Sunday, 10 May 2015
Making Mummy Friends! How do you do it?
You may have read on my blog that our little family made a big move across the country to be closer to my parents and our support network. The problem is, we're feeling even more isolated! We moved to a small town, not a big family area, about 50 minutes south of Newcastle and the same distance from the Central Coast. Sometimes I feel totally alone out here, you can go days without really seeing anyone else. I've been struggling to get out of the house with the koala, which is driving us both nuts! I joined a Facebook-founded mothers group in Newcastle and its full of some really great mums and babies. They are lovely and supportive, but I often can't make the last minute catch ups and those that are somewhere deep in Newcastle are often just too hard to get to. We need to get out and meet people so I've been making the effort, but the 50 minute drive with a screaming baby is sometimes too much to bear! There are no playgroups in the area and I couldn't get into any of the Newcastle mothers groups, even after crying on the phone to them. Literally I broke down in tears, but apparently they were all full.
Finally, I discovered that my local library has a Baby and Books session each week! Its only 15 minutes away, so I thought 'GREAT! Finally I might be able to find a some mum friends close to home'. Alas, the first week I went I was the ONLY ONE THERE! Seriously? I was devastated. I had been so excited.
After my first attempt, I thought, 'maybe I'll just stay home next week'. But that would mean my little koala would be stuck at home with an anti-social mum. That's not fair on her. I don't want her to have a lonely childhood like I did. So I sucked it up and tried again the next week.
This week, there was one other mother there, unfortunately that mother didn't seem to appreciate how lucky she was to have her little baby. The mother entered the library, put her baby on the floor and sat on the nearby chairs. I was on the floor with the koala and greeted said mother 'hi, how old's your little one?' '9 months, maybe 10, whatever' she replied. 'Really? she's a little one isn't she?' I say (noting she was smaller than my 7 month only koala who is tiny). The mother replies with 'maybe 9 months, I don't know, I haven't kept track'. This seems odd to me. Who doesn't know the exact age of their baby down to the day? She proceeds to ignore her baby the entire session. How can you squander this precious gift of motherhood you've been given? Needless to say, this isn't the type of mum I was hoping to connect with.
It's hard making new friends in a new place, especially when you live somewhere isolated. As a new mother, you are suddenly not surrounded by people in the workplace, you're not going out to bars or parties. Making friends can be really hard! If you are lucky you can join a mothers group, if you are unlucky like me, you have to put in the effort to find other ways to meet people. Sometimes I can go the entire week without seeing anyone except my baby, husband and the people I pass in the supermarket.
It isn't easy, we are muddling our way through the best we can. Its hard driving so far with a cranky baby but I know how important it is for my baby to socialise and for my sanity too!
For all those mother's out there feeling isolated, try joining a mothers group, checking out whats on at the local library or look into mum and bub classes like Baby Sensory or Kanga Training.
It's easy to feel alone when you're suddenly a stay at home mum, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Wishing all the mothers out there friend-making success!