Today I want to discuss the value of joining a mother’s group*. The proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is a wonderful sentiment, however in modern society, we don’t all have a tribe to call upon to help guide us through our journey of parenthood.
I joined a mother’s group when my eldest daughter was born, and when I met the other Mums for the first time I felt I had nothing in common with these girls except that we all had newborn babies. Almost sixteen years on, we still meet regularly and those strangers have become life long friends. You see the relationship you have with women in a mother’s group is different to that from your existing friends. These ladies become your mentors, counselors and friends. Only someone with a baby the same age is interested in discussing the baby’s bowel habits, sleeping patterns, motor skill developments and eating behaviours. They understand the sleep deprivation you are enduring because they too are living through it. They provide support, advice and a chance for adult company, whilst your child gets to work on their socialisation skills.
As your child grows, the dynamics of the group evolve. My mother’s group started meeting in people’s houses, then as the kids became more mobile (and destructive) we met in parks and play centres. Now that the kids are all school aged we meet in bars and restaurants (without the kids of course, although in a blink of the eye they will be old enough to join us). We still talk about our children’s sleeping habits; however now with teenagers it is how to get them up in the mornings. We still worry about them getting hurt, but now it’s not about falling off a swing but hopping into a car with an inexperienced driver. The girls in my mother’s group have become the ‘tribe’ that I otherwise wouldn’t have had to call upon.
The other great thing with joining a mother’s group is that not only will you make life long friends, so will your kids. None of the children in my mother’s group attend the same school, but they still stay in regular contact through social media and still count these kids amongst their closest friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I think all friendships are special and that we have people come in and out of lives that help fulfill our emotional needs, but the bond with someone whose child is (and always will be) at the same stage as your child is worth it’s weight in gold.
(picture courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
Have you got a wonderful mother’s group you would like to discuss or any other support group that has been your ‘Tribe’? Leave a comment to let me know.
* A group of mothers with babies the same age.