Building A Mum Support Group
Prior to having my baby, I had friends with children, but not any that lived close or with similar aged children. When I was pregnant, I joined a NZ Wide Facebook group called ‘Babies Due Feb/March 2021’. As there were over 400 mums, and widely spread across the country, I decided to start an East Auckland group to minimise the field, so those closer by could easily keep in touch and meet up for local support.
We would meet regularly whether it be for a coffee, a meal, or a walk and we started to build our friendships. Many of us are first time mums and we all had many questions about the unknown. The best thing is, we all feel comfortable asking questions and discussing our thoughts and opinions without feeling judged. We have all received in one way or another negative comments or judging opinions outside of the group and this has further strengthened our friendships.
Antenatal group is another fabulous way to meet parents that will be having babies around the similar time. We joined Auckland East Parenting Centre and joined the 7-week Childbirth group. It was just one evening a week, but it meant you got to know everyone in the group, including with the dads! We have stayed in touch and most of the group also joined the local Space group, which meant a weekly catchup at Howick Play Centre.
As a new mum, you may doubt yourself, overthink or may not think at all through stress & tiredness, all absolutely normal and common from my experience. All of these mums have had different birthing experiences, and all our babies are so different, so it is great to be able to bounce ideas and suggestions off of each other, but most importantly feel supported. I will be honest, some days/nights or weeks are just simply hard. Being reminded that we are doing a great job, any positive reinforcement or making the effort to get out of the house for a social coffee and even just a walk, is sometimes just what we need to get through the tough times. It is just as important for us mums to look after ourselves to give our babies the best and I feel these friendships have given me the confidence to believe in myself and know I am not perfect but I am still a great mum.