For first time Mum’s heading to your first baby group can feel like the most daunting task in the world! I remember in the first few weeks with Mini Meldrum I would use any excuse not to go… She was napping, it was too cold outside, I couldn’t get ready in time etc etc. I even remember once getting ready for a group, getting us all bundled into the car, arriving on time…Then just sitting in the car for a while before turning the engine back on & heading home.
They are scary things for the first time mum, it’s almost like the first day of school … But worse! Not only do you want to be liked & accepted by everyone, you want to appear a master at the art of mothering, with a happy baby who you fully understand & are totally in tune with! God forbid they cry & you can’t stop them!
After I got over the fear of attending the first class & the awkwardness of remastering the skill of making friends out of strangers I became a baby group slut! They are my safety net, my own little escape from a day trapped in the house with a toddler & a newborn! They give me chance to enjoy a hot cuppa with other mums going through the same toddler battles & newborn worries as I am – all whilst being disguised as ‘playgroup’ for Mini Meldrum!
That suits me perfectly, Mini M can enjoy spending time
fighting over sharing toys with her friends whilst I eat cake – which is another great thing about baby groups!
If I could go back to myself as a new mum this is the survival guide I would hand over…
My survival guide
•be brave, don’t nervously skirt around the edge hoping someone will come & make friends with you. You are a grown up believe it or not & you are capable of BEING BRAVE so DO IT! Put yourself out there and introduce yourself, even say the words out loud “this is a bit bloody scary… I don’t know anyone” – everyone there will have been in your shoes at some stage & will probably be drawn to your honesty! Plus there is only so long that people can stay away from a gorgeous little baby.. the scrummy newborn scent soon gets the better of them!!
•use your baby, it’s the only time in your life you will have strangers coming up to you & cooing over your tiny human – latch on to them, get into conversation – you have been provided with a ready made conversation starter so make the most of it. Share your tales of sleepless nights, ask for advice – there’s nothing a Mum loves more than sharing advice or procrastinating over her own sleepless nights! Who cares if you never take onboard her advice or don’t give a monkeys about her child’s sleeping habits just pretend you do & you may find a friend in her if not you’ll at least have had some adult conversation that day!
•buddy up! Swap numbers with someone from your antenatal group & head to a baby group together! Having a bit of moral support is always good!
•don’t take your spouse! I often see mums heading to baby groups for the first time with their significant other. Whilst it may make you feel safe it’s a sure fire way to make other mums keep their distance.
•head to the church! Religious or not church playgroups in my opinion seem to be the friendliest, there is normally someone super lovely in charge that will take you under their wing & introduce you to fellow mums. This makes things a lot easier than having to do it yourself! There are also sweet old ladies there that want to cuddle your baby if you need the loo!!
•keep trying, if the first group you try isn’t for you then try others! Once you are a bit more confident with hitting up the groups who knows, you may go back to the first group & love it!
Fellow Mummy’s what are your top tips for the first time Mum heading to their first baby group?!