Finding a community as a parent
If you are the first of your friends to have children, you may find yourself with a lot of time on your hands as a new parent and a lot of questions too. Babies are great, but their conversation skills are pretty limited and we all need adult conversation.
For some people play groups are the way forward, you may want to socialise in person, get out the house and even give hot tea a go (if you still remember what that is). Some prefer to turn to the online community meaning you always have someone to talk to, even during that 3am feed that seems to be going on for hours.
There are so many places to find the community that is right for you, and there may be more than one that fits perfectly into your lifestyle.
With antenatal classes and the NCT, you can make your ‘mummy friends’ before the little ones have even arrived. Meeting women at the same stage of pregnancy as you means you can discuss your hopes and fears about labour, being overdue and naming your child, and you know that they will be going through the same growth spurts and milestones as you and your baby.
There are always playgroups to attend and most welcome you with a baby of any age. Check out children’s centres and local churches and community centres to find out what is on locally. These are a great place to find a variety of people and somewhere your baby can learn to socialise and grow. Most offer tea and biscuits as well as snacks for the little ones once they are old enough.
For more baby centred playgroups, look for baby massage, breastfeeding support groups and baby sensory. These may cost a small fee per week but they offer great experiences and the opportunity to meet like-minded parents.
If you prefer to chat online, then there are several big websites with groups for parents. Babycentre have ‘birth boards’ where you can chat to others due the same month as you, as well as groups for all things parenting which are a great space to ask questions, share stories and celebrate milestones.
There are facebook groups set up for everything now, from pregnancy to cloth nappy addicts and once you find the right one for you, it is a real community. Because they are all parents there is barely a minute of the day when there isn’t somebody around so those night feeds can become a lot less lonely.
Finally, if you are a writer, a sharer or love being in front of a camera then why not share your own story. Blogging or vlogging is a great hobby and you will find that like-minded people become your audience, people you can share your experiences as well as chatting through decisions.
Wherever your community may be, ‘Mummy friends’ are pretty great.