This evening, I thought I’d look into other ways of promoting my Blog, and so added it to a variety of blogging sites, forums, that type of thing.  The first comment I got on a Mumsnet blogging forum was “Im fed up reading this stuff and the name is cringey”

Ouch!

This is one of the reasons I took so long to start something like this in the first place; I was afraid of being laughed at.

I’ve done it now though, and I’m enjoying it so much, and it’s okay that not everyone likes it!  Im fully aware that Blogs like these are everywhere, being written by mums and dads all over the world, but I want to share my side of things, and so I will continue.

Putting yourself out there…In life you sometimes have to just give things a go, go with it, meet new people and experience new things.  This brings me onto a topic that I’ve long wanted to talk about…my brand new baby friends.

Now, I don’t often admit I’m wrong, but when it comes to this subject, I was the furthest from right I’ve ever been.

During pregnancy, I had a couple of conversations about meeting new friend with babies.  I recall saying on a few occasions that I wouldn’t need to meet new friends, that I have plenty of friends already, and that I wouldn’t enjoy going to baby groups and making small talk about the price of nappies and the latest must have Fisher Price toy.

I didn’t spend the small fortune required on the NCT classes, and therefore I didn’t think I’d ever belong to a group of ladies who sit around during maternity leave, babies playing happily while their drinking coffee and scoffing cake!

Chris and I attended one free ante natal class, which was pretty pointless in that we knew pretty much everything they’d gone through from reading Babycentre.  But it did make me think about the other ladies I was sat in that room with.  Who were they?  What has brought them to this momentous point in their lives?  Do they know what sex their baby is?  I wonder if I’ll be in the hospital around the same time?

i didn’t think anything else of it, and by the time the birth came, and after the first few weeks of sleepless nights and constant feeding hit,  I didn’t have time to think about going to baby groups or meeting people.

Then the health visitor advised that I go along to a free breast feeding group in the local children’s centre.  Lylah was 7 weeks old, and I was so nervous to attempt this outing alone, worried that everyone would witness how nervous I was, both as a new mother and also with breastfeeding in public.  Knowing though that it would help me out with the feeding, I went along.

It was at this group that I met my first very close ‘baby’ friend, Kirsty.  Our babies were 7 weeks apart, and she was going through all the same stuff I was.  We’d talk about sleep, feeding, babies crying, waking during the night, anything and everything that we could think of.  And I loved it.  I loved having someone to offload to, and someone who completely understood me.  It was through this group that I met other like minded mummies, including Rachael, Nikki & Shelley.  Our weekly chats helped me through some really hard early moments, and I’m so thankful to those ladies and the health visitors who were there every week.

I’d still talk to my old friends, but it was hard to relay to anyone who isn’t going through it, just how hard those first few weeks/months are.

Our local children’s centre also put on a free 6 week post natal course for us.  I was now looking forward to this!  Chris dropped me off to the first session, I think I even wore some makeup and put on a nice top, and off I went, transporting Lylah in her stripey car seat, ready to talk babies, with lots of other mummies.

At the first session, I sat next to Donna, who was bubbly, friendly and who made me feel instantly at ease.  We soon established that our little girls are only a day apart and that we were in hospital at the same time!  This group was fab – it allowed us to be open, in a private, confidential setting, and we’d all talk and share stories, advice and tips.  It was here that I met, along with Donna, Rachel, Claire and Naomi, along with lots of other lovely ladies and babies.

Other groups at the children’s centres, the local baptist church, and swimming at the local pools, meant that during our maternity leave, we all saw lots of each other.  We welcomed a new mummy, Jenny, to the fold, when she moved to the area and was looking for people to meet, and she soon joined us in weekly play sessions, coffees and general gossiping!

Since then, we have all spent lots of time with each other, and have watched our babies grow together.  It is comforting to know that Lylah will know these friends from a young age, and hopefully they will always be there for each other.

It’s also so lovely when ‘old’ friends, become baby friends as well.  A couple of people who I’ve known for a long time are also in the new parent category, and it’s great to have something new to share and talk about, on top of an already long and wonderful friendship.  Adele, it’s been fab to share my experience with you, thanks for always being there 🙂  Having Lylah also made me see what other friends of mine who have had children before me must have gone through!  Some of my hardest early motherhood moments were helped hugely by my oldest friend from school, Claire.  Her help and advice in the early days was invaluable – thank you.

After spending a beautiful spa day with 6 of these ladies recently, it hit me that I am a really lucky person to have met these wonderful souls, and that I get to share this special time as a parent with them, exchanging stories, sharing advice, and being an ear for each other when things get tough.

Thank you to my ‘baby’ friends.  No, scrap that.  Thank you to my friends.  As that is what you are.  Only 18 months in, and I feel like I could share anything with you.  Here’s to coffee, cake, poo stories, a shoulder to cry on, and babysitting help.  Love you all, and  Lylah loves you too.

Putting yourself out there – worth it?  Absolutely.

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