The reality of mummy friends

Maternity leave is a strange one. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you’re on countdown to your baby’s arrival. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be counting down to those glorious months off work. You imagine long walks, a clean house and making hundreds of mummy friends to go for coffee and brunch with.

Wow.

How different those weeks and months can actually be.

I gave birth to Everest in February, the same week the Beast from the East hit Yorkshire. We spent the first three days in hospital and had planned to have a full week on lock down, no visitors, just the three of us adapting to life. To say that week passed in the blink of an eye is an understatement.

hypnobirthing leeds

By the end of week two, I’d had numerous emotional melt downs as the “baby blues” hit me like a mallet round the face, we’d had more visitors than my mental health could cope with, and worst of all, James was heading back to work.

The next few months passed by in a massive blur.

Looking back, I now think of the newborn stage as a glorious mixture of cuddles in bed in a dreamy haze with just me and my babe padding round our house in permanent dress of pyjamas with hundreds of cups of tea. Part of me really misses those days. No one expected us to do anything or be anywhere; when people asked me what I’d done that week, resting was a perfectly acceptable answer.

hypnobirthing keighley hypnobirthing bradford

Now Everest is nearly 10 months old, people expect us to be full of the joys of spring. Everything is slightly easier once you’re either used to the sleep deprivation or baby is sleeping better. So you start going to all the classes; baby sensory, baby massage, messy play, swimming classes, soft play, all of it.

And all those mummy friends? No where to be seen. The amount of baby groups I’ve walked in to and everyone already has their cliques. I’m a pretty brazen person, I’ll happily throw my two pence in to a conversation, but even I got shut down a lot. You don’t know cold shoulders until you’re the only person at baby massage who doesn’t already know someone. Good job I can have a wonderful one sided conversation with Everest.

Of course not every baby class is like this. We persevered, decided those ones maybe weren’t for us and started some new ones in the hope that people would be a bit more open to someone outside of their NCT class.

We went from one extreme to the other.

Next up were the classes where people were so focused on their baby that when the class finished, they literally ran out of the door. Maybe these were not for us either.

hypnobirthing skipton

When Everest was around 6 months old, I stumbled across a group on Facebook, Hey Mama.

Set up especially for mama’s, by mama’s; no matter what age you are, how many babies you have or if you even did NCT. Baby mama’s, cat mama’s, dog mama’s, mama’s with step-kids, mama’s with jobs, mama’s without jobs. You get the drift.

The Calm Mama Co hypnobirthing Bradford

I did the standard Facebook stalking and saw they were holding their first mama coffee meet-up in a village 9 miles away from where I live. So we went. Just Everest and I in the hope that someone would talk to us and I’d get a decent coffee.

And that was it. I talked, they talked, I met mama’s, Everest met Ezra – and the rest as they say, is history.

Alternate Friday morning’s are my treat to myself. The cafe we meet in has an enclosed play area and Everest is besotted with Ezra so I happily just let him enjoy playing, meaning I get to have adult conversations with some equally tired women and drink hot coffee.

The women I have met through Hey Mama are amazing. I honestly don’t know how I would of navigated my way through the past few months without knowing that for a few brief hours every fortnight I get a safe space to unload my thoughts. And it is so comforting knowing you’re not the only one going through what you’re going through.

Finally after 9 months of maternity leave, I have found my mummy friends. And I couldn’t be happier with them.

The Calm Mama Co hypnobirthing class

Hey Mama can be found on Facebook here 

The Calm Mama Co teaches hypnobirthing classes in West and North Yorkshire and can be found here

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