caring for your children.
Pop along to your local playgroups and meet with other mums while your little one has a play. Many groups have activities for the kids such as arts and crafts and song time, while the parents can enjoy a coffee or tea and maybe even sneak in a biscuit. You can spend time nattering with other mums while your little treasures make friends. Playgroups are a vital part of the community and an excellent resource to forge friendships.
There are more than 230 breastfeeding groups run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) that provide a vital support network to mums. The groups are run by breastfeeding counsellors or educators who organise a meeting once or twice a month. They provide advice and help to breastfeeding mothers while providing an opportunity for mums to socialise. Groups usually meet at local community meeting rooms and some arrange social events for mums. To find out more go to: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/contacts/groups
There are a huge number of groups, networks, and organisations offering advice to mums on social media. Joining a mother’s support group on Facebook, following a mummy blog via Twitter, or following an inspirational mum on Pinterest can be an excellent outlet for additional guidance. If you are looking for ideas on what to buy your child for their birthday, craft-making ideas, or help on what store is selling the cheapest nappies then someone on social media will undoubtedly be able to help you. Always be savvy on social media by considering the reliability of the advice you are given.
International website www.meetup.com allows you to look up local groups meeting in your local area. Many meetup groups seek people with similar interests to join – there might be a group for working mums, entrepreneurial mums, crafty mums, eco-mums, breastfeeding mums, or single mums. They are run by local people and they arrange to meet in public places such as cafes, parks, swimming pools, libraries, and playgroups. Sign up and have a look at the variety of groups in your area.
Libraries, parks, swimming pools, cinemas, outside the school gates there are numerous places to bump in to other mums. If you are looking to meet more mums then strike up conversations when you are out and about you may be surprised who you meet.
Postnatal depression support groups
If you are feeling low or struggling to cope consider speak to your doctor or health practitioner. There are a range of support groups, across the country, for mums with PND. The Post and Antenatal Depression Association gives expert information on PND and run a helpline for people seeking support.
How have you reached out to your mummy community? Have you found it difficult or hard to make friends with other mums?